Kuwait 60 out of 126 in 'innovation index'

Global Innovation Index: Kenya ranks 3rd in Sub-Saharan Africa

Armenia was ranked 68th in the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings released in NY, falling nine notches from the previous ranking.

Vietnam ranks 45th out of 126 economies in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018, up 14 places compared to 2016, according to the GII report announced by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on July 10.

The sub-Saharan Africa region boasts of six innovation achievers, including Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa, while five economies hail from Eastern Europe. The index looks into the strength of national economy pillars that drive innovation: institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, and business sophistication.

Kenya was noted to have achieved high levels of innovation relative to its level of development, continuously since 2011.

According to the index, Kenya's strengths include access to credit especially microfinance loans, innovation linkages and exports of creative services, workforce efficiency, printing and other media.

The Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States of America, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland rounded GII 2018 top ten.

Among regional countries, Singapore did better than South Korea, which placed 12th overall, and Japan, which was 13th globally. The country's rank has been improving from the 81 spot in 2015 to the 60 place in 2017. These include its 110th rank in political stability and safety, regulatory quality (91), applied tariff rate (96) and intensity of local competition (93).

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.

"Over time, a number of emerging economies stand out for being real movers and shakers in the innovation landscape", says Soumitra Dutta, former dean and professor of management at Cornell University.

The report said that China's rapid rise in the rankings over the last few years has been spectacular and that it shows the way for other middle-income economies, though only Malaysia, now 35th in the rankings, continues to edge closer to the top 25. "Other interesting cases are India, Iran, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam which consistently climb in the rankings", he said.

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.

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