OMEA deals with Microsoft and MIGA aim to boost SME and consumer connectivity

OMEA deals with Microsoft and MIGA aim to boost SME and consumer connectivity

Among a number of significant announcements at MWC 2024 by Orange Middle East & Africa (OMEA), a major telecom player in the region, have been collaborations with Microsoft and the World Bank.

The agreement with Microsoft, through the Microsoft Africa Transformation Office, is aimed at offering Microsoft solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across 17 countries in Africa and the Middle East (MEA).

The collaboration aims to address the growing needs of SMEs as they undergo digital transformation, helping them to thrive in the digital economy. It will focus on three key areas, the first of which is driving access to key technology solutions. Orange says its distribution network in the MEA region will provide SMEs with easy access to Microsoft solutions such as Microsoft 365, Copilot, Azure and Dynamics 365. The partners will also facilitate the upskilling of Microsoft experts within each country.

A second focus will be preparing SMEs for digital adoption. Orange and Microsoft will collaborate on training, marketing and sales support programmes to enable SMEs to adopt and benefit from Microsoft Modern Work solutions.

The third area is strong governance and performance monitoring. The partners explain that establishing a joint steering committee will ensure the successful execution of the partnership, which will be monitored through key performance indicators.

Through the collaboration, Microsoft and Orange aim to support 15,000 businesses throughout 2024, with an ambition to reach one million SMEs by providing access to technology, tools and support to accelerate adoption. The goal is to promote digital inclusion and enable all economic players in the MEA region to benefit from the advantages of digital transformation. To this end, the initiative will also include micro-businesses and the education sector.

OMEA has also joined forces with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank (MIGA) to secure guarantees aimed at supporting the expansion of its telecommunications infrastructure across the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

This collaboration, facilitated through the International Development Association Private Sector Window (IDA-PSW) via the MIGA Guarantee Facility, encompasses all facets of Orange's operations in the MEA region. The goal is to catalyse significant advancements in telecommunications infrastructure, enhance connectivity and promote economic development.

Hiroshi Matano, MIGA Executive Vice President, explains: "MIGA is excited to support OMEA to expand telecom services across the Middle East and Africa. Improved access to mobile connectivity is a prerequisite to economic prosperity. Digitalisation of economies in Africa is a major priority for the World Bank Group. Our support allows Orange to continue building networks for provision of mobile banking and other data services. MIGA guarantees are a powerful instrument to attract foreign investment in low-income countries."


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