In December 2019, Orange and the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), signed a partnership agreement with a joint financial contribution of more than 30 million euros aimed at promoting the employability of young people, entrepreneurship and digital innovation skills in 14 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The development partnership is implemented by GIZ and Orange as part of BMZ I s develoPPP.de programme and will help to develop the digital skills of at least 20,000 young people and create 8,000 jobs in these countries.
Following this global agreement, the Orange Cameroon Foundation signed a partnership agreement with GIZ locally to deploy an Orange Digital Center and strengthen its activities. The objective of this partnership between Orange and GIZ is to make digital technology an opportunity for all. GIZ and the Orange Foundation share a common vision of achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), work to improve the socio-economic conditions and support the Cameroonian government’s objectives of harnessing digital technology for sustainable development.
The Orange Digital Center (ODC) is an ecosystem that brings together a range of programs in one place: from digital skills training for young people and the acceleration of innovative start-ups, to support and investments for project leaders. In concrete terms, the centre includes a coding school, a FabLabSoIidaire of the Orange Foundation, an Orange Fab start-up accelerator and Orange Ventures Africa, the Orange Group’s investment fund.
Each of these four programmes is aimed at a specific public. The coding school, a technological centre free and open for all, offers training, events and support for developers, geeks and project idea bearers.
The FabLab Solidaire, a digital manufacturing workshop (maker space) for creating and prototyping with digital equipment, is also aimed at this type of public, but also targets young people without diplomas or jobs. The ODC I s FabLabSoIidaire is part of the worldwide network of the Orange Foundation’s 129 FabLabs Solidaires.
Orange Fab and Orange Digital Ventures Africa are programmes that target entrepreneurs. The first is a start-up accelerator that accompanies the most promising ones in their commercial development and also helps them build commercial partnerships with the Orange Group and the global network of Orange Fabs. The second, Orange Ventures Africa, is a €50 million investment fund that finances innovative start-ups in countries on the African continent and in the Middle East region.