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Ghana moves 6 places ahead of Nigeria in global innovation index 2021

Ghana is ranked 112th position out of a total of 132 countries in terms of innovation in the latest edition of the Global Innovation Index, (GII) as against Nigeria’s 118th position.

The index done by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency, is an important policy tool that allows countries to assess their innovation performance and undertake a cross-country comparative analysis.

The index also cited that Ghana placed 12th in the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region, two places behind Nigeria. Innovation, a process of creating new technologies, opportunities or ideas is also one of the contributors to economic growth.

The reason for the comparison between these two low middle income countries is that despite Ghana’s small economy, it has been intensifying efforts to strengthen the innovation ecosystem (investing in education and technology) to improve its economy thereby attracting foreign investments, unlike its neighbour (Nigeria) known to be the biggest economy in Africa.

“We are spending less on education than Ghana and I am not talking in terms of percentage of the budget but in absolute terms, even the Ghanaian economy is much smaller than Nigerian own,” Muhammad Sanusi, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said at the closing ceremony of the Kaduna Investment Summit held last week.

He also added that Ghana’s revenue is lesser than the Nigerian own. “The country is spending more on education than Nigeria and that is why companies, industries and individuals are moving to Ghana. We were even surprised that the Ghanaian president has become the leading president in Africa.”

Ghana is seen as a stable environment for innovators and investors due to its research institutions, hubs and initiatives. The country’s overwhelming focus of innovation is on earth. Most digital start-ups have settled in the agricultural and FinTech sectors. Agrocenta, Asoriba, ExpressPay, Farmerline, Kudobuzz are just a few examples.

Further analysis of the report showed that out of the seven indicators used for the GII ranking, Ghana performed the most in creative outputs (94th), followed by infrastructure (97th), human capital and research(101st), Knowledge and technology outputs (104th), business sophistication (108th), market sophistication (115th) and institutions (120th).

In the same category, Nigeria had 116th, 12oth, 121st, 123rd, 76th, 102nd and 109th respectively.

The report also highlighted that in the lower middle-income group, 11 economies are performing below expectations for their level of development, notably five from SSA namely Angola, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria.

The top five most innovative SSA countries are Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Cabo Verde, and the United Republic of Tanzania, while Angola, Guinea, Niger, Benin and Ethiopia ranked the least.

“COVID-19 has propelled us into reinvigorating the important dimension of innovation in order to mitigate the pandemic’s profound adverse effects on the economy and restore growth, calling for nations to embrace innovation as never before,” the report stated.

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