Working to train young people in digital skills, improve their employability and thus help reduce unemployment
Orange Africa and Middle East has signed a strategic alliance agreement with a German development agency called GIZ, which will see the pair helping young people in Africa and the Middle East to fulfill their ambitions and potential.
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Africa and Middle East, and Kathinka Kurz, head of the development partnerships programme with the private sector (develoPPP.de) at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) , have signed a partnership agreement to develop the digital skills of 20,000 young people in 14 countries in the Africa and Middle East region.
Orange and GIZ are two major institutions, one recognised for its expertise and know-how in the field of innovation, the other recognised by its experience and expertise in supporting the economic and social development of partner countries.
The two will work hand in hand to train young people in digital skills, improve their employability and thus help reduce unemployment. Both parties join forces and bundle their competences and resources, with a financial contribution of Euro 20 million by Orange, and up to Euro 10 million by GIZ. This partnership will have a long lasting impact on the economic perspective of young people.
In the context of the project GIZ acts as implementation partner for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which has set up the develoPPP.de programme to foster the involvement of the private sector at the point where business opportunities and development policy initiatives overlap.
Orange and GIZ will establish digital hubs in Africa and the Middle East, called Orange Digital Centers (ODC). These centers offer young people training in digital technology free of charge, and they will accelerate the creation of start ups and support project leaders. The ODCs will feature digital state-of-the-art equipment. The teams will work with various stakeholders and the entrepreneurial ecosystem of each country to train young people and support in finding jobs. The ODCs will also work with universities in the regions.
The ODC concept already launched in Tunisia and Senegal will soon be deployed in Morocco, Jordan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mali, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Burkina Faso, in Guinea and Liberia. Each ODC includes a coding school, a FabLab Solidaire, a start up accelerator ‘Orange Fab’ and Orange Digital Ventures Africa, the Orange Group’s investment fund.
Each of these four programmes is aimed at a specific audience. The Coding School, a free access technology centre that offers training, events and support for developers, geeks and project ideas. The FabLab Solidaire, a digital manufacturing workshop for creating and prototyping with digital equipments, also targets young people without diplomas and without jobs. The FabLab Solidaire of the ODC is part of the worldwide network of 88 FabLabs Solidaires belonging to the Orange Foundation.
Orange Fab and Orange Digital Ventures Africa are programmes that target entrepreneurs. The first is a start up accelerator that supports the most promising start ups in their commercial development and also helps them to build business partnerships with the Orange Group and the worldwide network of 17 Orange Fabs. The second, Orange Digital Ventures Africa, is a Euro 50 million investment fund that finances innovative start ups in countries on the African continent and in the Middle East region.
The Orange Digital Center aims to create synergies between all these programmes.
The aim of this partnership between Orange and GIZ is to make digital a chance for everyone.