Orange drives digital transformation in Africa, Middle East

Orange drives digitalOrange is currently present in 21 countries in the zone, with more than one in 10 Africans being Orange customers, the statement released by the company said. (Image Source: DFID/Flickr)The telecommunications operator, Orange has outlined its vision and priorities for the Middle East and Africa and announced the launch of a new set of products aimed at driving digital transformation the regions

Speaking at its fourth annual strategy and activity update for press and analysts in London on 28 July, Orange Middle East and Africa CEO Bruno Mettling said that the Middle East and Africa remains a key growth contributor for Orange.

Among the new services launched is the Orange Rural Electrification Programme, which according to the company, is the first domestic solar-energy trial for consumers to generate electricity in rural Africa. The project aims to provide an affordable solution to help populations generate electricity where no traditional electricity grids are available. Orange will provide subsidised solar kits or micro-grids to rural communities to generate electricity.

The telecom operator also announced that it will launch a smart metering pilot in Tunisia in partnership with STEG (The Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas) in September 2016. The pilot is due to run for six months with 100 smart meters installed in residential premises in Tunisia with up to an envisaged four million smart metres when the solution is rolled out commercially across the country.

Another initiative by the company is NFC Coins that allow merchants to provide change to customers in the form of digital coins. Starting first in Mali, Guinea and the Ivory Coast this month, NFC Coins in effect ‘digitises’ coins to provide an easy, quick and secure way to get change from any merchant. NFC Coins is a contactless solution to top up any Orange customer with airtime without disclosing the phone number, and solves the issue of a lack of change and coins in Africa.

The company is also launching Nomad, an on-the-spot solution to authenticate and activate new customers or services effectively. Other innovations for Africa and Middle East include Orange Money, 4G smartphone (Orange Rise 51), and My Store, USSD-based app store.

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