Orange plans to bolster its services in West Africa with a new facility in Dakar, Senegal, that will offer development programs for managers of the mobile service in the region.
Orange, the mobile arm of France Telecom, has a presence in 20 African countries. The inauguration of the Dara facility marks the growing importance of the West African region for the company. The site will offer development programs to about a thousand managers of the company's subsidiaries in Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal.
Orange has been expanding in Africa and the Middle East, with West Africa growing in importance. In its latest consolidated results for the first quarter, Orange reported that its services reached 82 million customers, up 8.2 percent year on year, for all of Africa and the Middle East. Revenue increased by 3.3 percent, led by Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea and Niger. Orange did not offer a breakdown of subscribers for West Africa, but according to a company annual report, Orange had more than 15 million combined subscribers in Mali, Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire by 2011.
France Telecom also played a major role in the initiative to construct the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable, which provided some African countries, especially interlocked countries like Niger and Mali, with the their first opportunity to connect to an international fiber-optic network.
The Dakar facility will offer more than 20 different development programs designed to help local managers take up their responsibilities quickly, mobilize and develop their teams, and reinforce best managerial practices.
Managers from other Orange subsidiaries in French-speaking Africa -- the Central African Republic, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo -- are also expected to benefit from the programs.