GIZ, (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), Orange, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, the Ethiopian Investment Commission and the Industrial Parks Development Corporation have launched the Addis Ababa Orange Digital Centre, an ecosystem that is dedicated to digital skills and innovation.
“I am very proud to launch with all our partners the third Orange Digital Centre in Addis-Ababa, which will be part of a network of 32 Orange Digital Centres based across two continents: Africa/Middle East and Europe. With the support of GIZ, Orange supports East Africa’s digital ecosystem by providing young Ethiopians with all its technological know-how to create more job opportunities,” said Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East & Africa.
“The purpose of Orange Digital Centres is to bring together several strategic programmes under the same roof: a coding school, a “FabLab Solidaire”, a startup accelerator “Orange Fab” and Orange Ventures Africa, the Group’s investment fund. All of the programmes provided are free-of charge, open to all and include digital training for young people, 90% of which are practical training, start-up acceleration, guidance for project bearers and investment,” reads part of a joint media statement.
“Ethiopia has a young, dynamic and trainable workforce, as well as supportive policies to enable the launching of a project as Orange Digital Centre. We therefore welcomed this initiative with great enthusiasm and have been supporting it since day one. Young Ethiopians will have the opportunity to develop world-class technological skills here. Young people, innovation and technology are key to shaping the future of Ethiopia,” Commission.
Orange and GIZ are working together in a development partnership of the develoPPP.de programme, which GIZ implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Digital centre targets gender diversity in ICT jobs
The project is supported by BMZ’s Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, which also operates under the brand Invest for Jobs. The know-how of Orange in training and supporting young people in the field of digital skills and innovation will be complemented by GIZ’s extensive experience and local expertise in addressing the challenges inherent in the employability and entrepreneurship of young Ethiopians.
Together with the Ethiopian partners, the GIZ and Orange hope to achieve their shared vision of greater youth employability – including more women and girls in ICT jobs – while supporting the country’s sustainable growth and digital transformation.
“Building the digital and innovation ecosystem is a multi-stakeholders agenda that requires holistic policy envisioning, vibrant enabling system and innovative and efficient collaboration among stakeholders like this responsible move of Orange and parties involved: I must acknowledge and encourage, indeed it is an initiative worth investing on,” said Abraham Belay, minister of innovation & technology.
Sandokan Debebe, CEO at Industrial Parks Development Corporation, also commented: “We are excited about the launching of an Orange Digital Centre at the IPDC’s ICT park. We are working hard in order to create world class ICT industries in Ethiopia. We believe that the skills that will be developed here will be very precious to support the IPDC’s goal of making ICT park as a central hub to Africa, place of technological knowledge transfer, an opportunity for IT based job creations and a base for country’s progress towards becoming the middle-income economy.”