South Africa topped the list of the most innovative economies in Africa followed by Mauritius and Kenya thanks to policy incentives coupled with investments in modern technologies, skills upgrade and scientific research.
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Singapore is the most innovative country in the world outside Europe, according to an index out yesterday.
Among the factors that have fronted Kenya to this position according to the report, include access to loans.
Strengths for Kenya are access to credit (especially microfinance loans), innovation linkages and exports of creative services, such as research and development financed from overseas, workforce efficiency and printing and other media. In overall ranking, the Philippines leapt 8 spots, coming from the 16th spot in the 2017 GII, to garner the 8th among all 126 economies in ICT services exports. The country was the top exporter of IT services for the second consecutive year. In exports of creative goods, it ranked 17th.
Even with a ballooning public debt which now 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.
"South Africa takes the 58th position this year". It ranked at 66th position in 2016 and 60th a year ago. The 2018 index is calculated as the average of two sub-indices: the Innovation Input Sub-Index measures elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities grouped in five pillars - (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication and (5) Business sophistication.
"Over time, a number of emerging economies stand out for being real movers and shakers in the innovation landscape", said 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 Viet Nam which consistently climb in the rankings".
Projections indicate that by 2040 the world will require up to 30 per cent more energy than it needs today and conventional approaches to expanding the energy supply are unsustainable in the face of climate change.
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