Mauritius has preserved its title as Africa’s most inventive nation, surpassing the likes of South Africa, Kenya, and Senegal despite a rough year of inflation and the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has ranked the island nation 45th globally in its annual Global Innovation Index for 2022, making it the only “top 50” nation on the continent. The index measures an economy’s level of innovation based on its institutions, technology, and human capital.
Mauritius has continued to concentrate on its ICT and emerging technological industries to support innovation-driven development to complete its transformation from a low-income, agrarian economy to a high-income, knowledge- and service-based economy.
As the home of AFRINIC, Africa’s Regional Internet Registry (RIR) which oversees IP address distribution, Mauritius has been crucial to the steady growth and administration of the Internet both domestically and throughout the continent. Additionally, with the help of its National Innovation Framework, Mauritius has taken the lead in creating an environment that encourages the development of innovative new firms. The Ministry of Information Technology, Communication, and Innovation has also established the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC), which administers several award programmes to encourage industry-university cooperation and spur the development of novel ideas.
The rest of Africa could take a page from the Mauritian government’s stance and the initiatives implemented to take maximum advantage of the long-term economic potential offered by the digital economy.