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Kenya and Botswana stand out as innovators in Africa

The World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO’s) Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022 report was released on Monday, ranking countries according to the state of global innovation.

Mauritius emerged as Africa’s most innovative economy, ranking 45th globally with a score of 34.4%, followed by South Africa (61st globally, 29.8% score), Botswana (86th globally, 23.9% score), Kenya (88th globally, 22.7% score), and Morocco (67th globally, 28.8% score). Nigeria ranked 114 globally, with a score of 16.9% and ranked 13th in Africa.

Kenya: Africa’s Digital Trailblazer

Kenya is one of the continent’s biggest mobile phones and digital technology adopters, registering 30,300 companies. WIPO notes that the internet and digital penetration have grown to over 570 million internet users in Africa over the last 20 years, and with the arrival of SpaceX’s Starlink and Google’s Equiano, the numbers are expected to increase further. The Kenyan government has recognised cryptocurrencies as legitimate investments, and fintech companies have been particularly successful in attracting VC funding, making it the fourth most innovative economy in Africa.

Botswana’s Entrance into the List

Botswana is a new entrant on the list, ranking third in Africa and 86th globally, with a score of 23.9%. The country is ranked in several categories, including institutions, human capital and research, knowledge, and technology outputs, reflecting its commitment to promoting innovation.

Nigeria: A Call for Innovation

Despite being Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria ranked low in the GII 2022 report, with only a 16.9% score, placing it at 114 globally and 13th in Africa. The country needs to focus on driving innovation to address challenges faced by its citizens and businesses, including entrepreneurship, food security, and local food production, digital innovation for the future of work, and energy solutions.

The GII2022 report tracks the current state of global innovation and identifies areas where innovation is essential to drive the creation of ideas, businesses, and solutions that address challenges faced by citizens, including support for entrepreneurship, food security and local food production, digital innovation for the future of work, and energy solutions.

WIPO noted that in the last 20 years, Africa’s Internet and digital penetration have grown to some 570 million Internet users, thanks to innovation that led to more than 1.2 million kilometres of Internet cables across the world’s ocean floors.

It added that these numbers will continue to rise with the arrival of SpaceX’s Starlink and Google’s Equiano to further drive digital penetration on the continent.

Source : Africa Business Insider