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AfricaMoney | November 5, 2016

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Global Innovation Index 2015: Mauritius tops the list in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and ranks 49th globally.

Global Innovation Index 2015: Mauritius tops the list in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and ranks 49th globally.

Mauritius, South Africa, and Senegal are the top three economies in the GII rankings for the sub-Saharan Africa each region, in addition some African countries—in particular, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Senegal—stand out for having made important progress.

The (Global Innovation Index) GII 2015 looks at “Effective Innovation Policies for Development” and shows new ways that emerging-economy policymakers can boost innovation and spur growth by building on local strengths and ensuring the development of a sound national innovation environment.

“Innovation holds far-reaching promise for spurring economic growth in countries at all stages of development. However, realizing this promise is not automatic,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. He added: “Each nation must find the right mix of policies to mobilize the innate innovative and creative potential in their economies.”

Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States of America are the world’s five most innovative nations, according to the Global Innovation Index 2015, while China, Malaysia, Viet Nam, India, Jordan, Kenya, and Uganda are among a group of countries outperforming their economic peers.

The top three economies in the GII rankings for Sub-Saharan Africa, the top three are Mauritius, South Africa, and Senegal with encouraging signs continue to emerge in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Sub-Saharan Africa which comprise of 32 countries and in recent years, three Sub-Saharan African countries have reached positions in the upper half of the GII rankings: Mauritius has been in the top half since 2011 and is 49th in 2015 (although down from 40th in 2014); South Africa, which has been in the top half of the rankings in all previous editions of the GII, is 60th in 2015 (down from 53rd in 2014); and Seychelles, which was in the top half of the rankings (51st) in 2014, is down to 65th in 2015.

In addition six other countries from this region are ranked among the top 100: Senegal (84th), Botswana (90th), Kenya (92nd), Rwanda (94th), Mozambique (95th), and Malawi (98th). Economies that outperform their peers for their level of gross domestic product are designated in the report as “innovation achievers.”

A number of low-income economies are innovation achievers, performing increasingly well at levels previously reserved for the lower-middle-income group.

Sub-Saharan Africa stands out, with Rwanda (94th), Mozambique (95th) and Malawi (98th) now performing like middle-income economies. In addition, Kenya, Mali, Burkina Faso and Uganda are generally outperforming other economies at their level of development.

These innovation achievers demonstrate rising levels of innovation results because of improvements made to institutional frameworks, a skilled labor force with expanded tertiary education, better innovation infrastructures, a deeper integration with global credit investment and trade markets, and a sophisticated business community—even if progress on these dimensions is not uniform across their economies.

Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director for Global Indices at INSEAD, and co-editor of the report, stresses that: “In all regions of the world, entrepreneurship, leadership and political will are making a difference regarding innovation. Barriers are falling, and innovation achievers are displaying performances higher than what their income per capita would suggest. Their experience is now becoming a basis for other countries to emulate their success and turn innovation into a truly global engine for sustainable growth.”

About the Global Innovation Index

The Global Innovation Index 2015 (GII), in its 8th edition this year, is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).

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