Malawi has been ranked third among most innovative low-income countries by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), a global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation.
Globally, Malawi has been ranked 111. The country is ranked with Tanzania, which is positioned at 88 globally and Rwanda which has been rated at 91 globally.
The report suggests that the countries need to put in place systematic economic regulatory frameworks which have a huge bearing on innovation and economy as a whole.
“The economic and regulatory spheres within countries can have an enormous impact on their level of innovation and vice versa, as innovation in turn becomes an economic driver, stimulating further investment,” the report reads.
Ironically, recent studies by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) and National Statistical Office (NSO) show that technology use remains relatively low in the country.
For example, only about 37 percent of households in the country own a mobile phone.
Only14.6 percent of the population has access to the internet while about 2.8 percent of individuals own a computer.
Speaking in an interview, ICT Association of Malawi President Bram Fudzulani said the report by Wipo points to the fact that the country has potential to move fast with innovations.
“Malawi for example is an agro-based economy; so, any innovation that would help our country yield more crops and turn the produce to exports would be very good,” Fudzulani said.
Malawi’s technology penetration has been moving at a snail’s pace due to barriers in infrastructure and low income levels of citizens against higher prices of equipment.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.