Innovation is often cited as the prerequisite for development, growth, and prosperity. New ways to improve on existing practices and approaches, curiosity, and the ability to carry that forward into new ideas, discoveries and inventions help economies thrive, populations develop, and lives prosper. In the North African context, innovation is charting an uneven course. This human ability to improve, build, and innovate is at times fed by state institutions or hindered by them.
The state of innovation in North Africa
Of the publications that measure advances in the state of innovation, the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index highlights the unevenness of regional economies in this regard. In the broader context, the North African countries of Morocco and Tunisia are in the middle showcasing signs of recent progress. The index relies on two sub-indices. The innovation input sub-index measures five indicators: the state of regulatory and political institutions, human capital and the extent of Research and Development (R&D), a market assessment, and an evaluation of the state of the business sector that looks at the existence of innovation linkages, the knowledge of works etc. The second is the innovation output sub-index which looks at outputs in knowledge creation, accumulation, and distribution, and creative outputs such as good services and assets.
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