Analysis | Nigeria and SA’s innovation performance compared

Nigeria and South Africa are Africa’s largest economies, with a combined GDP that rivals those of all other African nations together. However, GDP growth rates in both countries have stalled in recent years, and major societal ills persist. As middle-income economies that have made a transition from primary industry to services-based growth, Nigeria and South Africa’s innovation performance should concern policy-makers.

Manufacturing

As the manufacturing sector comparison illustrates, while firms in both countries use technology acquisition as the key innovation strategy to improve the quantity and quality of their value propositions, Nigerian and South African firms face critical financial and other barriers to innovation.

Services

The services sector comparison illustrates that while services firms in both countries use training and technology acquisition as key innovation strategies to improve the quantity and quality of their value propositions, Nigerian and South African firms face critical financial and other barriers to innovation.

Behind the numbers

These fact sheets represent a joint product of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) at South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council and Nigeria’s National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM).

They were produced during a research visit to South Africa by NACETEM’s Dr Abiodun Egbetokun in May 2019, which was sponsored by the InterAcademy Partnership.

Both CeSTII and NACETEM are responsible for the production of science, technology and innovation indicators. Data is drawn from the South African Business Innovation Survey (2008) and from the Nigerian Business Innovation Survey (2010).

Both surveys were conducted using the OECD’s Oslo Manual, allowing for international comparability of data. GDP data was sourced from Statistics South Africa and Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics.

About CeSTII and NACETEM

CeSTII is a policy research institute of the Human Sciences Research Council, which performs national studies on R&D and innovation on behalf of the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Learn more

Contact Dr Glenda Kruss | gkruss[at]hsrc.ac.za

NACETEM is an agency of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Science and Technology that provides critical knowledge support in the area of STI management for sustainable development. Learn more

Contact Prof. Okechukwu Ukwuoma | dg.ceo[at]nacetem.gov.ng

Announcement | SA’s first agricultural innovation survey

The Human Sciences Research Council undertakes national science, technology and innovation surveys, in terms of the Statistics Act (No. 6 of 1999). In May 2019, we rolled out fieldwork in the first ever SA Agricultural Business Innovation Survey, covering 2016 – 2018 and including farming, forestry and fisheries.

Between May and August, our research team will collect data from nearly 1,700 agricultural companies, from small to large businesses.

Results were released in April 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions
Survey brochure
South African innovation support programmes

Watch ‘The Future of Farming’ (The Daily Conversation, by Bryce Plank and Robin WestWall Street Journal), for a perspective on agricultural innovations shaping the future of farming.

The story of SA’s innovation surveys

Effective policy-making requires high quality evidence. The Department of Science and Technology (now merged with the Department of Higher Education and Training), as a partner within the national statistics system, is mandated to oversee the collection of statistics on science, technology and innovation. Since 2002, CeSTII has performed business innovation surveys for the Department.

Watch Dr Glenda Kruss, director of the SA Agricultural Business Innovation Survey 2016 – 2018, talk about why innovations surveys are performed in South Africa.

Previous Survey Reports

Briefs

Recent Presentations

All Tweets and slides from the 2018 Industry Associations Innovation Day 

Follow our blog  or Twitter handle (@BizInnovationSA) for updates from the SA Business Innovation Survey team.

Analysis | Innovation in services: The potential to contribute to structural economic transformation

Contrary to the view that diversification and structural change only result from industrialisation, there is growing consensus that the services sector can contribute to economic transformation in emerging economies. This is potentially good news for South Africa given the growth of the services sector to 65% of GDP by 2014, and the proliferation of Industry 4.0. This Research Brief uses data from the Business Innovation Survey 2010-2012 to illuminate the character of innovation activities* in two key services sub-sectors: wholesale and retail trade (WRT), and finance, real estate and business services (FI). These sub-sectors are now central to the South African economy in terms of their contribution to GDP growth, and their advancement is therefore a key consideration for economists, lobbyists, business leaders, and policy makers alike.

The Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) is a statistical and policy research institute based at South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

CeSTII performs national surveys that underpin benchmarking, planning and reporting on R&D, innovation and technology transfer in South Africa, including the South African Business Innovation Survey 2014-2016.

Our Research Briefs are concise papers based our ongoing work. Their goal? To provide empirical evidence and informed opinion that policy- and decision-makers can use to strengthen the quality of their thinking and action.

Research Brief No. 3*

‘INNOVATION IN SERVICES: THE POTENTIAL TO CONTRIBUTE TO STRUCTURAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION?’

Authors: Glenda Kruss, Moses Sithole, Cheryl Moses, Hlamulo Makelane and Precious Mudavanhu

*Data presented in this paper is drawn from the South African Business Innovation Survey 2010-2012. Research Brief No. 3 was first published in May 2018.

How South Africa’s services sector can help tackle poverty and inequality

Full Report: Innovation in the South African Manufacturing Sector, 2010-2012

Full Report: Innovation in Selected South African Services Sectors, 2010-2012

Some government mechanisms in support of innovation in South Africa

There is growing consensus that the services sector can contribute to economic transformation in emerging economies, contrary to the long-held orthodoxy that diversification and structural change only result from industrialisation. This is potentially good news for South Africa, given the growth of the services sector to 65% of GDP by 2014—growth that has occurred at the expense of the manufacturing and mining sectors. The risk is that growth in services may reflect new ways of increasing asset values through new types of speculative financial products that have a high GDP effect, but little effect on positive structural economic change. Bhorat et al (2016) therefore ask the core developmental question: Can South African exploit this shift to build globally competitive, employment-creating firms that can drive structural economic transformation? – Kruss, et al (2018)

Event | Coming up: Industry Associations Innovation Day 2018 – 25 May

InnovationDay_BannerImage_V1 [2160x1080px]
A collaboration of the Department of Science and Technology, and the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators of the Human Sciences Research Council and Business Unity South Africa, the Industry Associations Innovation Day 2018 will take place at The Canvas Riversands, Fourways, on 25 May 2018.

The Industry Associations Innovation Day 2018 is envisaged to facilitate a dialogue between industry association leaders across the range of sectors, thought leaders, researchers, and government, as well as encounter case studies, on how some industry associations are tackling the innovation question with and for their membership.

Register now

The Canvas Riversands

Download one-page invitation you can share around*

On the agenda*

*Note: The agenda has been updated to include speakers from the National Business Initiative, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Information Technology Association of South Africa

REGISTRATION (08h30-09h00)

WELCOME: Joanne Yawitch, CEO: National Business Initiative

KEYNOTE: Innovation, government and Industry 4.0: South Africa’s policy visionImraan Patel, Deputy-Director General, Department of Science and Technology

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP PANEL: The trends we can’t afford to ignore anymore, and what businesses can do about them… Themba Maseko, Business Leadership South Africa (Moderator), Etienne Vlok, Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers UnionNonkululeko Shinga, Department of Trade and IndustryMike Colley, Institute for Futures Research

EVIDENCE PRESENTATION: How much R&D and innovation goes on in South Africa, and how we know this, Dr Glenda Kruss, Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators, Human Sciences Research Council

BREAK (10h45-11h00)

PRACTICE LEADERSHIP PANEL: What industry associations can do to support an innovation agendaHenra Mayer, Innocentrix (Moderator), Dr John Purchase, Agricultural Business ChamberBrenda Martin, South African Wind Energy AssociationPhilippa Rodseth, Manufacturing Circle, Sunil Geness, Information Technology Association of South Africa

INFORMATION PRESENTATION:

LUNCH AND NETWORKING (13h00-14h00)

Learn more?

Write to Gerard Ralphs gralphs[at]hsrc.ac.za, or call 021 466 8000.

Event | Survey leaders to brief media on 5 September 2017

Members of the media and other interested parties are invited to join the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators and the Department of Science and Technology for an announcement of the launch of fieldwork for the South African Business Innovation Survey 2014-2016.

The briefing will take place on 5 September 2017 (10h30-12h00), and participants can attend in Cape Town, Durban or Pretoria, in the videoconference facilities of the Human Sciences Research Council.

RSVP is required

Download Business Innovation Survey 2014-2016 brochure

The event will include short statements by the Survey’s technical team concerning the aims and expected outcomes of the research, as well as a statement from the Department of Science and Technology about the significance of the research for national policy.

Participants at the Cape Town venue will also have an opportunity to visit the ‘Innovation Survey Hub’, a dedicated research centre at the HSRC where all fieldwork will take place.

For more information, please contact Gerard Ralphs (gralphs[at]hsrc.ac.za) or 0214668000.

Announcement | All the SA innovation survey info you need, right here

This blog has been designed as a resource for interested parties to learn more about the South African business innovation surveys and their data. It’s also a practical resource to support and encourage firms responding to surveys.

Content pillars

We’re blogging in four key areas, which you’ll see across our posts. These are:

  1. The meaning of innovation

2. Innovation indicators

3. Impact of innovation

4. Innovation at large

Our blog writers are based at the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) at the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC).

Goals you can achieve on this blog

Got questions?

Write to innovation@hsrc.ac.za

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