Mobile operator Orange has launched a digital centre in Tunis to provide a wide range of support services to Tunisian startups.
The first Orange Digital Centre for Africa and the Middle East will, among other things, train young people in coding, and offer startup acceleration and investment in early-stage companies.
Orange said the centre highlighted its role in supporting digital transformation and local innovation in all the countries within the operator’s footprint, housing four strategic programmes under the same roof – the coding school, the FabLab Solidaire, Orange Fab and Orange Digital Ventures Africa.
The coding school is a freely accessible and totally free-of-charge technological centre that offers training and events for the community of young developers, while the FabLab Solidaire is a digital production workshop. Orange Fab is a startup accelerator, while Orange Digital Ventures Africa is the mobile operator’s investment fund for financing innovative startups in Africa and the Middle East.
Alioune Ndiaye, chief executive officer (CEO) of Orange Middle East and Africa, said the company will set up similar centres in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone this year, with Morocco and Egypt to follow in 2020.
“Dedicated to our countries’ digital development, these new spaces aim to consolidate Orange’s standing as a key player in the digital transformation of the countries where we operate. Functioning as a network, these sites favour sharing experiences and expertise in a way that will benefit not just entrepreneurs but also students, young people with or without degrees, and young people undertaking a career change,” he said.
“We will therefore work in close collaboration with all our stakeholders, including governments and academics, to strengthen the employability of these young people and to encourage them to run businesses and to innovate.”