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Rwanda joins DCO as member state
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 12 - 2021

The Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) has announced on Thursday the further expansion of its membership by welcoming the Republic of Rwanda as a member state. The announcement means that the DCO, a multilateral organization dedicated to enabling a globally inclusive digital economy, now represents more than half a billion people globally following its establishment in November 2020. In announcing the Republic of Rwanda's accession to the DCO as the eighth founding member, Secretary-General Ms. Deemah AlYahya said: "The Digital Cooperation Organization is now enabling more than half a billion people across member states to connect with and prosper in the digital economy, particularly underrepresented groups such as women and young people. All of our member states should be proud of the impact we have achieved in the year since the DCO's establishment." "I am thrilled to welcome the Republic of Rwanda as a member state of the DCO and commend Rwanda's leadership in this area. Rwanda will further strengthen our organization's impact in creating a more inclusive global digital economy. We are committed to supporting leaders and communities across Rwanda, whether large or small, public or private, in our efforts to enable digital prosperity for all." The Rwandan Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, welcomed the announcement. "Rwanda is happy to join the DCO whose mission aligns with our digital transformation agenda, reaffirming our commitment to enabling digital access and opportunities for the people of Rwanda. Joining the DCO is an opportunity to be part of platform and broader network through which we will build global partnerships, in the public and private sector including startups, that will deliver an inclusive digital economy for Rwanda," she said. Rwanda has prioritised digital economy policies through the Rwanda's Smart Rwanda Master Plan and National Information and Communication Infrastructure strategies. The Government has this month announced the Kigali Innovation City, which is planned to serve as a tech and innovation hub for the African continent. In November Rwanda also announced a $100 million project to increase access to broadband and selected digital public services, and to strengthen the digital innovation ecosystem. These projects will also serve to support the development of Rwanda's digital talent base particularly for youth, in line with the Government's national Digital Talent Policy. The announcement builds on the DCO's significant progress achieved since its foundational year. DCO has built its membership to eight member states representing more than half a billion people, and confirmed five global initiatives to support policy makers, youth, women, and entrepreneurs. The DCO's current membership includes: Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Rwanda. — SG

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