A recent Global Innovation Index (GII) report has listed Kenya among the world’s most innovative economies despite the ongoing economic crunch coupled with massive corruption.
According to the report which ranked at least 126 countries, Kenya has since 2012 been achieving a high level of innovation with respect to its level of development and thus emerging 78th in the list.
Kenya scored 31.10 points while the top most innovative country was Switzerland accruing 68.40 points.
Among the factors that fronted Kenya to this position according to the report, include access to loans, export of creative services, innovation linkages, efficiency in labour markets, printing and other media.
This report comes hardly two weeks after another one by World Poverty Clock (WPC) that ranked Kenya 8th among the countries with the highest number of people living below the poverty line in the world.
The WPC report ranked Kenya 6th in Africa after Nigeria, DRC, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Mozambique with regards to high poverty levels.
Kenyan economists singled out devolution, prolonged 2017 electioneering period and mega infrastructural projects like the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to the dampening of the the country economy.
Even with a ballooning public debt which currently stands at at least KSh 4.92 trillion, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich expressed optimism the economy would not plummet as the projects were injecting more funds.
Other African countries that performed well in the GII list included South Africa, Rwanda, Tunisia Morocco, Botswana, Tanzania, Egypt and Ghana.
South Africa’s win at position 58 was attributed to its sophisticated business sector and market, access to credit, immense research and also intellectual property payments.
China, which is thought to have high innovative levels, however emerged as position 17.
This was an improvement since in 2017, it was ranked as position 22.
“Over time, a number of emerging economies stand out for being real movers and shakers in the innovation landscape,” stated Soumitra Dutta, Former Dean and Professor of Management at Cornell University.
“Aside from China, which is already in the top 25, the middle-income economy closest to this top group is Malaysia. Other interesting cases are India, Iran, Mexico, Thailand and Viet Nam which consistently climb in the rankings.”
The report recommended that more investment be channelled towards the production of clean/green energy as it is projected that by 2040, the world will need about 30% more energy than it requires today.