According to the 2014 Global Innovation Index (GII), co-published by WIPO, Cornell University, and INSEAD, Sub-Saharan Africa is punching above its weight. As you may have already looked at the report, and found what you were after, the essence of this post is to simply show you their rankings since 2007.
What is the GII?
The authors explain: "The GII ranks the innovation performance of 143 countries and economies around the world, based on 81 indicators.The GII explores the role of the individuals and teams behind the innovation process. It sheds light on different aspects of human capital required to achieve innovation, including skilled labor; the intersection of human, financial and technological capital; talent retention; and the mobilization of highly educated people. Understanding the human factor in innovation is essential for the design of national and local policies that help promote economic development." [See pages 7 - 8 for a summary of what 'Innovation Inputs and Outputs' mean and how they arrived at the overall score/ranking. This Leo feels that the 2007 report best describes the GII]
What is innovation and how do you measure it?
Well, if we just focus on things like patent (and even trade mark) filings (found under 'knowledge & creativity' outputs), then we're on our own. In fact, the GII considered political stability/terrorism (see 1.1.1 here). Anyway, over at Managing IP, Peter Leung tries to make sense of it all using China and Hong Kong as case studies.
How have African countries performed since 2007?
To view this, click here.
Who are the standout performers or "innovation learners"?
Burkina Faso, Gambia, Rwanda, Malawi, and Mozambique. For a snapshot, click here.
Now you can see how your country (or country of interest) has performed over the past eight years. Similar to the 2007 report, this year's GII tells us that Sub-Saharan Africa significantly improved. The top five African countries for 2014, in order of ranking, are: Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia, and Morocco. [South Africa was dislodged by Mauritius in 2013; can it regain the top spot in 2015?]
The secret to moving up the table might be as simple as considering the relevant and/or most feasible things others above (in one's income or nearest income category) have done or are doing.This Leo eyes, with keen interest, a recent piece by Reuters titled 'inventors struggle to protect patents in Africa'. Perhaps, the next table to put together should be the IP filings ranking.