Tanzania was ranked in the 8th position out of 27 sub-Saharan Africa economies surveyed in the 15th edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022, according to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
It is preceded by Mauritius (1), Botswana (2), South Africa (3), Kenya (4), Ghana (5), Namibia (6) and Senegal (7).
In the East Africa African Community (EAC) bloc, it ranks second after Kenya, but before Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. South Sudan, which became a full member of EAC on September 5, 2016, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which became a full member on July 11, 2022, are not included in this new ranking.
Entitled “Global Innovation Index 2022: What is the future of innovation-driven growth?”, GII 2022 surveys the performance of innovation ecosystems of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends against the background of an ongoing pandemic, a slowing of productivity growth and other evolving challenges.
Welcoming the 15th Edition of GII 2022, WIPO Director-General Daren Tang said with contributions from experts and business leaders from across the world “we explore the trajectory of key innovation indicators, including the rate of technological progress, the underlying technology adoption and the socioeconomic impact of innovation.”
He said two innovation waves are particularly identified as having the greatest potential to improve productivity and change lives for the better – the digital age and deep science.
He said more than a reference guide “GII 2022 has established itself as a powerful tool for the construction and development of pro-innovation policies with countries working with us to create similar indices at the sub-national level.”
Tang suggested that to help quantify its reach and impact, last year they gathered information from member states on how they use GII 2022. “Of the 110 responding countries, more than 75 use the GII either to improve their innovation ecosystem, strengthen innovation metrics, or as a specific reference in economic policymaking.”
According to GII 2022, if the digital age and deep science innovation is deployed effectively and if governments address the urgent matters discussed in this report “then innovation-driven productivity growth and its effect on our well-being will be high.”
In GII 2022, 26 countries shine in innovation relative to their development. India, Kenya, the Republic of Moldova and Viet Nam hold the record by outperforming for the 12th year in a row.
Of the 26 outperformers on innovation, eight economies are from sub-Saharan Africa, with Kenya, Rwanda and Mozambique taking the lead.
Among the lower-middle income economies Tanzania is ranked 21st of the 36 surveyed economies worldwide and its performance is above expectations for the level of its development. There are only 14 economies in this category.
However, there are eight economies whose performance is in line with the level of development, but the status of 14 other economies is not shown. Tanzania is reported to be an innovation achiever for four years (2017, 2020-2022) in SSA.
In the GII 2022 rankings overall and by innovation pillar worldwide, Tanzania is ranked 103 of the 136 surveyed economies with the following ranking in seven innovation pillars: institutions (74th), human capital and research (126th), infrastructure (104th), market sophistication (79th), business sophistication (112th), knowledge and technology outputs (114th) and creative outputs (94th).
GII 2022 suggested that technology adoption is progressing well, but penetration rates are still medium to low, with the exception of mobile broadband, which reaches the vast majority of the global population.
“The real impact of advances in science and technological progress is heavily dependent on the extent to which society accepts, integrates and adopts new technology…Even if all our technology adoption indicators demonstrate healthy and even strong year-on-year growth, they are sometimes marginally slower than the long-term trend…Achieving higher levels of penetration is a challenge for all technologies, the exception being mobile broadband, which already has impressive world penetration rates.”
The 15th Edition of GII 2022 focuses on the predicted effect of innovation in three key areas: productivity, economic growth and the well-being of society over the coming decades. In SSA, according to WIPO, only Mauritius (45th) and South Africa (61st) rank among the top 80 innovation performers.
Mauritius ranked highest within the region in institutions (22nd), infrastructure (70th), market sophistication (16th) and creative outputs (31st).
It led worldwide in venture capital deals (1st) and performs notably well in trademarks (15th), ICT services imports (20th) and new businesses (20th).