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Nigeria ranks 118th in Global Innovation Index 2021, gains three points



Global Innovation Index 2021
Global Innovation Index 2021

Nigeria, although, gained three points to rank 118th in Global Innovation Index 2021, compared to its ranking – 121st in 2020 – however, the country’s performance could be rated below expectations for its level of development, can report.

The Global Innovation Index (GII) provides insightful data on innovation which provides adequacy needed by policymakers in evaluating their innovation performance and making informed innovation policy decisions. 

The Global Innovation Index 2021 includes informed conclusions on innovation developments, both generally and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, making a significant contribution to a more resilient innovation globally.

VC deals grew by 5.8 percent in 2020, exceeding the average growth rate for the past 10 years. Strong growth in the Asia Pacific region more than compensated for declines in Northern America and Europe. Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean also registered double-digit increases. First-quarter figures suggest VC activity will be even more vibrant in 2021.”


The Global Innovation Index 2021 presents the global innovation landscape and annual performance rankings of 132 economies, out of which Nigeria was ranked 118.

As regards growth across various sectors, Nigeria occupied the 109th rank in institutions, 121st position in human capital and research, 120th position in infrastructure, 102nd in market sophistication, 76th in business sophistication, 123rd in knowledge and technology output, 116th creative output, a score of 20.1 and an income group rank of 28.

Global Innovation Index 2021

The table shows a detailed profile for the Nigerian economy according to the Global Innovation Index 2021.

Within sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria was ranked 16 out of 27 countries in the region. Mauritius, South Africa and Kenya were ranked one to three respectively, with Angola ranking 27.

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Among the lower-middle-income groups, 11 economies were reported to be performing below expectations for their level of development. Five of them were from sub-Saharan Africa and they included Angola, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Nigeria was reported to have an output rank of 124 and an input rank of 115. Despite being able to convert innovation inputs into outputs, the gap is still not applaudable.

Daily, startups rise from different sectors of the Nigerian economy. The ultimate goal is to drive the economy to resilience, giving the country a recognised growth at innovation. This is gradually but slowly being achieved as the brilliance of Nigeria companies cannot be overlooked. 

According to the GII 2021, the global innovation landscape is changing too slowly. High-income economies, notably from Northern America and Europe, continue to lead the GII ranks and have the strongest and most balanced innovation systems. 


There is an urgent need for this to change, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. Confronted with an unprecedented crisis, it is important to fully leverage the power of innovation to collectively build a cohesive, dynamic and sustainable recovery. 

The short-term and longer term impacts of the pandemic on science and innovation systems have to be monitored and findings acted upon.

Support for innovation must become broader and governments should strive to counteract challenges with their expenditure boosts to innovation, even in the face of higher public debt.

​Joan Aimuengheuwa is a content writer who takes keen interest in the scopes of innovation among African startups. She thrives at meeting targets and expectations. Contact: [email protected]

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