Co-created by Orange Telecom-Silicon Valley and Sonatel (Senegal), the Mentorship Program launched in 2018. Its main purpose is to enable better communication and lasting relationships between Silicon Valley and Africa and Middle East (MEA), especially West Africa, by creating a platform to exchange personal and professional experiences. After the season #1 ended in December 2019, survey results were very satisfactory at all levels.

Season 1 by the numbers

-82 percent of mentees said that they regularly communicated with their respective mentors
-93 percent of mentees felt that their mentors help them move closer to the goals that their mentors and they mutually established
-100+ hours of interactions between mentees and mentors over the program
-2 executive sponsors from the United States and Senegal
-10 Senegalese/U.S. mentees
-13 Senegalese/U.S. mentors

Season 2 will launch in 2020, and it will potentially be expanding to other West African Orange Telecom countries, such as Mali and Cote d’Ivoire.

According to Africa Growth Initiative, African consumer expenditure has grown at a compound annual rate of 3.9% since 2010. Indeed, it went from $1.4 trillion in 2015, is expected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, and $2.5 trillion by 2030. Also, in 2030, if the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is properly implemented, a single continental market for goods and services will be operational. Therefore, we can assume that increasing international and intra-continent business opportunities will certainly follow. Africa is a potential market of 1.7 billion people, expected to become 2.5 billion in 2050, and by 2030, the largest consumer markets will include Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa. There will also be lucrative opportunities in other African countries such as Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Tanzania. For example, Ethiopia has been reported to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world over the past decade, with an average annual GDP growth rate of 10.5% from 2005-06 to 2015-16.

 

Want to get involved? 

Are you interested in participating in the next mentorship program? Are you just curious to learn more? Send an email to darren.sabo@orange.com  

They worked with us

 

“This program allow to share with experts who have deep experience on edge technologies and who are ready to share their experience in order to allow mentees to discover and to have new skills or to polish and deepen  their skills in a specific field”

— Moussa Camara & Sidaty Seck, Sonatel

“Sarah [her mentor] met the entire team of Lifantou and other mentors that we have through programs like the Young African Leadership Initiative and the Tony Elumelu Foundation.”

— Awa Thiam, Linfantou

“Be in contact with another ecosystem is rich.”

— Seynabou Thiam, SEW

  • Alice Brisset, Marketing Mentor (OSV)

    Alice drives the marketing efforts at OSV through community management, events and brand awareness. She co-founded Women in Tech: a community of 200+ members who support each other and exchange perspectives on topics such as health, gender equality, and education.

  • Thomas Huitric, Data Science Mentor (OSV)

    Thomas focuses on advertising and marketing technologies using Machine Learning (ML) and data analytics. In addition, he is an expert in mobile app marketing, content and media.

  • Michelle Kra, Program Manager Junior (OSV)

    Michelle as a business analyst junior (MEA programs) focuses on AI, general tech, ag/tech, and entrepreneurship but also other exciting fields such as smart cities. She co-manage the mentorship program from the startup/mentor sourcing/recruiting phases to the program management.

     

  • George Livingston, Agriculture & Energy Mentor (OSV)

    George leads agricultural technology (AgTech) and energy portfolios at OSV. He previously worked as a fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy, and has a background in ecology.

  • Sarah LUGER, AI, NLP, & ML Mentor (OSV)

    Sarah leads multilingual NLP projects across myriad use-cases to support Orange products. She also performs technical due diligence on AI and NLP companies that align with Orange’s B2B and B2C vision.

  • Rokhaya MBENGUE NDIR, Program Manager (Sonatel)

    Rokhaya leads Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and digital ecosystem development for Orange – Sonatel. Rokhaya recently received a national order of merit from France as a result for her business, women empowerment, entrepreneurial and mentoring skills to name a few.

  • Jay Onda, General Business Mentor (OSV)

    Jay is responsible for developing investment strategy and business unit alignment, deal sourcing, and ecosystem development. Developed the Corporate Impact Summit, an event enabling corporations to learn and discuss impact and progress related initiatives.

  • Darren Sabo, Program Manager (OSV)

    Darren leads strategy and strategic partnerships focused on Africa and the Middle East (MEA) at OSV. Darren has international business experience in several countries such as South Korea and the US. He is the co-founder of the Mentorship Program.