These are the most innovative African countries in 2022

A general view of the Nairobi Expressway along Mombasa road in Nairobi on March 23, 2022. - (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Mauritius is once again the most innovative country in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.
  • South Africa is ranked the second most innovative country in 2022, followed by Botswana and Kenya in third and fourth place, respectively.
  • Globally, only Mauritius (45th) and South Africa (61st) rank among the top 80 most innovative countries in 2022.

A report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has evaluated innovation levels across 130 economies to determine the most innovative markets in the world in 2022.

The 2022 Global Innovation Index (GII) measured each economy's innovative capacity and output by focusing on a long list of criteria such as human capital, institutions, technology and creative output, as well as market and business sophistication, among others. The GII ranking is based on performance across seven pillars:

  • Institutions
  • Human capital and research
  • Infrastructure
  • Market sophistication
  • Business sophistication’
  • Knowledge and technology outputs
  • Creative outputs

Switzerland is the most innovative economy in the world in 2022 - for the 12th year in a row - followed by the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. China is nearing the top 10 while Türkiye and India enter the top 40 for the first time, according to the GII 2022.

According to the report, Mauritius emerged the most innovative African country, and climbing seven places to 45th on the Global Innovation Index (GII). Unlike most African countries, the report said Mauritius has a high human development score. Its economy has grown robustly in the last half a century, especially on financial services, tourism and information technology.

This year, sixteen out of the 25 economies from Sub-Saharan Africa covered this year 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. Other notable improvers within the region are Mauritius (45th), Ghana (95th), Namibia (96th) and Senegal (99th). South Africa remains unchanged in 61st place – and continuing to fail to improve consistently over time.

Here are the top 10 most-innovative countries in Africa, according to the 2022 Global Innovation Index

  1. Mauritius
  2. South Africa
  3. Kenya
  4. Cabo Verde
  5. Tanzania
  6. Namibia
  7. Rwanda
  8. Senegal
  9. Botswana
  10. Malawi

According to the report, Côte d’Ivoire (109th), Nigeria (114th), Zambia (118th), Cameroon (121st), Benin (124th), Angola (127th) and Mauritania (129th), performed below expectation on innovation.

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