The World Intellectual Property Orgainisation (Wipo) has described Malawi as an innovation achiever after performing 10 percent higher than her peers on the Global Innovation Index 2016 (GII).
Other countries marked as innovation achievers include Moldova Republic (46), Mozambique (84), Rwanda (83), Vietnam (59), Tajikistan (86), Kenya (80), Ukraine (56), India (66), Uganda (99), Czech Republic (27), Armenia (60), Malta (26), Madagascar (111) and Portugal (30).
The report, which is an annual publication, featuring, among others, a composite indicator that ranks countries/economies in terms of their enabling environment to innovation and their innovation outputs, has since ranked Malawi 98 out of 128 economies.
Mauritius (53), South Africa (54) and Kenya (80) top the Sub-Saharan African region. Malawi has since out performed neighbouring Zambia (118).
The GII 2016 titled Winning With Global Innovation is as a result of the collaboration between Cornell University and WIPO as co-publishers.
According to the report, Malawi has remained stable at 98 as was the case in 2015, from 113 in 2014.
“Although the number of countries considered in the GII decreased in 2016, affecting the total of those identified as innovation achievers, the Sub-Saharan Africa region continues to lead in this metric.
“This year, a total of six economies from this region— Mozambique, Rwanda, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, and Madagascar, representing 40 percent of all innovation achievers—perform better than their level of development would predict,” reads the report in part.
The GII 2016 data, however, indicate that global research and development grew by only four percent in 2014 as a result of slower growth in emerging economies and tighter research and development budgets in high-income economies, which according to WIPO, remains a source of concern.
“Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth. In this current economic climate, uncovering new sources of growth and leveraging the opportunities raised by global innovation are priorities for all stakeholders,” says Wipo director general Francis Gurry.
Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (Micf) is on record having said that there are a lot of innovations taking place in the country, especially in the private sector.
“Due to competition from imported goods, companies are now aware that to service they need to be innovative,” said Micf.