Regional launch of the Global Innovation Index 2018 for West African Countries

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

On December 18, 2018 in Accra, Ghana, the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018 report was launched at the Fair on agriculture technologies for West Africa countries.  The Fair was organised by the African Union Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) in collaboration with The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI) of Ghana. 

Participants included representatives from government, business, industry associations, young entrepreneurs from the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Entrepreneurs from Egypt, although not from the region, also attended the launch. 
Dr. Philippe Kuhutama Mawoko, the AOSTI Executive Secretary, in his capacity as a member of the GII’s Advisory Board presented the GII framework, methodology, data sources and data collection with emphasis on the innovation performance of countries of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS).  
In her welcome remarks, Dr. Wilhelmina Quaye, Director at CSIR-STEPRI, welcomed the launch of the GII 2018 report and urged participants to be the ambassadors of the GII report in their respective field of activities. She mentioned that the GII report is an important instrument for decision making.  
Dr. George Owusu Essegbey, CEO of the CSIR-TDTC, made a presentation on Data management where he referred to the GII scores from African countries, in particular ECOWAS, as a collective wake-up call for relevant stakeholders to invest in data collation activities.  He stressed the importance of data-informed decision making and said that training and capacity building in data collection and data analysis is needed for African countries to improve innovation and innovation policy performance as measured by the GII.
Discussions were focused on how African countries could improve their innovation capabilities and ranking on the GII index.  Participants called on a large diffusion of the report, which was seen as a powerful tool to incentivize the collection of innovation metrics and a way to assess innovation strengths that underpin the economic and societal goals of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

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