Last year, five countries united to form the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO), focused on strengthening cooperation and unifying efforts to advance digital transformation and promote common interests, with the ultimate aim to achieve prosperity, social stability, and the growth of the digital economy. This week, the DCO has elected Saudi Arabia as its president and Deemah Alyahya as the organization’s first secretary-general.
Deemah Alyahya’s new role as the first secretary-general of the DCO is one of her many trailblazing achievements. Prior to the DCO, she was the first female leader of Microsoft Arabia, the first female people manager overseeing the IT department at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first woman in Samba Bank’s IT department, and the first woman hired to work at the Saudi Stock Exchange.
The organization also approved the accession of Nigeria and Oman to the organization as founding members.
The first five members of DCO included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and Pakistan.
As first secretary-general, Deemah Alyahya will be working on several of the DCO’s newly approved initiatives, such as establishing a centre that will aim to foster data flow globally, focusing on women’s empowerment in the growing digital economy, and supporting SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in their journey towards digital transformation.
The seven-member states constitute an economic bloc worth $2 trillion of the global gross domestic product.
The first meeting was chaired by the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha. Houlin Zhao, secretary-general of the International Communication Union, GCC Secretary-General Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf, World Economic Forum President Borge Brende and representatives of different UN programs also attended the meeting.
The meeting approved several initiatives including the establishment of a centre to boost coordination on the transfer of data, women’s empowerment and promotion of small and medium enterprises with a focus on digital transformation.
The DCO aims to strengthen the collaboration among member nations as they adapt to a global economy increasingly defined by technological innovation.
Through this initiative, the member states could establish solid cooperation in the emerging fields of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IoT, big data, 5G, cloud computing, and blockchain.
It is estimated that by 2025 the global digital economy will be worth $23 trillion with a GDP share of 24.3 percent. This provides the DCO with a great opportunity to build a platform for their tech-savvy youth, women, entrepreneurs, and indigenous industry to flourish and compete with their global contemporaries and boost their digital competitiveness.
In addition, member states can harness their expertise and share experience to strengthen efforts for preparing for global crises such as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Source: Arab News