18 Aug

C4DLab Director, Dr Tonny Omwansa (Center) demonstrates to the Head of State President Uhuru Kenyatta and other dignitaries a product of the latest manufacturing technique known as ‘3D Printing’.

A renowned global innovation study has ranked Kenya among the three most innovative nations in Africa.

The news comes even as the country takes the 80th position in the world, two positions behind South Africa and Mauritius, which is ahead of the pack.

Mauritius takes the top spot among all economies in the region (53rd), followed by South Africa (54th), Kenya (80th), Rwanda (83rd), Mozambique (84th), Botswana (90th), Namibia (93rd), and Malawi (98th),” reads part of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016 published on the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) website.

Further, the report notes that the better rankings on the indicators for institutions, business sophistication, and knowledge and technology output have allowed the Sub-Sahara Africa region to catch up with Central and Southern Asia, and to overtake Northern Africa and Western Asia.

Average regional performance shows strengths in the ease of starting a business, ICTs, business-model creation, and relative expenditure on education, with weaknesses in firms conducting global R&D, high-tech exports, the quality of local universities and number of scientific publications.”

In effect, the report recommends that Sub-Saharan Africa preserves its current innovation momentum, while continuing to diversify economies away from oil production and commodity revenues.

Yet the general tone of the study indicates that Kenya and Africa at large needs to work even harder to play in the same league with the countries of Europe.

Fifteen of the top 25 economies in the GII come from Europe, including the top three. Switzerland retains the top position for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Sweden (2nd), and the United Kingdom (3rd).

Following these top 3 regional leaders are Finland (5th), Ireland (7th), Denmark (8th), the Netherlands (9th), and Germany (10th), which joins the top 10 in 2016,” observes the GII in conclusion.