A partnership agreement has been signed by Isadora Bigourdan, CEO of Digital Africa, and Jérôme Hénique, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, at the Vivatech event to support and strengthen the growth of African startups by utilizing the knowledge and resources of the Orange Digital Centers and Digital Africa. Startups and executives from around the world gather at VivaTech to celebrate innovation.
As part of this partnership, Orange and Digital Africa will search the African continent for and choose innovative tech firms. Through the Orange Digital Center and the Digital Africa community, selected entrepreneurs will have access to a variety of services, including mentoring programs, technical help, funding, and networking opportunities.
The Orange Digital Centers (ODC) are ecosystems that support, educate, and mentor young people and those with innovative ideas in order to improve their employability and get them ready for jobs of the future (AI, cybersecurity, etc.) or to spur them on to start their own digital businesses. The ODC are located in 17 countries in Africa and the Middle East as well as 8 countries in Europe.
The Orange Digital Centers gather a variety of free, publicly accessible services in one location, including startup acceleration, digital training for youth, and assistance and investment for project managers.
to step up efforts to promote digital entrepreneurship in the important sectors for each nation, such as the environment, e-agriculture, e-health, and e-commerce… The Orange Digital Centers are starting a new phase today called ODC 2.0, with a particular emphasis on women and those who are marginalized by technology.
The goal of Digital Africa is to increase African entrepreneurs’ abilities to design and implement digital innovations at scale for the real economy. As a facilitator, Digital Africa brings together a variety of partners from all over the world, including Proparco as the sole shareholder and startups, researchers, incubators, institutional investors, venture capitalists, and cluster technologists.
The operational strategy of Digital Africa is built on a precise diagnosis of the needs of entrepreneurs, obtained directly from the field, to create a series of programs centered on three key priorities:
improving access to trained local talent and data, strengthening the tools and skills required to create a firm.
using flexible fundraising strategies, such as the formation of investor networks, to make it easier to get initial investment.
promoting the creation of knowledge on digital issues in Africa, as well as “made in Africa” innovation policies that are beneficial to creative digital entrepreneurs in Africa.
Startups will be connected to potential investors, partners, and customers by utilizing the extensive network of Orange Digital Centers and Digital Africa, allowing them to expand their businesses and speed up their growth.
Orange and Digital Africa will continue to support the growth of an active startup ecosystem in Africa through this relationship. This partnership strives to empower young entrepreneurs by giving them the resources, training, and assistance they need to convert their creative ideas into profitable businesses. Their shared goal to fostering socioeconomic growth on the continent includes promoting “made in Africa” digital innovation.
Representatives from Orange and Digital Africa emphasized their excitement and dedication to the success of this cooperation at the signing event. They underlined how crucial it is to develop homegrown talent, advance digital inclusiveness, and realize the enormous potential of African companies.
The transformation of the African continent depends on its digital talent. The CEO of Digital Africa, Isadora Bigourdan, stated that this collaboration with the Orange Digital Centers “aligns with our strategy for identifying promising entrepreneurs locally and assisting them to access support, funding, and lobbying tools through an international network of allies.”
“We are very excited to launch this collaboration with Digital Africa, as it adds a crucial component to our existing Orange Digital Centers network, facilitating access to flexible financing solutions specifically designed to meet the needs of seed-stage entrepreneurs,” said Jérôme Hénique, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa. This partnership has significant added value and will encourage the expansion of the African startup ecosystem.