French Mobile Operator Orange Launching Innovation Hubs Across Africa

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

French mobile operator Orange is on a mission to accelerate entrepreneurship in Africa by launching digital centers to support startups.

These centers will offer training, mentorship, acceleration and investment in early-stage companies, according to ITWebAfrica.

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The first of these was launched in Tunisia at the end of April, where Orange has already trained more than 16,000 young Tunisians in digital technologies, according to Orange.

Of those, 1,800 have benefited from career change work experience courses while 800 secondary school students have learned coding.

The next innovation hubs are expected to be launched in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon before the end of 2019, with Morocco and Egypt to follow in 2020, TechgistAfrica reports.

innovation hubs
Orange is launching innovation hubs to support African entrepreneurs. Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

Part of the offering at the new center in Tunis is a coding school that holds training and events for the community, an Orange press release revealed.

This concept is aimed at training students, young graduates and young entrepreneurs in digital skills.

The innovation hubs will also include a startup accelerator known as Orange Fab, which allows African startups to build national and international business partnerships with the Orange Group, according to AppsAfrica.

Innovation hubs for Africa through popular mobile operator

Orange is a major mobile operator across Africa with customers in 19 countries including Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal and Mauritius.

One in 10 Africans are Orange customers, with more than 120 million people using Orange as a mobile provider in Africa and the Middle East, according to Orange.

At the end of 2017, Orange began construction on the site that will become its new African headquarters in Ivory Coast, at a cost of around $50.4 million once completed, according to ITWebAfrica.

The headquarters are expected to be completed and officially opened in November 2019.