Christel Heydemann, CEO of Orange Group
Christel Heydemann, CEO of Orange Group, emphasized the importance of the Egyptian market, which is the largest in terms of subscriber numbers as well as the leading market in Africa.
This comes on the sidelines of Heydemann’s visit to Egypt, where she met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to discuss opportunities to expand the Group's investments in Egypt, Orange efforts to support digital transformation, national technical projects, and smart infrastructure in the country, as well as youth development and empowerment projects through digital development centers.
President El-Sisi welcomed Heydemann’s first visit and praised the Group's wide expertise in communications, digital transformation, and the development of technological systems during the meeting, which was attended by Dr. Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Eng. Yasser Shaker, CEO Orange Egypt, and Jérôme Hénique, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East and Africa (OMEA). He stated that such expertise is required to manage new facilities, cities, and major projects as part of Egypt's state plan for digitization and comprehensive development.
Heydemann also met with Dr. Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, during which the minister reviewed the Egyptian government's structural reform program. The meeting was attended by Ayman Suleiman, Executive Director of Egypt's Sovereign Fund, Yasser Shaker, Jérôme Henick, Alioune Ndiaye, Chairman of Orange Middle East and Africa Board of Directors, and Ludovic Pech, Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer, where the group CEO praised the Egyptian government's plan in boosting investments, expressing her interest to work with the Egyptian government to expand Orange investments in technology localization and enhancing ICT infrastructure, in order to provide the best service to Orange customers.
The visit also included a number of meetings with various officials, during which Heydemann emphasized on the Group's deep commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 which will require significant investments in shifting to clean renewable energy, adopting technologies to reduce carbon emissions, and rationalizing energy consumption, and she also praised Egypt’s significant efforts in this regard.
Heydemann also visited Orange Egypt's headquarters and met with a number of the company's leaders and employees to discuss the company's future plans. She also lauded the efforts of various departments in achieving the company's strategic goals, as well as the rapid expansion of Orange's operations in Africa and the Middle East. She urged them to maintain this impressive performance which made Orange the key player in the Egyptian and African telecommunications sectors.
The group CEO was keen to attend the "Orange Ventures First Demo Day" for startups at Orange Digital Center in Cairo, which was attended by 12 Egyptian and international startups from Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Jordan, South Africa, Nigeria, France, and the United Kingdom to explore various expansion and investment opportunities in the Egyptian market, which is a unique opportunity for companies hosted by all Orange digital centers, ventures and startup acceleration programs worldwide. This visit confirms the center's importance in discovering technological talents and improving their skills in digital technology and qualifying them for the labor market. Heydemann stated that $50 million has been allocated for the company's digital venture programs to empower and develop young talents in Africa and the Middle East.
Furthermore, Heydemann had several quick conversations with potential talents and entrepreneurs involved in some of the center's activities and confirmed that promising human cadres are one of the Egyptian market's most important growth pillars. She also stated that Egyptian entrepreneurs have proven their worth of support and their ability to bring about innovative change in the technological arena on numerous occasions. Heydemann indicated Orange intention to launch another center for developing digital skills and entrepreneurship in Aswan next year.
It is worth noting that Heydmann took over as Orange Group CEO in April 2022, making her the first woman to lead France's biggest telecoms operator.
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