Thursday, December 09, 2021 | Jumada al-ula 4, 1443 H
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Driving digital collaboration across DCO member states

Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) Secretary-General Deemah al Yahya (pictured) met with His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, and Eng Saeed al Mawaali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, last week as part of the DCO’s tour of member states aimed at generating a deeper understanding of commonalities and strengthening cooperation on accelerating growth of the digital economy between member states.

Oman is among the founding members of DCO, a global organisation representing 480 million people, 270 million of which are under 25, with a mission to engage governments, multinational technology leaders, industry organisations and civil society to cooperate on accelerating growth of the digital economy by enabling women, youth and entrepreneurs.

The DCO’s mandate includes programs to enhance cross-border data flows, leveraging the digital economy for market expansion of SMEs, and digital empowerment of women, youth and entrepreneurs, and advancement of digital inclusion.

During the visit to Oman, HH Sayyid Theyazin, the DCO’s Secretary-General and the Minister of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology, discussed digital initiatives for young Omanis and the development of Oman’s digital economy. The high-level meeting celebrated the achievements of young female winners of Oman’s Summer of Code software developer, one of many digital initiatives targeting youth across the Sultanate.

The Summer of Code competition alone provided support to more than 350 young Omanis through intensive training and orientation in software development and entrepreneurship. Ranked 13th among 120 countries for Internet Readiness on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2021 Inclusive Internet Index, Oman is set to host the country’s first e-sports championship in December.

HH Sayyid Theyazin, reflected on the importance of digital innovation to young people and Oman’s future, stating: “We are highly committed to supporting the great innovative ideas and potential of young Omanis, including by empowering them to create, scale and export exciting new digital technologies from the Sultanate.

“Oman’s Vision 2040 emphasizes the importance of digital transformation in creating a new era of innovation and knowledge. I look forward to supporting and celebrating further achievements by our youth as we realize Vision 2040, and to partnering with DCO to support global digital prosperity”.

Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, Eng Saeed al Maawali, highlighted the importance of the DCO’s mission to the growth of Oman’s digital economy, stating:

“The government of Oman is investing in our country’s future by prioritizing digital infrastructure and access to fast, reliable internet connections for all Omanis. However, we also need to make sure that our entrepreneurs have access to fair, consistent and enabling regulations when they expand their technologies globally. That is why we are a strong supporter of the DCO and its initiatives to foster collaboration between governments in developing the global digital economy”.

The DCO Secretary-General endorsed Oman’s investment in digital technologies, and championed further investment in the digital economy to enable women, youth, and entrepreneurs, saying: “We know that the digital economy is forecast to create 70 percent of new economic value over the coming decade. I commend Oman on its initiatives empowering youth to realize their potential and tech knowledge to create prosperity for their nation, a mission shared by the DCO in its partnerships with governments, the private sector, industry associations and civil societies. We look forward to creating new partnerships with Omani organizations, enabling more people to participate in the digital economy.”

The DCO Secretary-General’s visit to Oman is part of a comprehensive tour to boost cooperation in the digital economy, and included meetings with Dr Said al Saqri, Minister of Economy, Sayyid Badr al Busaidy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Rahma al Mahrooqi, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Eng Omar al Ismaili, CEO of Oman’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, as well as meetings with leading technology companies, innovation centres, and education institutions.

The Secretary-General’s visit to Oman concluded on Thursday and is one of several DCO member state visits in the organization’s first year.

The visits will be used to share initiatives and expertise that grow the digital economy in each member state and globally.

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