South Africa is the second most innovative country on the African continent ranking behind only Mauritius.
This is according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2015, a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policymakers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world.
The GII 2015 looked at “Effective Innovation Policies for Development” indicating new ways that emerging-economy policymakers could boost innovation and spur growth by building on local strengths and ensuring the development of a sound national innovation environment.
Globally the African countries in the top three faired less well when compared to 141 other nations. Mauritius ranked 49, Senegal 84th and South Africa 60th.
On the opposite spectrum of the index, Kenya (92), Mozambique (95) and Uganda (111) were the top low-income countries in Africa for innovation.
“A number of low-income economies are innovation achievers - economies that outperform their peers for their level of gross domestic product - and performed increasingly well at levels previously reserved for the lower-middle-income group," said the report.
Crucial to Africa’s economy, is developing regulatory, legal and business framework that effectively promote innovation. Sub-Saharan Africa stands out with Rwanda (94), Mozambique and Malawi (98) performing like middle-income economies.
In addition, Kenya (92), Mali (105), Burkina Faso (102) and Uganda are generally outperforming other economies at their level of development.
The report said later in the year, African heads of state, government ministers and top officials from the United Nations, African Union and private sector groups will gather to chart a plan for boosting the uptake of intellectual property tools to help stimulate economic and social development across Africa.
“Africa has a great tradition of innovation and creativity… and innovation is a central driver of economic growth, development and better jobs,” said WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Director General Francis Gurry.
Topping the list globally is Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United States of America. The list of high-income economies remained unchanged from past editions showing that the leaders’ performance is hard to challenge for those that follow.