A report by the Global Innovation Index 2022 revealed that several African economies are among the top 100 most innovative countries worldwide.
Despite the COVID-19 challenges, 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, to expand Africa’s digital infrastructure by increasing connectivity and open access data centers.
Furthermore, South Africa was second, with Yoco Technologies, a South African company, receiving $83 million in 2021. The firm offers simple card machines and online payment tools to assist entrepreneurs in accessing payment options.
Surprisingly, Botswana, a newcomer to the ranking, surpassed Kenya to come in third place in the region.
Innovation in Africa
Mauritius ranked highest in the region in terms of institutions, infrastructure, market sophistication, and creative outputs.
On the other hand, Botswana performed well in human capital and research while Namibia was best globally in expenditure on education.
South Africa performed best in Africa in terms of business sophistication and knowledge and technology outputs.
Kenya performed well in several areas, including institutions, business sophistication, and creative outputs, to feature among most innovative countries worldwide.
The East African economic powerhouse has registered over 30,300 companies and is one of the largest mobile phone and digital technology adopters in Africa.
In addition, the report noted that 16 out of the 25 Sub-Saharan African economies improved their ranking.
For example, Ghana ranked 95th, Namibia 96th, Senegal 99th, Zimbabwe 107th, Ethiopia 117th, and Angola 127th.
In terms of global rankings, Switzerland is still the most innovative economy in the world for the 12th year in a row. The United States was second, then Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, struggled to make it to the top most innovative countries worldwide. Turkey and India entered the top 40 for the first time, while Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan were among Innovation Achievers for the first time ever, ranking 75th, 82nd, and 87th, respectively.