Digital Cooperation Organization



Capacity Building, Commerce, Development Cooperation, Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, Private Sector Development, Research, Science, Technology & Innovation, Sustainability and Environment, Trade, Youth


Saudi Arabia


01 - No Poverty, 04 - Quality Education, 05 - Gender Equality, 08 - Decent Work and Economic Growth, 09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 10 - Reduced Inequalities, 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Organization Type

Intergovernmental Organization




The digital economy holds incredible potential to help solve the most pressing challenges of our time. By channeling the power of information and data, we can accelerate the development of a wide range of fields – from agriculture and manufacturing to healthcare and education – and enhance the productivity of many more. And the COVID-19 pandemic reinforced how vital the digital economy has become, as much of the social and economic activity including work, commerce, school and even socializing moved online. According to the World Economic Forum, 70% of the world’s economic growth will be driven by the digital economy over the next decade. But right now, almost half of the world’s population doesn’t even have access to the internet. Many of those still lack standard digital skills, and there’s a mismatch between where skills are created and where they’re required, resulting in slow growth of realizing the full potential of digital economy. The borderless nature of technologies and data sit at the heart of the digital economy and can only be managed through innovative and collaborative international governance.

This fundamental reality was the impetus for the formation of the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) which is the world’s first and only stand-alone international organization focusing on the digital economy. In over 2-years, DCO represents 13 country members: Bahrain, Cyprus, Djibouti, Ghana, the Gambia, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Saudi Arabia – that collectively represent nearly US$2 trillion in GDP and nearly 600 million people, more than 70% of whom are under the age of 35. The DCO was created to close digital divides, ensuring that everyone gets the chance to prosper in the digital economy. Understanding that if entrepreneurs can’t expand easily across borders, if young people don’t have digital skills or if women are left out of the digital economy, we’ll all struggle, so DCO aims to empower these groups with the access, skills, and support. The DCO’s mission is to enable digital prosperity for all by accelerating the inclusive growth of the digital economy across countries, advance their digital transformation and strengthen the collective efforts in the global digital economy. Sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices with each other will establish the optimal infrastructure, policies, legislation, and education solutions for the rapid creation of inclusive and equitable digital economies within which all people, businesses and societies can innovate and thrive. DCO focuses on high-impact digital multilateral initiatives that maximize the benefit from collaboration.

Areas of focus include enhancing responsible cross-border data flows, enabling human capital development and mobility in ICT & digital, facilitating the market expansion of digital entrepreneurs, attracting foreign direct investment to digital industries, and advancing inclusion among women, youth, and other underrepresented populations in the digital economy.

DCO is an Observer at the UN General Assembly and has MoUs with the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). DCO is also deeply engaged with other organizations like ITU, UNCTAD and WTO. Realizing the critical value of multi-stakeholder collaboration to achieving rapid and tangible progress, the DCO is forging partnerships with a diverse range of digital economy actors including businesses, international organizations, NGOs, academia, think tanks, multilateral development banks, sovereign wealth funds and foundations around the world with clearly aligned interests and complementary capabilities. These partners and observers are helping to execute and fund specific initiatives as well as establish a thriving digital innovation, R&D, and financing ecosystem more generally. Till now, we have welcomed more than 20 observers.

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