Kenya achieves high levels of innovation relative to its level of development, a continuous performance since 2011. The theme of this year's edition is "Energizing the World with Innovation".
South Africa which was ranked number one showed strengths in its sophisticated market and business sector. Other strong indicators: access to credit, market capitalization, university and industry research collaborations, cluster development and intellectual property payments.
The country was also noted to have improved in the quality of its science papers and its universities, especially for the University of Cape Town, the University of Witwatersrand and Stellenbosch University.
Mauritius which was ranked second in the region had strengths in political stability and safety, government funding of secondary students, the efficiency of energy use and trade.
In the overall global ranking, Singapore ranked behind Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and beat the U.S. (which fell from fourth place last year), Finland, Denmark and Germany. Subscribe to the Standard Group SMS service by texting "NEWS" to 22840.
Organisers also noted that after being 22th last year, China's 17th ranking this year "represents a breakthrough for an economy witnessing rapid transformation guided by government policy prioritising research and development-intensive ingenuity".
"Countries that we see climbing rather consistently are India, Iran, Thailand and Vietnam", said Francis Gurry, General Director of World Intellectual Property Organization. "It heralds the arrival of multipolar innovation".