Global Innovation Index: TZ surpasses expectations

TANZANIA has performed above expectations under the lower-middle income category, according to the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022.

The 15th edition of the Global Innovation Index released recently by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) ranked Tanzania the 11th most innovative country in Africa and 103rd globally after scoring 19.4 points out of 100.

Tanzania joined Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya and Zimbabwe as the only Africans that performed above expectations under the lower-middle income category, read the GII report.

Tanzania’s 103rd ranking on the Global Innovation Index comes primarily through its creative outputs, market sophistication, and institutions – all of which are in the second percentile of global scores.

However, save for Botswana, Kenya, and Egypt, the rest of the countries recorded a decline in innovation scores this year compared to 2021.

Tanzania held 7th position in the previous 2021 GII ranking with 25.6 points.

According to the report, Tanzania has a considerably large economy that is worth 207 billion US dollars, and the East African nation has the seventh largest GDP on the continent.

South Africa was the most innovative country in Africa, ranking 61st in the Global Innovation Index (GII), scoring 29.8 points out of 100. Morocco and Tunisia followed in the continent ranking, 67th and 73rd in the world, respectively.

The rest of the nations, including the continent’s biggest economy Nigeria and the highly innovative Botswana performed below expectations.

Guinea is the least innovative country this year in an index that surveyed 31 African countries. Compared to the rest of the world, Africa is still the least innovative continent.

The survey ranks Switzerland as the world’s top destination for innovation followed by the US, with China and G7 members Japan, France, Italy, and Canada failing to make it to the top 10 list.

This year saw Africa climb up the global tech ladder to join the rest of the world in running an economy driven by innovation.

In past years, the continent significantly lagged behind in digital transformation, but covid-19, which forced many employees to work from their homes, acted as a much-needed catalyst in building industries around frontier technologies.

Consequently, business leaders realised urgency in creating solutions around cloud computing uptake, blockchain development, and artificial intelligence while upskilling their staff on these technologies.

Telecommunication companies in Africa rolled out their 5G networks in 2022 and significantly reduced the cost of 4G mobile internet as social network Meta found 16 countries with a conducive environment for conducting metaverse tests.

Backed by a young, tech enthusiastic population, the continent had its largest smartphone shipment in history, as 5G smartphone sales surpassed 4G ones for the first time. More electric vehicles, and bikes also made their first trips on Africa’s roads this year.

This was also the year the continent launched a regional cybersecurity monitoring centre, as most tech companies injected their investments in protecting Africa’s tech systems from cyber-attacks.

And after years of banning crypto, many African nations are ending the year with either a crypto regulation in place or coming up early in 2023. Many central banks are also thinking along the lines of creating a retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), to follow in the footsteps of Nigeria.

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