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

By Fredrick Obura | Published Tue, July 10th 2018 at 12:45, Updated July 10th 2018 at 14:27 GMT +3

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya has been ranked third in Sub-Saharan Africa in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018 coming after South Africa and Mauritius.

Kenya achieves high levels of innovation relative to its level of development, a continuous performance since 2011.

Strengths for Kenya are access to credit (especially microfinance loans), innovation linkages and exports of creative services, such as Research and Development financed by abroad, workforce
efficiency and printing and other media.

For several GII editions, a number of Sub-Saharan African economies perform relatively well on innovation when comparing performance to level of economic development.

South Africa shows strengths in its sophisticated market and business sector. Other strong indicators: access to credit, market capitalization, university and industry research collaborations, cluster development and intellectual property payments.
South Africa is improving in the quality of its science papers and its universities, especially for the University of Cape Town, the University of Witwatersrand and Stellenbosch University.

Mauritius which is second in the region has particular strengths in political stability and safety, government funding of secondary students, efficiency of energy use and trade.

In the global arena, China broke into the world’s top 20 most-innovative economies as Switzerland retained its number-one spot in the Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
and GII Knowledge Partners.

The Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States of America, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland rounded GII 2018 top ten.

The GII ranks 126 economies based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications.

China’s number 17 ranking this year represents a breakthrough for an economy witnessing rapid transformation guided by government policy prioritizing research and development-intensive ingenuity.

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While the United States fell back to number six in the GII 2018, it is an innovation powerhouse that has produced many of the world’s leading hi-tech firms and life-changing innovations.

“China’s rapid rise reflects a strategic direction set from the top leadership to developing world-class capacity in innovation and to moving the structural basis of the economy to more knowledge-intensive industries that rely on innovation to maintain competitive advantage,” says WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “It heralds the arrival of multipolar innovation.”


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