Guest Contributor | Oct 27, 2023 | 0
Namibia ranked 9th among most-innovative countries in sub-Sahara Africa
By Freeman ya Ngulu.
According to the 2022 Global Innovation Index, Namibia and several other developing economies are performing above expectation on innovation relative to their level of economic development.
The 15th edition of the WIPO’s (World Intellectual Property Organization) flagship Global Innovation Index (GII), tracks 132 countries on their current states of innovation and ranks the innovative performance of each .
Namibia leads worldwide in Expenditure on Education (1st) and performs well above the regional average on human capital and research. South Africa heads the region in business sophistication (63rd) and knowledge and technology outputs (56th)
According to the report, Mauritius emerged the most innovative African country, climbing seven places to 45th on the GII.
Former Marketing and Communication Manager at Sanlam Namibia, Denille Roostee commented on the report, saying that there is still so much to be done to create awareness and urgency in all spheres of entrepreneurship. “As a country, we should realise the importance of assisting and providing access to funding for feasible ideas,” she said.
The index report states that several countries are still struggling to translate innovation inputs into outputs efficiently to create balanced and efficient innovation ecosystems, while a few countries are very efficient at converting innovation inputs into outputs.
Some key changes in the top 15 GII ranking show that China, Türkiye and India consolidated their positions as global innovation powerhouses with Indonesia a strong contender to enter the top rankings.
Although ranked an Upper middle-income country, Namibia scored innovation performance at different income levels. Mauritius (45th) and South Africa (61st) lead the sub-Sahara Africa region, followed by newcomer to the regional top 3, Botswana (86th) and then Kenya (88th). Ghana (95th), Namibia (96th), Senegal (99th), Zimbabwe (107th), Ethiopia (117th) and Angola (127th) all improved their rankings. Sixteen out of the 25 economies from sub-Sahara Africa, improved their ranking.
Botswana took the biggest leap forward, reaching 86th position, and in so doing overtaking Kenya (88th) among the top 3 for the region. South Africa remains unchanged in 61st place, a position it has occupied for some years.
In sub-Sahara Africa, only Mauritius (45th) and South Africa (61st) rank among the top 80. Five of the region’s other economies rank within the top 100 this year: Botswana (86th), Kenya (88th), Ghana (95th), Namibia (96th) and Senegal (99th) .
Mauritius ranks highest within the region in Institutions (22nd), Infrastructure (70th), Market sophistication (16th), and Creative outputs (31st).
It leads worldwide in Venture capital deals (1st), and performs notably well in Trademarks (15th), ICT services (20th) and New businesses (20th). Botswana tops in Human capital and research (51st), and performs well in indicators such as Expenditure on education (2nd), New businesses (4th), Loans from microfinance institutions (15th) and Intellectual property payments (22nd).
Burundi (130th) makes a return to the GII this year thanks to improved data availability, after having held 128th position in the GII in 2019.