Nigeria has failed to grab a position in the 2018 Global Innovation Index (GII) report, which found countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius and Rwanda as the most innovative sub-Saharan African economies.
Nigeria, which struggled to rank 114th out of 128 countries globally assessed by the GII in 2016, completely missed out this year as significant investment have not been channeled towards innovations that can solve its economic challenges at accelerated pace.
According to GII, access and application of information and communications technology (ICT) in Nigeria was at 28.2 percent and 18.1 percent in 2016, with government’s e-service and e-participation at 30.7 percent and 33.3 percent.
The 2018 report launched in Nairobi and New York on Tuesday with the theme “Energizing the World with Innovation,” says harnessing of science and technology, higher education and skilled labour has significantly enhanced competitiveness of African economies.
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“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 Organisation.
South Africa topped the list of the most innovative economies in Africa, followed by Mauritius and Kenya respectively, courtesy of their policy incentives and investments in modern technologies, skills upgrade and scientific research.
The report 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 (FDI) that translated into more jobs for the youth and increased revenue streams to support social sectors like education and health, although 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 GII report ranked China among the 20 most innovative economies on robust leadership, investments in research and high tech industries.