Global Innovation Index: Kenya ranks 3rd in Sub-Saharan Africa

Global Innovation Index: Kenya ranks 3rd in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan African countries like South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius and Rwanda have encouraged innovations to stimulate the growth of their economies and spread prosperity, says the 2018 Global Innovation Index report launched in Nairobi and NY on Tuesday. While the United States fell back to number six, it remains an innovation powerhouse that has produced numerous world's leading hi-tech firms and life-changing innovations, says the Index organizers.

In the overall global ranking, Singapore ranked behind Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and beat the U.S. (which fell from fourth place last year), Finland, Denmark and Germany.

"In absolute values, and in areas such as research and development expenditures and the number of researchers, patents and publications, China is now first or second in the world, with volumes that overshadow most high-income economies", it read.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said in a statement that China's rapid rise up the table reflected decision by its leadership to develop capacity in innovation and to move its economy towards knowledge-intensive industries.

It is published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization, in partnership with other organisations and institutions.

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Twenty economies comprise these "innovation achievers" in 2018, three more than in 2017.

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. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam continue to move up the rankings, steering closer to regional powerhouses like China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.

If only measuring the Innovation Input Sub-Index the Philippines landed the 8th spot out of 30 lower-middle income economies this year.

The 2018 report launched in Nairobi and NY 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. India's Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is one of the knowledge partners which assists the GII team in bringing out the annual ranking.

The theme of the 2018 GII edition is "Energising the World with Innovation" looking at the need for expanded innovative work in climate-friendly green technology amid rising energy demands worldwide.

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