SUB-SAHARAN African countries like South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius and Rwanda have encouraged innovations to stimulate growth of their economies and spread prosperity, says the 2018 Global Innovation Index(GII) report launched in Nairobi and New York on Tuesday.
The report, whose theme was Energising the World with Innovation, reveals that harnessing science, technology, higher education and skilled labour has enhanced the competitiveness of African economies.
‘The Global Innovation Index has noted that Sub-Saharan Africa performs relatively well on innovation. Since 2012 the region had had more countries among the group of innovation achievers than any other region,’ the report says.
‘It will be important for Africa to preserve its current innovation momentum,’ adds the report published by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and partners from academia and globally acclaimed think-tanks.
South Africa topped the list of the most innovative economies in Africa followed by Mauritius and Kenya thanks to policy incentives coupled with investments in modern technologies, skills upgrade and scientific research.
The 2018 Global Innovation Index notes that supportive infrastructure and human capital have created an innovation ecosystem that has facilitated growth and competitiveness of African economies.
Africa’s most innovative economies were able to attract higher foreign direct investments that translated into more jobs for the youth and increased revenue streams to support social sectors like education and health.
The 2018 Global Innovation Index report notes that investments in ICTs and creative industry were behind modernization of economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It finds that innovation achievers in the region had an impressive score on key indicators like access to credit, robust academia-industry linkages, protection of intellectual property and export of creative services.
North American and European region had the highest number of countries with the most innovative economies while China registered a huge improvement.
The 2018 Global Innovation Index report ranked China among the 20 most innovative economies thanks to robust leadership, investments in research and high tech industries.