South Africa leads innovation on the continent pharmacy in Johannesburg, South Africa

South Africa as well as Kenya and Mauritius were considered to be the most innovative economies in Sub-Saharan Africa by the 2018 edition of the Global Innovation Index.

South Africa, Kenya and Mauritius are the countries that most encourage innovation in their economies as a method to stimulate development in Sub-Saharan Africa - this is one of the main conclusions of the Global Innovation Index (GII) of 2018 published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Initiatives such as investment in information technology, support for scientific research and the strengthening and training of skills in this area are particularly considered for this classification.

The main theme of this year's IGI edition was "Stimulating the World with Innovations." Concluding, the study is fundamental for strengthening the competitiveness of African economies, the commitment to higher education, skilled work and investment, and to stimulate technologies and activities in scientific research. WIPO's work stresses that "it is important for Africa to maintain the current pace of innovation," otherwise it will be penalized in terms of development.

In its eleventh edition, GII has identified a total of 20 countries that have shown higher levels of innovation than what would be expected from their level of economic development. Six of these countries, are located in the African continent. Thus, in addition to those already mentioned, IGI refers Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Senegal and Namibia. In the overall index, South Africa ranks 58th, Mauritius, 75th and Kenya, 78th. The index is led by Switzerland, which maintains the position of the previous year, followed by three more European countries: the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and the city-state of Singapore. Portugal appears on the 32nd position and the United States on 6th.

Another relevant conclusion is the emergence of China among the 20 most innovative countries, currently occupying the 17th position.

As far as Africa is concerned, the continent has seen increasing the number of countries represented by region since 2012, currently holding the first place in this chapter.