Nigeria Might Have More Tech Hubs but South Africa Still Leads in Tech Innovation

Besides football, Nigeria has never been good with rankings – by default we usually begin from triple digits. So the fact that Nigeria has been ranked 114th in the recent Global Innovation Index (GII) shouldn’t come as a surprise – or maybe not.

Nigeria might have more tech hubs than any other African country, but many are ahead in terms of tech innovation. South Africa leads Africa, ranking 63rd, Kenya (77th) comes second, and Mauritius (82nd).

The report attributes South Africa’s success to benefits from a relatively sophisticated credit and investment market, as evidenced by indicators such as domestic credit to the private sector and market capitalization.

Why does Nigeria rank so low?

114 of 129 countries is appalling, but the indicators used as criteria to rank countries reveals why. The GII ranking takes into consideration business sophistication, human capital research, infrastructure, market sophistication, creative output, and institutions.

Looking at the list it’s easy to pick out areas that have contributed heavily to Nigeria’s poor ranking

  • Institutions (political, regulatory and business environments), Nigeria ranks 114th.
  • Business sophistication (knowledge workers, innovation and knowledge absorption), Nigeria ranks 85th.
  • Infrastructure (122nd)
  • Human capital (119th)
  • Market Sophistication (88th)
  • Creative output (101st)

Time to halt on the tech hubs

Everyone seems so excited when a new tech hub springs up in Nigeria. It almost seems as if by the higher the number the higher the country’s tech ranking shoots up, and of course, the joy of closing the gap on South Africa.

However, it’s time the enablers of tech innovation such as education, research, data, infrastructure and institutional supports be set right. Otherwise our tech hubs will remain underproductive, and merely just numbers.

Meanwhile the image below shows the top 10 tech countries in the world.

Leadership is first among equals. It goes with humility.~Tony ElumeluTweet
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