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Lagos ranks the highest in Africa with innovations to tackle coronavirus

Written by Joan Aimuengheuwa

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Coronavirus, innovations, StartupBlink

“We’re now in the third wave of #COVID19 in Nigeria with an average test positivity rate of 6%. While the increase in cases across states demonstrates that our surveillance system is working, we’ve built up our genomic sequencing capacity to detect emerging variants”, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Director General, said on Monday August 2, 2021 as the Presidential Steering Committee on #COVID19 met to update Nigerians on the national response to the pandemic.

The rise of the coronavirus pandemic has led to the development of innovations globally, that no one ever fathomed.

It goes beyond just solutions for the pandemic, but lifelong resilience to similar situations that could arise in the future.

Coronavirus, innovations, StartupBlink

Top 40 global ranking

In a report recently released by StartupBlink, the United States topped the list of 40 countries that strived in building innovations to fight against the disease.

The US has maintained this position from last year and the previous year. With a current score of 14.706, the US gave a huge gap from the score of the country next on the list, Israel, with a score of 4.945.

Coronavirus, innovations, StartupBlink

Unlike last year, where the top 5 countries maintained their rank from the previous year, there’s a big difference this year.

Israel, previously ranked number three, became the 2nd, Canada, previously ranked number four became the 3rd, Belgium became the 4th, and Switzerland became the 5th. The United Kingdom and Germany fell from 2nd and 5th positions to 6th and 16th positions respectively.

Regional analysis

Having a total of two countries and 35 cities among the top 100, 27 cities in the USA and eight in Canada, North America has the highest number of cities on the list.

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The second being Europe, there are 33 cities from 24 countries, with Belgium ranking as number one, followed by Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Asia -Pacific produced the third-highest number of cities. 16 cities from eight countries, including Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

The Middle East and Africa had 10 cities from six countries, Israel being number one in the region, followed by Kenya and South Africa. From Latin America and the Caribbean, six cities from four countries emerged, including Brazil as number one, Mexico and Colombia.

Nigeria is among the African innovators

African countries that made the top 40 list include Kenya in East Africa (28), South Africa (30), Nigeria in West Africa (37), and Uganda in East Africa (38).

Compared to what was thought to be a significant increase for Nigeria, ranking 63 and gaining 5 spots previously, the country is now ranked 37, gaining 14 spots compared to 2020. This is applaudable.

Coronavirus, innovations, StartupBlink

In the report, it was noted that Nigeria, still behind South Africa and Kenya from last year, was the third in Africa with commendable coronavirus innovations.

While Lagos State, Nigeria’s most populated city, was ranked 34th above South Africa’s Johannesburg, which ranked 36th out of 100 cities.

innovations, StartupBlink

Also noted in the report, the most recognised startups and corporations that built innovations to tackle the disease included LifeBank; an e-health startup making available test kits to combat the virus, SORMAS; also leveraging software to curb the spread of diseases, and Kuda Bank; which provided relief funds to fight against the virus, all based in Lagos, Nigeria.

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innovations, StartupBlink

It is worthy of note that there has been a rise of Coronavirus innovations in Africa and Lagos is ranked the highest African city.

Nigeria is the only West African country among the top 40 countries. Hence, the ever-changing startup ecosystem in the country should not be overlooked but given adequate attention so as to ensure an environment suitable for sustainable development.

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