Working to develop digital inclusion and responsible uses
In a world where new technologies are becoming more prevalent each day, limited internet access and e-illiteracy create a form of exclusion. As the range of uses increases, additional support is required to avoid people falling victim to excessive use and addiction. At Orange, we’re doing our bit to improve accessibility and make it safer to use digital technologies.
Empowering people through inclusion
Digital technologies can contribute significantly to individual and collective transformation, provided they are accessible and controlled. Orange has developed a number of initiatives to widen access, empower people through acquiring useful skills and promote a safe and worry-free digital experience in our operating countries. We offer a broad range of digital applications that benefit all individuals in their daily lives. It was these deep-rooted beliefs that drove us to launch Orange Money (opens in a new window) inclusive financial services in Africa ten years ago. Today, millions of people excluded from the banking system are able to make transactions using their mobile phones.
Stakeholder dialogue and collaborative exchange for more effective action
As part of our stakeholder dialogue, we launched a consultation in France in 2018 on Vulnerability and Digital Technologies (Précarité et numérique) (opens in a new window). We measured expectations and put in place concrete actions such as developing an offering for the most vulnerable people. Inclusion is also one of the 13 topics covered by the cross-sector Digital Society Forum (opens in a new window), created by the Group to bring together experts, businesses, charities and individuals to explore the impact of digital technology on society.
One in two people have no access to the internet
To ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of digital technology, Orange continues to develop regional coverage and connect up the most isolated areas. One example is the Public Initiative Networks scheme to bring broadband to rural areas in France. We are also extending and improving the quality of our global internet network by investing in 450,000 kilometres of submarine cable. Through inclusive design (opens in a new window), we are developing products and services that are as intuitive and accessible as possible to meet the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities. Our Autonomy programme, which is unique in Europe, and run through 259 Autonomy-certified stores in France, brings accessibility into the 21st century by developing dedicated services, training advisors and adapting the distribution network.
In 2018, Orange Spain launched Serena, an emergency remote assistance service for the elderly that can be accessed through an app or via a button on the handset. Orange Polska runs tech workshops and helps elderly customers master digital technologies throughout the year. Lastly, we have signed the French digital inclusion charter and channelled funds into a number of programmes including a government initiative to improve access to training for the digitally excluded.
Offering essential services adapted to the needs of users
Digital technologies are being used as the basis for a growing number of initiatives in areas such as health or agriculture. Orange Egypt launched the M-Diabetes mobile app in 2014 in collaboration with the health and telecommunications ministries and the International Telecommunication Union to help combat diabetes and high blood pressure. In April 2018, a web and mobile-based platform called M-Makity was made available in Guinea to enable farmers to access advice, monitor prices and buy and sell products among themselves. The m-Women programme (opens in a new window) offers mobile services to empower women, addressing their essential needs in agriculture, health, education and personal finance.
Using digital technology in education, training and professional integration
Five years ago, the Orange Foundation (opens in a new window) launched its Digital Schools programme (opens in a new window) in 12 countries in Africa. More than 130,000 children can now access core educational content using tablets. #SuperCoder workshops that initiate young people to coding have been deployed in 20 countries with the support of Orange employees who have coached more than 10,000 young people since 2014. Through the Grande école numérique africaine programme launched this year, we are going further to promote the development of digital skills in Africa. Two initiatives have been rolled out so far — the Sonatel Academy, the first free coding school in Senegal for 18- to 30-year olds and the Orange Developer Centre in Tunisia, which is also free and teaches young people software development. We are also helping children with autism to communicate better (opens in a new window) by designing tablet-based learning tools. And lastly, the Orange Foundation uses digital technology to empower unqualified young people (opens in a new window) and women looking to break out of long-term unemployment to access work (opens in a new window).
- 532 schools in Africa have received interactive educational kits since 2014
8,000 employees voluntarily support the Orange Foundation
Promoting digital solidarity
Employees can sponsor people, volunteer or share their skills. In 2018, three programmes — Digital Centres for vulnerable women (opens in a new window), Solidarity FabLabs (opens in a new window) and Local Missions for young people in difficulty — trained nearly 60,000 people across the world.
- 700 skills-based volunteering missions in 2018
Supporting safe and worry-free digital usage
The misuse of digital technologies can result in abusive practices and negative consequences, particularly for teenagers. Orange offers technical solutions such as parental control and special children’s tariffs, and provides information for both young people and their parents. Orange France has created the website Bien vivre le digital (opens in a new window) (making digital technology work for you), which presents advice and best practice for digital technology. Orange Spain set up a similar initiative in 2018 called FamilyON (opens in a new window), which promotes the safe and responsible use of technology, encourages parents and children to talk to each other and helps families develop digital skills.