Orange and the German Development Cooperation have inaugurated an “Orange Digital Center” at Monrovia, a digital ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation. The event was attended by the highest political and administrative authorities from Liberia; representatives of Germany in Liberia; members of the Orange Liberia board; and representatives of Orange Middle East and Africa.

Following in the footsteps of Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Madagascar and Morocco, Liberia now welcomes this 11th Orange Digital Center.

Spread over 715 sqm, the center 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 – and an Orange Fab start-up accelerator, supported by Orange Ventures Africa, the investment fund.

All of the programs are provided free-of-charge and are open to everyone. They range from digital training for young people (90% of which is practical), guidance for project-bearers, start-up acceleration and investment in such programs.

Working as a network, the Orange Digital Centers allow both experiences and expertise to be shared between countries and offer a simple and inclusive approach toward improving young people's employability, encouraging innovative entrepreneurship and promoting the local digital ecosystem.

Though now officially inaugurated, the Orange Digital Center in Liberia has been operational since January 2022 and has already hosted several training sessions and digital events. In addition, Orange Liberia, in partnership with key universities, will establish Orange Digital Center Clubs, extensions of the coding school within the universities in the various regions. Thus, it will complement the education system in giving as many people as possible access to new technologies and requisite support in helping them use these technologies to their full extent.

Orange and the German Development 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 fulfill their shared vision of fostering youth employability while supporting sustainable growth and the country's digital transformation. The program is also working to advance gender equality and inclusion by promoting access to ICT jobs for women and girls.

Through digital technology, this program 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.

Brelotte Ba, deputy CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, says, “I am very proud to inaugurate the 11th Orange Digital Center in Liberia, 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.”

Amb. Dr. Jakob Haselhuber, German Ambassador to Liberia, says, “I am delighted to see that our cooperation with Orange contributes to realizing the vision of a digital, innovative and resilient future of Liberia and its people. Our aim is to empower every person to take advantage of the opportunities of digitalisation and work hard to close the digital divide. Therefore, I am glad that our cooperation with Orange works to this end.”

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 solidarity Fablab, 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."

Marius YAO, CEO of Orange Liberia, says, “Orange Liberia’s commitment to digital inclusion is a reality. As a partner in digital transformation, we are a major player in the socio-economic development of the country through innovative ecosystems and specific schemes to develop entrepreneurship. With the Orange Digital Centers Club soon installed in universities in the regions, we will bring all the necessary skills to give as many people possible access to new technologies and support in using them to their full extent.”

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