Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) launches Bridging the Gap report to highlight the importance of cooperation in the digital economy and how critical it is today to enable digital prosperity for all.
The Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) launched the Bridging the Gap Report, highlighting the need for greater international, multilateral cooperation to close the digital divide and ensure all nations can benefit from digital economies.
The report draws on an extensive global consultation with experts from multiple sectors and regions, that was undertaken by the DCO as part of its mission to empower member states to develop their digital economies and create prosperity and growth. Included in the report is an in-depth look at the challenges facing nations, especially smaller and developing nations, to gaining equal access to digital economies, and a review of some of the initiatives that are helping to bridge the digital divide.
Bridging The Gap Report was compiled from a diverse range of original research and conversations, include a unique series of five round tables in five cities on five continents – Bangkok, Brussels, Kigali, New York, and Santiago – which brought together over 300 experts in development and technology to discuss the digital divide. A new survey of 1,000 businesses and consumers from 12 countries was conducted, as well as interviews with 37 digital economy experts and knowledge reviews of existing publications.
The challenges that prevent parts of the world and segments of society from accessing the digital economy are numerous. Without reliable Internet, students can’t complete their education and learn new skills. If the cost of digital devices is too high, vulnerable populations are unable to access services and are left out of digital economic opportunities.
The DCO brings together the Ministries of Communications and IT of 11 nations – Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Jordan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Cyprus – that collectively represent nearly $2 trillion in GDP and a market of nearly 600 million people, more than 70% of whom are under the age of 35.
The DCO is focused on empowering youth, women and entrepreneurs, leveraging the accelerative power of the digital economy and leapfrogging with innovation to drive economic growth and increase social prosperity. Through cooperation, dialogue and the creation of mutually advantageous cross-border legislation, we seek to establish within our member nations the optimal infrastructure and policies for the rapid creation of inclusive and equitable digital economies within which all people, businesses and societies can innovate and thrive.
In pursuit of our members’ common interests - for example, in the areas of digital skills training, data protection, intellectual copyright, regulation, taxation and entrepreneurship - DCO works collaboratively with governments, the private sector, international organizations, NGOs and civil society to enable more inclusive digital transformation and the growth of digital industries.
The DCO’s key initiatives include programs to enhance cross-border data flows, promote market expansion for SMEs, empower digital entrepreneurs and advance digital inclusion among women and youth and other underrepresented populations.