African states had much to show in the innovative world, at a time when the coronavirus was at its peak in 2021.
Kenya, which is perceived among leaders in digital technology, dropped one point to position four.
The country is one of the continent’s biggest mobile phones and digital technology adopters, registering 30,300 companies.
According to the Global Innovation Index 2022 by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), 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 highly ranked state on the continent in innovation, according to WIPO is Mauritius (45th globally).
It is followed by South Africa (61st globally) then Botswana (86th globally), the new entrant in the top five.
Botswana leads in human capital and research (51st globally), and has been doing well in indicators such as expenditure on education (2nd), new businesses (4th), loans from microfinance institutions (15th) and intellectual property payments (22nd).
Despite being Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria ranked low in the GII 2022 report.
According to WIPO, Africa’s Internet and digital penetration have grown to some 570 million Internet users in the last 20 years, owing to innovation that led to more than 1.2 million kilometres of Internet cables across the world’s ocean floors.
The 2022 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) tracked the most recent global innovation trends against the background of an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, slowing productivity growth and other evolving challenges.
It revealed the most innovative economies in the world, ranking the innovation performance of around 132 economies while highlighting innovation strengths and weaknesses.