The Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) has welcomed Ghana as the newest member state to join its international mission to realize digital prosperity for all.

The country became the twelfth nation to ascend to the DCO, an international organization that was founded to support countries to build their digital economies as an essential driver of sustainable growth and development.

Well-established as a leader in utilizing the power of communications and digital technologies to support economic growth, Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to launch a cellular mobile network in 1992, and one of the first countries in Africa to be connected to the internet and to introduce ADSL broadband services.

The country is also a leader in digital payments and mobile money, with the second-highest data penetration rate and fastest-growing mobile money market in sub–Saharan Africa which has greatly enhanced financial inclusion and as the newest member of the DCO, Ghana is expected to bring that experience and expertise to share with the other Member States.

The DCO Council announced Ghana’s accession alongside The Gambia’s which is the thirteenth Member State at the organisation’s 2nd General Assembly.

The accession of the two West African countries, therefore, means the DCO now represents 13 nations and serves around 600 million people with a collective GDP of more than USD 2 trillion.

Commenting on the development at a press conference, Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, said: “Ghana shares the DCO’s vision of using technology to create opportunities for economic diversity and growth, and to empower our people, especially the youth, through digital and financial inclusion. We look forward to working with our fellow DCO Member States and DCO Observers to share our experience and collaborate in the fields of e-government, infrastructure, and entrepreneurship, and to foster investment in Ghana with member states.”

On her part, H.E. Deemah AlYahya, Secretary-General, said the DCO was pleased to welcome Ghana to the organisation, saying: “Ghana is one of the leaders among African nations in adopting new technology and in the wise use of policies, such as its Digital Finance Policy, that support new areas of development and bring positive benefits to the community.”

She said the DCO was created to encourage knowledge sharing and exchange for the good of all nations, and she believed that Ghana has many lessons to share with the DCO and our ecosystem of nations.

The DCO, which focuses on digital economy initiatives supporting youth, startup entrepreneurs, and women, now has 12 member states with a combined GDP of over USD 2 trillion and a population of nearly 600 million.