Orange and the German Development Cooperation are inaugurating an “Orange Digital Center” at Monrovia, a digital ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation, attended by the highest political and administrative authorities from Liberia, Representatives of Germany in Liberia, members of Orange Liberia board and Representatives of Orange Middle East and Africa.
Following in the footsteps of Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Madagascar, Morocco, it is in Liberia, that this 11th Orange Digital Center is inaugurated.
Spread over 715 sq. m, it brings together four strategic programs of the Orange group, namely; a coding school, a solidarity FabLab – one of the Orange Foundation’s digital manufacturing workshops, and an Orange Fab start-up accelerator, supported by Orange Ventures Africa, the investment fund.
All of the programs are provided free-of charge and open to everyone. They range from digital training for young people, 90% of which are practical, guidance for project bearers, start-up acceleration, and investment in these.
Working as a network, the Orange Digital Centers allow experiences and expertise to be shared between countries and offer a simple and inclusive approach to improve young people’s employability, encourage innovative entrepreneurship and promote the local digital ecosystem.
Officially inaugurated today, the Orange Digital Center in Liberia has been operational since January 2022 and has already hosted several training sessions and digital events. In addition, Orange Liberia, in partnership with some universities will establish Orange Digital Center Clubs, extensions of the coding school within the universities in the regions. Thus, it will complement the education system to give as many people as possible access to new technologies and support them in using these technologies to their full extent.
Orange and the German Development Cooperation are working together as part of a development partnership within the develoPPP program, which the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The goal is to fulfil their shared vision, fostering youth employability while supporting sustainable growth and the country’s digital transformation. The programme is also working to advance gender equality and inclusion by promoting access for women and girls to ICT jobs.
Through digital technology, this programme focuses on the following sustainable development goals in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: (SDG 4) quality education, (SDG 5) gender equality, (SDG 8) decent work and economic growth, (SDG 9) industry, innovation and infrastructure, (SDG 10) reduced inequalities and (SDG 17) partnerships for goals.
Brelotte Ba, Deputy CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, says: “I am very proud to inaugurate the 11th Orange Digital Center today in Liberia, which is part of a network of 32 Orange Digital Centers that will be deployed not only, in Africa and the Middle East, but also in Europe. The objective is to democratize access to digital technology to young people – with or without qualifications – giving them access to the latest technological skills to strengthen their employability and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Amb. Dr. Jakob Haselhuber, German Ambassador to Liberia, says: “I am delighted to see that our cooperation with Orange contributes to realizing the vision of a digital, innovative and resilient future of Liberia and its people. Our aim is to empower every person to take advantage of the opportunities of digitalisation and work hard to close the digital divide. Therefore, I am glad that our cooperation with Orange works to this end.”
Elizabeth Tchoungui, Executive Director of CSR, Diversity and Philanthropy at Orange, Deputy Chair of the Orange Foundation adds: “This great project is a key step in our societal responsibility for digital inclusion, especially for young people and women. The solidarity Fablab, a key program of the Orange Foundation, is an essential building block of this socially useful action, by allowing beneficiaries without access to digital tools to reconnect with the professional world: the beginning of a beautiful journey that, through the development of technical skills and through the complementarity of the systems deployed, goes up to the creation of businesses.”
Marius YAO, CEO of Orange Liberia says: “Orange Liberia’s commitment to digital inclusion is a reality. As a partner in digital transformation, we are a major player in the socio-economic development of the country through innovative ecosystems and specific schemes to develop entrepreneurship. With the Orange Digital Centers Club soon installed in universities in the regions, we will bring all the necessary skills to give as many people possible access to new technologies and support in using them to their full extent.”