10 Most Innovative African Economies You Should Know

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“The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022 edition tracks the most recent global innovation trends in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, slowing productivity growth, and other evolving challenges.” It identifies the world’s most innovative economies by ranking the innovation performance of approximately 132 economies and highlighting innovation strengths and weaknesses.” – WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released a report in February 2023 that ranked 132 countries based on their innovative performance. The Global Innovation Index 2022 (GII) identified the world’s most innovative economies.

Switzerland remained number one for the 12th year in a row, with the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Germany, Finland, and Denmark rounding out the top ten.

This recent report only covered 25 Sub-Saharan African economies, with only 16 improving their rankings. Botswana made the most progress, climbing to 86th place and surpassing Kenya (88th). Other Sub-Saharan African countries that have made significant progress include Mauritius (45th), Ghana (95th), Namibia (96th), and Senegal (99th). South Africa, on the other hand, remained in 61st place.

Among other regions of the world, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the most economies that outperformed expectations (eight economies). Kenya, Rwanda, and Mozambique maintained their positions as the top three “Innovative Achievers.” Kenya has been innovative for nearly 12 years (2011-2022), Rwanda for ten years (2012-2022), and Mozambique for nine years (2012, 2014 – 2020, 2022).

This year, the only SSA economies in the top 100 are Mauritius (45th), South Africa (61st), Botswana (86th), Kenya (88th), Ghana (95th), Namibia (96th), and Senegal (99th). Interestingly, sixteen SSA economies improved their GII rankings, including Mauritius, Botswana, Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe (107th), Ethiopia (117th), and Angola.

Burundi (130th) returned to the GII this year as a result of improved data availability, after finishing 128th in 2019. Mauritania was admitted to the GII for the first time in 129th place.

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