These African countries were most innovative in 2022

Mauritius topped the list of most innovative economies on the African continent, followed by South Africa and Morocco, the 2022 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) indicated.

The report by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations showed the three countries came in the league of developed economies in the ranking which tracked the pace of technological progress and adoption.

Mauritius ranked 45th while SA and Morocco emerged 61th and 67th respectively among 132 countries that feature in the ranking globally.

Other African countries that trailed the three in the ranking include Tunisia (73th), Botswana (86th), Kenya (88th) and Egypt (89).

WIPO tracker captures key innovation trends within four broad stages of the innovation journey namely science and innovation investments; technological progress; technology adoption; and the socioeconomic impact of innovation.

East Africa

In East Africa, Kenya leads at 88th place among 132 economies featured in the report, followed by Tanzania at 103th, Rwanda at 105th, Uganda 119th and Burundi at 130th place.

Rwanda, emerged 1st among the 12 low-income group economies, and 9th among the 27 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Rwanda performed better in innovation inputs than innovation outputs in 2022. This implies that the country is not effectively translating costly innovation investments into more and higher-quality outputs, suggest the data.

In other words, Rwanda produces less innovation outputs relative to its level of innovation investments.

Relative to GDP, Rwanda’s performance is above expectations for its level of development.

Top ten

Globally, Switzerland emerged as the most innovative economy this year. The country topped the list for the 12th year in a row.

It is followed by the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

GII 2022 data show China is nearing the top 10 while Türkiye and India enter the top 40 for the first time.

Overall findings suggest science and innovation investments were thriving at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and boomed in 2021, but their continued resilience is uncertain for 2022 in the face of new challenges.

Besides, largely due to the short-term influences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the socio-economic impact of innovation seems to be at a low point.

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