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Saudi Arabia-Led Digital Cooperation Organization Supports Women’s Participation in Pakistan’s Digital Economy

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Arabia-led Digital Cooperation Organization supports the participation of women in Pakistan’s digital economy, DCO General Secretary Deemah Al-Yahya said on Thursday during her visit to Islamabad.

According to the World Economic Forum, women make up 55% of the world’s unbanked population, which means they do not have access to banking or insurance products. The World Bank estimates that in Pakistan, where around 100 million adults do not have a bank account, only 11% of women have access to all financial services.

The DCO was launched by Saudi Arabia in November last year to strengthen cooperation between innovation-driven sectors and accelerate the growth of the digital economy. The founding members of the organization are also Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman and Pakistan.

Al-Yahya arrived in Pakistan for meetings with President Dr. Arif Alvi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Information Technology Syed Aminul Haque and private sector leaders to support inclusive development digital economy and strengthen the organization’s partnerships with Pakistan.

“The digital inclusion of women being at the heart of DCO’s mandate, I support the efforts of the Pakistani government to enable women to benefit from the digital economy, in particular through the Digital Pakistan Policy and Universal Access Fund,” he said. she told Arab News after meeting her delegation with the Pakistanis. President.

“These initiatives are having a real impact by including girls in the tech industry and by connecting underserved regional communities to the Internet.”

In a Twitter post, Al-Yahya shared a photo with students at COMSATS University in Islamabad, saying she was inspired to meet “ambitious young women bridging the gender gap in STEM (science , technology, engineering and mathematics) “.

She has also facilitated sessions with Pakistani tech leaders who are developing financial products for the unbanked using mobile technology and educational platforms for students to study online.

“I am delighted to meet young Pakistani entrepreneurs creating digital solutions and to see innovative IT companies such as Oraan, Maqsad and Tez Financial connecting more Pakistanis to the digital economy,” Al-Yahya said.

Oraan recently made headlines for raising $ 3 million in the largest startup funding closed by a Pakistani startup run by women.

Earlier this week, Al-Yahya together with officials from Islamabad launched the Pakistan Innovation Challenge for 1 million students aged 6 to 18.

“Students will learn math, computer science, robotics, artificial intelligence, design and innovation online,” she said. “If young people don’t have skills, if women are left behind or if entrepreneurs are strangled by bureaucracy, we will all struggle.

As she stressed the importance of the digital economy in a world where more and more activity is done online, Al-Yahya said she was privileged to be entrusted by Saudi leaders and SDG member states the leadership of the organization and “advance this important awareness.”

“Seventy percent of global economic growth will be driven by the digital economy over the next decade, so there are huge opportunities for people, businesses and countries in the digital economy,” a- she declared.

“The fact that the DCO is headquartered in Riyadh reflects Saudi Arabia’s position as a constructive and collaborative global leader in the new global economy, and I take the same approach when engaging with governments as as leader of the DCO. “

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