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Orange Inaugurate in Morocco the 10th Orange Digital Center in Africa and the Middle East, to Train Young People in Digital Technology, Support Innovative Entrepreneurship and Enhance Their Employability

To support the development of new technologies in the Kingdom and make digital more accessible to all, Orange Maroc and the German Cooperation has inaugurated in Rabat, the first “Orange Digital Center” (ODC) in Morocco, a digital ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation.

Orange Digital Center was officially inaugurated by Mr. Hendrik Kasteel, CEO of Orange Morocco and Mr. Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East & Africa, in presence of Mr. Chakib Benmoussa, Minister of National Education, of Preschool and Sports, Mr. Othman Benjelloun, Chairman of MEDI TELECOM, Mr. Abdellatif Zaghnoun, CEO of the CDG, Director of MEDI TELECOM, Ms. Elizabeth Tchoungui, Executive Director of CSR, Diversity and Philanthropy at Orange, Deputy Chair of the Orange Foundation, members of the COMEX of Orange Maroc, the German cooperation, as well as official representatives.

Orange Digital Center is an innovative concept which 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, 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, start-up acceleration, and guidance for project bearers and investment.

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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.

Initially based in Rabat, ODC aims to also be present in the various regions of the Kingdom, firstly through “ODC Clubs” deployed within partner universities and major schools, thus complementing the education system to give as many people as possible access to new technologies and support them in putting these technologies to use them to their full extent.

Orange and the German 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.

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This initiative is more broadly in line with the Orange Group’s Engage 2025 strategic plan, which commits to rolling out an ODC by 2025 in each of the countries in which it operates. To date, ten Orange Digital Centers have already opened in the area: Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan, Madagascar, Morocco, Mali and Egypt. More openings are scheduled by the end of the year.

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Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, says: “I am very proud to inaugurate the 10th Orange Digital Center today in Morocco, 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.”

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 FabLab Solidaire, 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.”*

Hendrik Kasteel, CEO of Orange Morocco, says: “Our presence here today demonstrates our commitment as a responsible digital leader and partner of the Kingdom in the digital transformation. The programs we implement with the support of our partners help us achieve our objectives, which are to give young people the keys to improving their digital skills in order to support their employability and contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Orange Digital Center will welcome thousands of young Moroccan talents and allow them to develop their skills, projects or digital startups. This initiative will have a real impact in the society as a whole.”

Ellen Michel, Head of GIZ’s “develoPPP for jobs” programme, says: “The future of Morocco is its youth – and digital is the future of the world. This initiative aims to strengthen young people’s access to the labor market as well as to entrepreneurship so that they can fully contribute to the development of their country. GIZ is proud to be able to support such a forward-looking project.”

Orange is present in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has 135 million customers at 31 December 2021. With 6.4 billion euros of revenues in 2021, Orange MEA is the first growth area in the Orange group. Orange Money, its flagship mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer is available in 17 countries and has more than 60 million customers. Orange, multi-services operator, key partner of the digital transformation provides its expertise to support the development of new digital services in Africa and the Middle East.

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