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RIYADH: Global cooperation will be in focus as Bahrain hosts top officials from the member states of the Digital Cooperation Organization, addressing challenges in the sector for sustainable growth. 

The 3rd General Assembly of the global multilateral body will serve as a platform to discuss DCO initiatives, focusing on promoting digital prosperity.  

The forum, scheduled for Jan. 31, will be chaired by Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Mohammed bin Thamer Al-Kaabi, who is also the organization’s chairperson, as detailed in a joint statement by the ministry and DCO. 

The gathering will include ministers and officials from the 15 DCO member states, with Deemah Al-Yahya, the body’s secretary-general, and high-level delegations from partners and observers.  

Representatives from guest nations and international organizations will join, focusing on engaging in discussions regarding strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening global digital cooperation.  

The meeting will also address the status of the digital economy and ways to overcome challenges for achieving inclusive and sustainable growth in the sector. 

Al-Kaabi expressed appreciation for Bahrain hosting the assembly, where member states and distinguished guests discuss accomplishments and initiatives for digital prosperity and growth.  

He emphasized international cooperation to promote inclusive and sustainable digital transformation, maximizing gains for all countries. 

Furthermore, the minister said: “As a founding member of the DCO, Bahrain is committed to sharing its knowledge and expertise that have contributed to enhancing its economic growth. During Bahrain’s 2023 presidency, Qatar and Bangladesh joined the DCO as new member states.”  

Bahrain, he added, also initiated participation in DCO activities, such as the Digital Prosperity Awards, to foster cooperation, innovation, and digital transformation among member states, covering pillars of technological innovation, transformation, and community empowerment. 

Al-Yahya also stressed the significance of hosting the general assembly in Manama, highlighting that digital cooperation is crucial for maximizing the benefits of the opportunities presented by the digital economy. 

“The 3rd General Assembly of the DCO in Bahrain will serve as a strategic platform for the participation of member state governments, the private sector, and civil society in drawing a roadmap for the current year,” she said, adding this includes addressing growing challenges and exploiting opportunities to facilitate digital prosperity for all. 

She expressed excitement about meeting with representatives from DCO member states and guests in Manama. The goal is to review the achievements of 2023 and discuss initiatives for 2024, working towards the organization’s goals outlined in its 2030 Strategic Roadmap. 

According to the statement, key topics for exploration will include market growth and its impact on the digital economy, the value of data as a strategic resource in the digital age, and effective utilization for growth.  

The conversation will also delve into strategies for achieving a resilient digital economy, enhancing the quality of life, and emphasizing the crucial role of humans in the developmental process. 

The DCO brings together communications and information technology ministries in various countries, such as Bahrain, Cyprus, Ghana, Qatar, and more. Saudi Arabia hosted the second DCO General Assembly in February 2023.  

These countries collectively contribute to an aggregate gross domestic product of almost $3.3 trillion, comprising a market of nearly 800 million individuals, with over 70 percent of the population under 35.