“Without research and development, there’s no advancement but we have not yet arrived at the level, especially in the developing world, where we say the amount of money we spend on research and development is what it should be. That’s another area of innovation that is lacking,” Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told CNBC Africa at WEF China.
(WATCH VIDEO: The objectives of WEF China)
However, according to Motsoaledi, there have been discussions among the BRICS nations about sharing information and expertise in the area of innovation.
“One of the issues that we discussed at the BRICS Ministers' of Health [Meeting] held in India in January 2013 is exactly this issue – what we call technology transfer,” he said.
“We are looking specifically at China because it’s much more advanced, and perhaps India, to help with technology transfer to the rest of the BRICS countries and the developing world.”
The WEF China Summit, which is currently underway in Tianjin, is centred on creating value through innovation.
Nevertheless, Motsoaledi stated that innovation in healthcare doesn’t seem to be going in the right direction.
(WATCH VIDEO: The use of tech in Africa's health space)
“Healthcare systems around the world are going in the opposite direction [to] where they need to be going. We are chasing curative healthcare systems when it’s very clear that we need preventative healthcare systems, and that’s where innovation is still lacking,” he explained.
“I was in the session where we discussed the economic benefits of health – that means economic benefits of healthy populations. People who are healthy are very productive.”