Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Orange Targets Long-Term Growth in Africa

Article Image
Already long established in Africa, Orange is looking at how it can play an even greater role in the development of the continent's digital communications and economic potential in the coming years and has identified key growth opportunities for the near and long term.

Orange is active in 21 markets across Africa and the Middle East (of which 19 are in Africa), generating almost US$3.9 billion in revenues during the first nine months of 2016, up 3% compared with a year earlier. More than 80% of those revenues come from mobile services: At the end of September 2016, Orange had 113.5 million mobile customers across its Africa and the Middle East markets.

Speaking with Connecting Africa during the recent AfricaCom event in Cape Town, Arnauld Blondet, the operator's Technocentre, Innovation director for AMEA, noted there are a number of immediate and long-term growth opportunities.

The focus right now is: data services, provided over mobile broadband connections; B2B services, including cloud services for SMEs; and mobile money, evolving from simple m-finance to broader financial services. Orange already has 20 million Orange Money customers across the Africa and Middle East region and is further establishing itself with local licenses as the regulatory environment across Africa matures. (See Orange Ramps Its Mobile Commerce Activities in Africa.)

In the long term, Blondet identified e-commerce, e-services and the energy sector as target areas of growth for Orange. Supporting energy development is something that's already at the forefront of the operator's regional development program: In November it announced a plan, with partner ENGIE, to deploy nearly 1,000 solar kits in Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon that can help to provide a local source of electricity for domestic appliances. Such schemes are important to the development of the IoT (See Orange and ENGIE pursue their commitment to the electrification of rural Africa.)

And to support its e-commerce initiatives, Orange invested €75 million ($78 million) in Africa Internet Group, the e-commerce company that operates ten online consumer businesses in 23 African countries using the Jumia platform. (See Eurobites: Orange Takes €75M Stake in African Venture.)

'We will use the best applicable technology,' says Arnauld Blondet, Technocentre, Innovation director for AMEA at Orange.
"We will use the best applicable technology," says Arnauld Blondet, Technocentre, Innovation director for AMEA at Orange.

The key right now is to use digital services and platforms to support new ecosystems across multiple industry verticals, such as agriculture, energy and transport. This can involve the deployment of many sorts of enabling communications networking technologies, he notes: For example, in the case of smart meters, the connectivity could make use of 2G, 3G, or a low-power, wide-area option such as LoRa, an IoT-enabling technology that Orange is supporting. (See Orange Flags Barriers to Licensed-Spectrum LoRa, Eurobites: Orange Ahead on Project LoRa and Eurobites: Orange Joins Board of LoRa Alliance.)

"We will use the best applicable technology," noted Blondet.

Orange is also seeking to help startups across Africa through various schemes, including its Entrepreneur Club, investment vehicle Orange Digital Ventures and the Orange Partner initiative that supports emerging companies with technical support and a range of APIs that enable startups to tap into the operator's digital platforms. The Orange Partner program has a specific focus on helping startups in Africa and the Middle East.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Innovation hub


Moya super app takes aim at SA fintech market

Super app Moya's fintech platform, MoyaPay, aims to be South Africa's most widely used mobile money payments platform.


Hot startup of the month: Kenya's Shamba Pride

This month's hot startup, Shamba Pride, wants to revolutionize the rural agricultural trade ecosystem in Kenya by transforming agro-dealers into franchised 'DigiShops.'

More Innovation hub

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.


Omdia View: March 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia summary of the biggest stories in the Middle East and Africa focuses on SA's spectrum auction and new submarine cables landing in Kenya and Togo.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Latest video

More videos

Archived webinars

Boosting Customer Experience in the Digital Age

From the first interaction to the last payment: convert leads into clients, drive loyalty and grow your bottom line.

The digital age has ushered in a new era of customer engagement. Consumer demands and expectations are higher than ever – where an affordable but seamless online experience is now the norm.

At a time when competition for your customers is fierce, ensuring a client journey that is tailored to their needs has never been more important. The ability to build these bespoke offerings starts with understanding, and that understanding is built on data.

This webinar will explore how gathering insight is key to growing and retaining a strong customer base; we’ll unpack how CRM platforms, mobile payment, lead capture, and online marketing are key factors in building a successful 21st Century digital business.

  • Customer Experience – understanding consumer expectations of today
  • What easy steps can you take to provide a complete, immersive digital customer experience?
  • How to leverage modern digital tools to build customer loyalty

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.


Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up