Nigeria dropped seven points, ranked 121st in Global Innovation Index 2020, trailing behind other African countries like Mauritius (52), South Africa (60), Kenya (86) and the United Republic of Tanzania (88).
This clearly shows requires more actions to rank among leading nations in the innovation ecosystem.
The country dropped seven places to rank 121st out of 131st compared to her 114th ranking in Global Innovation Index 2019.
But, this is not a surprise to leading voices in the country’s innovation ecosystem who have received little or no support from, especially, the government.
Kenneth Omeruo is the CEO, InnovationHub Africa and Resources Ltd., the organisers of Nigeria Innovation Summit; an event that showcases innovative businesses, ideas, products and services from Nigeria.
Participation in this year’s week-long event is open to local and international businesses, organisations, government agencies, startups, entrepreneurs, research centres, tertiary institutions, and all the stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem.
The week is packed with several activities like Innovation Showcase/Exhibitions, the Nigeria Innovation Summit, Nigeria Innovation Awards, and the yearly report of the State of Innovation in Nigeria.
In Omeruo’s words:
“This is not a surprise to me, how much did Nigeria invest in the year in review towards Technology and Innovation. Countries that want to lead in Innovation give top priority to research, development and they make huge investments towards that.
“Do we even understand the digital tsunami a d transformation that is taking place with Emerging Technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and the rest of them.
“The ranking simply shows that the world has left us farther when I think Nigeria and Africa should be moving at a greater speed to leverage Technology and innovation with her youthful population to leapfrog her economic development”.
Nodding in agreement, the Founder, Programos Foundation; Architect, Innovationbed.Africa and WSA Eminent National Expert for Nigeria, Emmanuel Amos, said it is an “African worry”.
“Nigeria’s digital economy will never come about by purchasing it! A lot of attention is desired to develop local capacities on innovation development.
“Where that is not the direction winning attention of government in the real sense then we are not ready”.
Mr. Amos further said that the the continent is looking up for Nigeria to encourage the promotion and leadership of ecosystem development.
“Politically, Nigeria believe Digital Economy can be acquired. No economy has done that and that is why my ICT4SIDS project is hammering on local service innovation for both private and public sector”, he warned.