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African Economies Break into Top 100 Most Innovative Countries Worldwide

In a recent report released on Monday, February 20, the Global Innovation Index 2022 revealed that several African economies have made it into the top 100 most innovative countries in the world. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Sub-Saharan African countries showed impressive performance in innovation, with Mauritius taking the lead in the region.

The country’s WIOCC, a tech company, received $200 million in venture capital which is being utilized to expand Africa’s digital infrastructure by increasing connectivity and open access data centers.

South Africa followed Mauritius, with Yoco Technologies, a South African-based company, receiving $83 million in 2021 and offering simple card machines and online payment tools to assist entrepreneurs in accessing payment options. Botswana, a newcomer to the ranking, surpassed Kenya to come in third place in the region.

Mauritius ranked highest in the region in terms of institutions, infrastructure, market sophistication, and creative outputs, while Botswana ranked highest in human capital and research. Namibia led globally in expenditure on education, and South Africa performed best in Africa in terms of business sophistication and knowledge and technology outputs.

Kenya, which has registered over 30,300 companies and is one of the largest mobile phone and digital technology adopters in Africa, performed well in several areas, including institutions, business sophistication, and creative outputs.

In addition, the report noted that 16 out of the 25 Sub-Saharan African economies that were covered this year improved their ranking. Ghana ranked 95th, Namibia 96th, Senegal 99th, Zimbabwe 107th, Ethiopia 117th, and Angola 127th.

In terms of global rankings, Switzerland remained the most innovative economy in the world for the 12th year in a row, followed by the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, struggled to make it to the top ten innovators. Turkey and India entered the top 40 for the first time, while Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan were listed as Innovation Achievers for the first time ever, ranking 75th, 82nd, and 87th, respectively.

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