These are the 10 most innovative African economies you should know

Ben Ebuka April 07, 2023
The African Renaissance Monument in Senegal, Dakar. Photo Credit:

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

The report, released by the World Intellectual Property (WIPO) in February 2023, ranked 132 countries according to their innovative performance. The Global Innovation Index 2022 (GII) revealed the most innovative economies in the world.

For the 12th consecutive year Switzerland stayed atop, with the United States, Sweden, UK, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Germany, Finland, and Denmark completing the global top 10.

This recent report covered only 25 economies from Sub-Saharan Africa, with only 16 economies improving in the ranking. Botswana recorded the biggest improvement, reaching the 86th position, overtaking Kenya (88th). Other noteworthy improvements in Sub-Saharan Africa are Mauritius (45th), Ghana (95th), Namibia (96th), and Senegal (99th). South Africa, however, remained unchanged in the 61st place.

Among other regions of the World, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the greatest number of economies that performed above expectations (eight economies). Kenya, Rwanda, and Mozambique continued as the top three record-holders as “Innovative Achievers.” Kenya has remained innovative for almost 12 consecutive years (2011 – 2022), Rwanda for 10 consecutive years (2012 – 2022), and Mozambique for 9 years (2012, 2014 – 2020, 2022).

Mauritius (45th), South Africa (61st), Botswana (86th), Kenya (88th), Ghana (95th), Namibia (96th), and Senegal (99th) are the only SSA economies within the top 100 this year. Interestingly, sixteen SSA economies moved up the GII rankings, with Mauritius, Botswana, Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe (107th), Ethiopia (117th), and Angola recording noteworthy improvements.

Burundi (130th) returned to the GII this year due to improved data availability after recording the 128th position in 2019. Mauritania joined the GII for the first time at the 129th position.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 7, 2023


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