Orange for development
Information and Communication Technologies are a major driver of economic and social development in emerging countries. They help to facilitate business operations, to boost employment, and to solve social problems. Orange is established in 25 African countries and is a committed partner in the development of territories. As such, the Group supports win-win projects and participates in the rolling out of solutions in partnership with local stakeholders.
The programme "Orange for development" started 4 years ago and is structured around three axes
First, the connectivity of the territories with the aim is to improve network coverage and to extend accessibility to hitherto neglected populations. The community phone, for instance, opens up communication routes for several thousand people. It enables a person equipped with an aerial, a mobile phone and a solar battery charger to become the telephone operator for an entire village.
The second area concerns value-added services: financial services with Orange Money, services to farmers with mAgri, as well as services in health and education. We create the dynamics and infrastructures to bring together local experts in these areas and our customers.
The final area is that of ecosystems and initiatives. As an economic player in the field of new technologies, we work in a more or less dynamic ecosystem. It is evident that in emerging markets, suppliers, sub-contractors and partners are thin on the ground, and that they are having trouble developing. We promote the emergence of these innovative SMEs by making it easier for them to access finance, supporting them and providing the tools needed to develop mobile services.
Initiatives that are on the rise and, above all, which are standing the test of time need some ingredients for success
« Orange for development » is a communication and action framework for all Orange teams. It provides meaning, a business model and a time-based guarantee to all actions performed in the field of corporate social responsibility. The approach was co-built and continues to be run by all the teams involved: research, marketing, strategy and so on. That is most likely the leading factor in our success. If it works, is also because Orange has developed a very structured vision including three key principles to success: attentiveness and a close working relationship with local and international stakeholders and partners on the ground, the goal of economic balance and sustainability, and a space for experimentation where failure is allowed. This experimentation is vital in order to validate the market’s effectiveness.
Do you know mAgri?
Orange actively supports incubators for innovative businesses in new technologies in many countries
Orange supports CTIC Dakar since 2010 and is behind the creation of CIPMEN Niger opened in April, a structure based on the same model, which should be inaugurated in April. These projects meet real needs in these countries’ economic ecosystems: specifically in NICT structures, a low level of competition, a lack of quality sub-contractors, the need to structure local innovation, and the need for local internet content to “democratize” the web. Support for incubators is not provided out of the simple desire to “do good”; it is a real business goal aiming to create the economic conditions for Group’s growth in the medium and long term. These two examples of Senegal and Niger doesn't represent isolated actions. In many countries, Orange develops initiatives towards local 'green shoots'. In Uganda, it takes the form of a mobile app contest improving the lives of the community, a very successful programme from several years. In Tunisia, Orange has launched a program to support young developers of mobile apps, mostly free and social, a project that allows them to create high value local content for smartphones and digital tablets. These are just some non-exhaustive illustration of the potential of growth thanks to the use of ICT.
Involvement in social entrepreneurship is stronger in developed countries
Social entrepreneurship is not a priority in emerging countries, but it is growing ever larger in developed countries. It brings together businesses created for social, societal or environmental reasons, often with limited profit potential. Energy transition, integration of vulnerable populations or those with disabilities, new ways to live and share together... these new entrepreneurs will help find the answers for the future. In an industry like ours, speeding up the growth of these businesses means strengthening the dynamic of local development while forging sustainable partnerships with those closest to the new challenges facing the Company. It is a unique opportunity to familiarize ourselves with new business models, to involve our employees and to contribute to the emergence and growth of new markets in phase with the needs of a Company in the midst of a major transformation.
That is why Orange has just signed a partnership with La Ruche, a benchmark incubator in social innovation.