OrangeFab: participants listening to speaker

Orange Digital Center

Training digital skills and
fostering employment

CONTEXT AND CHALLENGES

Building demand-oriented training programmes to reduce youth unemployment

Youth unemployment is a global problem, which also affects the majority of African countries. Not only young people without education face unemployment, but also those who have a qualified vocational or university education.

On the other hand, companies have an increasing need for skilled employees who have qualified IT knowledge. However, the vocational training system in many countries in Africa and the Middle East hardly teaches the digital skills that the job market requires. This limits the competitive capabilities of many companies and the chance of a future-oriented job for young people.

Orange, as one of the leading telecommunications providers in Africa and the Middle East, clearly detects the need to drive the digital transformation of the project regions. The company wants to expand further into the African market and drive innovation. On the way to get there, it faces local challenges like skills shortage or poor technological infrastructure.

With the Orange Digital Centers (ODC), Orange and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH want to create training opportunities and develop the skills of young people in the IT sector. To do so, Orange and GIZ are working together in 14 countries in the context of the programme develoPPP of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Invest for Jobs supports the ODCs in Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. The establishment of the Orange Digital Centers is intended to support innovative start-ups, enhance the digital skills and help increase the employability of young people in the target countries and thus contribute to reduce unemployment and boost entrepreneurship.

© GIZ / Mulugeta Gebrekidan

PROJECT APPROACH AND PROJECT GOALS

Orange Digital Centers – Building IT skills to strengthen employment and innovation

ODCs combine in one place several programmes – free for the participants and open to all – supporting youth and entrepreneurship: from education and training to start-up support, start-up acceleration, and investment. To do so, each ODC houses several formats: In Coding Schools equipped with computers and software, Orange experts offer free trainings, workshops, internships and professional retraining internships, events and challenges on real projects based on topics such as: web and mobile programming, and on the entire spectrum of modern software development.

These courses are aimed at young graduates or non-graduates, students, people without diploma as well as entrepreneurs. In addition to these courses, discussion rounds and workshops on IT-related topics as well as national and supra-regional innovation competitions are offered. In regions outside the capital cities where no ODC is located, Orange sets up local branches, so called ODC Clubs, which offer trainings, events and projects on software development and soft skills at universities or youth centers.

In addition to the coding school, the ODC also houses a digital manufacturing space to create and prototype with digital equipment – the FabLab Solidaire. It is equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines and other programmable hardware. Students learn how to develop prototypes using innovative digital technologies.
Furthermore, each ODC hosts an Orange Fab, a start-up accelerator which accompanies founders of IT businesses to establish themselves on the market. 
The Orange Digital Centers see themselves as a link between companies, universities and students and work supra-regionally by promoting the cooperation between the ODCs in the individual countries. For the beneficiaries of all courses, the ODC will organize job fairs with companies on a regular base, and the start-ups are supported in realising their first business deals. 
ODCs are networked and will foster large-scale exchanges of experience and expertise, creating business for start-ups and opportunities for young people across Europe and Africa.

© GIZ / Mulugeta Gebrekidan

STATUS AND OUTLOOK

Building digital infrastructures for digital and economic inclusion

The project further strengthens the support system in the 14 project countries by offering long-term education and training opportunities for young people from different educational and social backgrounds at the locations of the Orange Digital Centers: young unemployed people with or without school or vocational training have the same opportunity to acquire digital knowledge as retrainees or university students. This improves chances of young people on the labour market.

Since the start of the cooperation, more than 9,500 people have been trained and more than 1,400 jobs were created in the operational ODCs namely: Tunisia (April 2019), Senegal (October 2019), Cameroon (April 2020), Côte d’Ivoire (June 2021), Jordan (June 2021), Mali (July 2021), Morocco (July 2021), Madagascar (November 2021) and Egypt (December 2021)

The project aims to achieve the following:

  • 20,000 youth, of whom at least 20% are women, have received training and development opportunities in the various ODC components, as well as coaching and mentoring in finding a job or starting a business in the IT sector.
  • At least 8,000, of whom at least 20% are women, youth are expected to have found paid internships or permanent positions in companies or started their own IT business by the end of the project.
  • Within three years after the end of the project, Orange aims to have already enabled 10,000 youth to find employment or start their own business in the IT sector.

The joint project of Orange and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is part of the develoPPP programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia, the Orange Digital Centers are supported by the Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition". Further project locations are in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali and Sierra Leone.

Guided tour of ODC Egypt: https://orangedigitalcentervirtualtouregypt.com/


Project details

Project status

Implementation

Project locations


Multi-Country Approach

Project objectives

Training employment reducing youth unemployment accompanying digital transformation

Sector

ICT & Digital economy

A project with

Companies

Partners

Contact

We are looking forward to hearing from you

Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to work together with companies to create up to 100,000 good jobs and to improve working conditions and social protection in its African partner countries.

Partner countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia.

Find out more about our services for companies, universities, chambers and associations: https://invest-for-jobs.com/en/offers

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