Launch of the Global Innovation Index Report 2019 at the African Union Ministerial Meeting

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The GII report at the African Union Commission

From right: Dr Mahama Ouedraogo, Director; HE Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Commissioner; Dr Philippe Mawoko, Member of GII Advisory Board; Mr Hambani Masheleni, Head of S&T programmes

ADDIS ABABA, 11-13 December 2019 – The Global Innovation Index (GII) Report 2019 was launched at the African Union Ministerial Meeting of the 3rd Ordinary Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Education, Science and Technology (STC-EST) held 11-13 December 2019 in Addis Ababa. The STC-EST is from the merge of the then African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology (AMCOST) and the Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Union (COMEDAF). The Committee oversees the implementation of both the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-24) and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25).

During the meeting, Dr Philippe K Mawoko, Member of the GII Advisory Board, launched the GII Report edition 2019 at a special session dedicated to development partners. Copies of the report were distributed to representatives of participating countries including ministers and senior government officials. In his address, Dr Mawoko introduced the GII theme of the year 2019 which is “Creating Healthy Lives—The Future of Medical Innovation”. He explained the underlying work which leads to the scoring and the ranking of the economies as they appear in the report.

The GII report for 2019 has a positive message for Africa. Since 2012, Sub-Saharan Africa has had more economies among the group of innovation achievers than any other world region. However, as far as the theme of the year is concerned, the report points to severe challenges that Africa ought to overcome in order to improve the healthcare provision to its citizens. These include the lack of minimal functional health systems and the low investment in novel health care delivery models in most of the countries.

Underscoring the significance of GII Report, His Excellency Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the Chair of STC-EST elected for 2019-2021 and Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Uganda, welcomed the report and recommended African countries to take cognisance of its content in order to improve evidence policy making. He urged countries to work harder to improve the scores and ranking in the forthcoming editions.

Her Excellency Professor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union Commission said that the report is an important instrument that will buttress the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of STISA and CESA.

Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the Chair elect of STC-EST (middle) received copy of the GII Report from Dr Mawoko(on his left) member of The GII Advisory Board

Representatives from different countries welcomed the Report to support evidence informed policy making as well as an opportunity to interrogate the data collation process in their respective countries. The representative of the Republic of Seychelles , Dr Xavier Estico, Chief Executive Officer of the National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation, said that he will call for a national workshop on this report in order to better comprehend the root causes of the current low scores by his country. He hopes by then find ways for his country to improve its scores and rank in the next editions. By and large, country representatives at the meeting pledged to use the report as a learning tool to enhance evidence-based policy making.

In conclusion, Dr Mawoko indicated that members of the GII team are ready to collaborate with the African STI community and assist where and when required. He acknowledged the contribution of the institutions that drive the GII namely the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the “Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD)”. Efforts by the GII supporting secretariat, data providers and analysts were recognised.

Philippe Kuhutama Mawoko
Member of the GII Advisory Board.

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