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Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization unveils 2030 road map

Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization unveils 2030 road map

The Digital Cooperation Organization called for global collaboration to bridge the technological divide as it announced its 2030 road map at its second annual general assembly in Riyadh.
The plan aims at an ambitious future in which the digital economy contributes 30 percent to the global gross domestic product, and creates 30 million jobs worldwide.

It is designed to promote common interest, advocate for advanced cooperation, build regulatory framework and business environments, and ensure the inclusive and trustworthy nature of the digital economy at local, regional, and global levels.

DCO Secretary-General Deemah Al-Yahya told Arab News: “The beauty of this road map is it’s very agile and very nimble.

“It looks at all the challenges that we are facing now in our member countries. It goes in depth into what the needs are, and what reforms we should change, and what initiatives we should run to achieve these targets.

“We really believe that with the right cooperation between the governments, in the private sector and civil society, we will actually overachieve by 2030.”

The call to action mirrors the goals of the organization to create a space that promotes underrepresented groups, such as women and youth, and helps to affirm their value within the digital infrastructure.

In its first in-person meeting, the DCO brought together member nations from across the globe to discuss the current condition of digital economies and the roadblocks faced by countries in an effort to achieve growth.

Al-Yahya added: “By fostering and facilitating cooperation and expanding transformation across all sectors, we can unlock the full potential of the global digital economy.”

As governmental and industrial digital transformation accelerates as a result of the pandemic, a key challenge is to recognize the essential role of technologies in fostering sustainable growth across formal and informal economies.

Al-Yahya said:“[The pandemic] tested the resilience to digitally transform very quickly, which is a huge agenda. No country alone can transform quickly and harness this opportunity of digital economy without putting hands in hands together and sharing best practices.”

In other strategic announcements, the DCO established new organizational bylaws, including the approval of the Stride Association, which will work to empower micro, small, and medium enterprises between member states.

Al-Yahya explained that empowering MSMEs, which make up 90 percent of all businesses, is crucial for success and growth in a dynamic digital economy.

The organization also established a new observer committee, as well as a new executive committee with representatives from member countries including Bahrain, Jordan, Nigeria, and Oman, and with a representative from the Kingdom as the chairperson until 2030.

Recalling an anecdote to reveal the power of digital economies, Al-Yahya told Arab News: “I met a woman before in Taif, and she used to create goods from Taif flowers. She was a widow with six children and she didn’t have any sources of revenue but the products that she created from the roses.”

After coming up with an e-commerce solution, the woman started selling to 100 locations across the globe, and recruited 60 other women to work for her business.

Al-Yahya said that the digital economy would grow by enabling the underrepresented communities that make up the majority of our populations.

The DCO council also formally welcomed two new member states: Gambia and Ghana. The organization now represents 13 nations and serves around 600 million people, with a collective gross domestic product of more than $2 trillion.

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