The Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO), based in Riyadh, has announced the joining of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Sultanate of Oman, as founding members, joining Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Combined, the seven countries are an economic bloc of $1.2 trillion in GDP. The population base of the seven nations is close to 480 million, 80% of whom are under 35 years of age.
DCO convened its first ministerial meeting, chaired by H.E. Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha and was attended by ministers of the DCO countries. The meeting also featured ITU Secretary-General His Excellency Mr. Houlin Zhao, president of world economic forum His Excellency Mr Børge Brende, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf His Excellency Dr. Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf and Representatives from other UN programs.
During the meeting, an agreement was reached to launch five high impact initiatives. These initiatives aim at establishing a center to highlight the importance of cooperation in relation to flow of data across borders, empowerment of women in the digital labor market, in addition to serving entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow and achieve a digital future.
It was also agreed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the organization until the end of current term, in addition to the appointment of Ms. Deemah Al-Yahya from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as Secretary General of the organization.
The meeting discussed ways to promote cooperation in all areas driven by innovation and acceleration of growth of digital economy. They also discussed the organization’s governance, organizational structure and future plans.
The DCO established in November 2020 as a partnership to pursue common values and goals in the digital economy, between Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan, and Jordan, that will promote shared digital aspirations among member nations for economic diversification and increasing social prosperity through the growth opportunities available across the digital economy, and public sector digital transformation.