Today Orange Belgium signed the Charter for Digital Inclusion in Belgium to demonstrate its commitment to improving digital inclusion in Belgian society. Orange Belgium will continue to improve digital inclusion within and outside its own organisation by supporting campaigns that make digital inclusion a top priority, since the real scale of the problem for those affected by the digital divide is still insufficiently appreciated by the general public.
Reducing the digital gap together
Digital inclusion is an important social priority for Orange Belgium. Despite the hopeful results of the DESI report (see below), the new Digital Inclusion Barometer (of the King Baudouin Foundation) shows that 46% of Belgians are digitally vulnerable. That is why today, in the presence of founding partners BNP Paribas Fortis and Proximus, Orange Belgium signed the Charter for Digital Inclusion in Belgium to demonstrate its commitment to improving digital inclusion in Belgian society. The Charter for Digital Inclusion in Belgium, a commitment by the private, public and social sectors in the country that reflects the commitment of the signatory organisations to work together to promote digital inclusion at all levels in Belgian society.
Within this framework, the signing organisations commit to formulating objectives, taking concrete measures and defining positive actions. By signing the Charter, each signatory organisation undertakes to improve digital inclusion within and outside its own organisation by supporting campaigns that make digital inclusion a top priority, since the real scale of the problem for those affected by the digital divide is still insufficiently appreciated by the general public. More info at: https://DigitAll.be/
Belgium must opt for continued digitalisation
Belgium scores below the EU average in terms of digital inclusion, so there is still room for improvement. This can be deduced from the latest results of the Digital Inclusion Barometer of the King Baudouin Foundation as well as the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) edition 2022, which analyses the degree of digitalisation of all EU member states. All EU members made progress on digitalisation during the pandemic, but “they are still struggling to close the gap on digital skills, digital transformation of SMEs and the roll-out of advanced 5G networks”, the European Commission stated. Through the projects of the Orange Digital Center, Orange Belgium is highlighting the fact that a profound digitalisation must involve all levels of society. Only then can our country become the very best in terms of innovation.
Signing the Charter for Digital Inclusion is the next step in an already long track record of Orange’s digital inclusion initiatives
Isabelle Vanden Eede, Chief Brand, Communication & CSR Officer at Orange Belgium, comments: “We at Orange believe that digital is an opportunity, and we want as many people as possible to have access to it. We are therefore doing everything we can to enable individuals and organisations to profit from the possibilities offered by digital, in full autonomy and security, inclusively and sustainably. We already anchored this commitment into our strategic plan Engage2025, where we link business performances with a sustainable approach for our customers, our employees, our partners and society in general. We also launched an Orange Belgium Fund that centralises our long-time commitment towards society as it supports projects that promote solidarity and responsibility in Belgium by providing concrete assistance to associations on the ground that are active in digital inclusion. After the opening of our Orange Digital Center in June 2022 to boost social and digital inclusion by different concrete actions, it is only logical that we sign the DigitAll charter to further underline our commitment.”
“Today, we are happy to announce that Orange Belgium has signed DigitAll’s Digital Inclusion Charter. By signing this charter, the company is affirming its engagement to work together with the other signatories of the charter towards greater digital inclusion in Belgium. We warmly welcome Orange Belgium to our DigitAll community and are looking forward to the joint positive impact in both the short and the long term.” Linde Verheyden, Director Public Affairs BNP Paribas Fortis and initiator of DigitAll.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Orange Belgium to the DigitAll initiative. This is a wonderful example of how even competing companies can work together to meet important societal challenges. At Proximus, we are convinced that a broad coalition of companies, public bodies and social organisations is of vital importance to close the digital gap and make sure that no one is left behind”, added Catherine Bals, Sustainability Department Lead at Proximus, DigitAll’s second main partner.
About Orange Digital Center (ODC)
As a key pillar of its commitment to digital inclusion, Orange Belgium opened the Orange Digital Center in Be Central, the digital hub in Brussels Central Station, at the end of June 2022. There, different target groups are given the opportunity to develop basic or more advanced digital skills. Digital entrepreneurship is supported through the courses of BeCode, FabLabs and Orange Fab, the start-up acceleration program.
The ODC serves as a support and development center allowing everyone to acquire and improve their digital and entrepreneurial skills, with activities ranging from digital training to coaching for small businesses and start-ups, offering a genuine trajectory for personal and business growth. The ODC targets a broad public: young people, men and women, with or without qualifications, students and jobseekers. It is a complete ecosystem, as it is freely accessible to anyone wishing to learn through concrete projects, training courses, workshops and conferences.
More information about the Orange Digital Center and its initiatives can be found at https://orangedigitalcenter.be/
The creation of the Orange Digital Center as well as the recently-founded Orange Belgium Fund centralises Orange Belgium’s long-time commitment towards society. The Orange Belgium Fund was established to support projects that promote solidarity and responsibility in Belgium by providing concrete assistance to associations on the ground that are active in digital inclusion. Orange Belgium wants to make a priority commitment to people currently excluded from digital, especially young persons in precarious situations and women. Orange Belgium also recently added to its program associations that support Belgian citizens who are helping refugees acquire digital skills and equipment. More info at: https://corporate.orange.be/en/foundation