From a deadly pandemic to series of world-shifting events, 2020 is one of the most terrible years in modern human history. However, dwelling on the negative events alone will lead to the narrowing of our experience. There were still events that made us smile. Here is a list of memorable moments that shaped the year 2020.
Unforgettable moments of 2020
From distortion of academic calendars to social distance restrictions, many children will grow with the scar of 2020. However, we feel a moral responsibility to shine a light on this gloomy time. Some of the events on the lists below are not exclusive to Africa but are worth talking about. Have a look.
#25 – January 9: The COVID-19 Pandemic
The World Health Organization announced on Jan, 9 that a deadly pandemic was spreading from Wuhan, China. A few months later, the deadly virus spread to different parts of the world, resulting to more than 700,000 deaths. Today, that figure has risen to over 2 million.
#24 – January 15: Virginia’s General Assembly Endorse Resolutions To Ratify The Equal Rights Amendment
The long-awaited dream for progressives and feminists in Virginia was the ban on discrimination on the basis of sex. The state’s General Assembly approved resolutions to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Also, on this day, Virginia became the 38th and final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Thank you to the generations of dedicated, tireless advocates who made today's victory possible. The House of Delegates passed my resolution to have Virginia be the 38th and final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Today is your victory. pic.twitter.com/4D4SxOyHsO
— Jennifer Carroll Foy (@JCarrollFoy) January 15, 2020
#23 – February 6: First Covid-19 Death in the US
Two Californians died of the novel coronavirus on this day. The deaths became the earliest two in the U.S. connected to the coronavirus. The two were a 57-year-old woman who died in her home in the county on February 6, and a 69-year-old man who died at home in the same county on February 17.
We are a couple of weeks away from the anniversary of the first known COVID-19 death in the US. In February 2020 the US had approximately 20 total deaths. As we move into February 2021 we will be pushing 500,000 deaths w/ a trajectory aimed much higher.
— Dr. Richard Corsi (@CorsIAQ) January 23, 2021
#22 – February 26: Kobe Bryant’s Death
This day was a sad moment for the world and more so for NBA fans. The 41-year-old and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash. The retired Los Angeles Lakers star was traveling in his private helicopter over Calabasas when the incident happened. Authorities later revealed nine people including Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in the crash.
#21 – March 3: World Bank pledge about $12 billion in emergency aid to help developing countries fight Coronavirus
One of the memorable moments of 2020 was when the World Bank pledged $12bn (£9.4bn) to aid developing countries drastically affected by Coronavirus. Many underdeveloped countries struggled to cope with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aid helped developing countries strengthen their healthcare systems and reduce the impacts of the pandemic.
#20 – March 13: Microsoft co-founder steps down from Microsoft board to focus on philanthropic activities
One of the world’s richest men and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, stepped down to spend more time on philanthropic activities. Gates said he wants to focus on global health and development and tackling climate change. The Microsoft co-founder also helped make the COVID-19 vaccine possible in different parts of the world.
BILL GATES STEPS DOWN FROM MICROSOFT BOARD: Microsoft co-founder #BillGates is stepping down from the company's board to spend more time on philanthropic activities. Gates says he wants to focus on global health and development, education and tackling climate change. pic.twitter.com/a3UqasZzuF
— Harare Sun (@HarareSun) March 13, 2020
#19 – March 27: Former U.S President, Donald Trump, signed into law a $2.2 trillion stimulus package – the largest in U.S history
President Donald Trump signed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) ACT, which involved a $2.2 trillion stimulus package during the pandemic. The U.S president created the CARES ACT in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to know that the stimulus package was the single biggest economic relief package in American history.
#18 – August 28 – Chadwick Boseman’s Death
Chadwick Boseman, popularly known for his role in ‘Black Panther’ died at the age of 43. His death came as a huge shock as not many were aware of he was battling colon cancer. Boseman died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. It is a memory that will be hard to erase.
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
#17 – June 7: Black lives matter protest continue globally, and the Statue of the 17th slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down in Briston
The statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into the harbor on this day, It was the second day of the anti-racism protests in the United Kingdom. The protest, in the United Kingdom, was peaceful as demonstrators flooded the roads leading to the US embassy in Vauxhall, South London. For many, the display of confederate statues is a glorification of the past atrocities.
#16 – August 20: Kamala Harris accepts her nomination for vice-president, becoming the first U.S. woman of color on a major-party ticket saying “there is no vaccine for racism.”
Kamala, Harris, the first U.S. woman of color on a major-party ticket accepted her nomination for vice-president. There is no doubt that this is one of the memorable moments in 2020. She will later become the first female vice president and the first woman of color to reach that height.
— 2RawTooReal 💛🐝 (@2RawTooReal) August 19, 2020
More than 95 percent of Africans are now immune to the deadly wild poliovirus. This was one of the first conditions that the Africa Regional Certification Commission set before it declared the continent polio-free. A few years ago, Africa had one of the highest cases of wild poliovirus globally. This is a historic milestone worth celebrating.
#14 – August 31: Singer Akon lays the first stone for his futuristic solar-powered city called Akon City
Senegalese American singer Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam lays the first stone for his futuristic city in Senegal. Akon said the smart city will be the real-life version of Wakanda in “Black Panther.” According to the singer, the city’s construction will begin this year 2021.
#13 – September 15: Breonna Taylor’s family announce a $12 million wrongful death settlement with the city of Louisville, Kentucky, after her death due to police brutality on March 13
In the aftermath of the botched police raid leading to the death of Breonna Taylor, Breonna’s family received a $12 Million Settlement from Louisville, Kentucky. Among other things, the city instituted police reforms and social workers to provide support on certain police activities.
#12 – October 8: The End SARS Protest In Nigeria
Protest against a controversial police unit saw thousands of Nigerian youths take to the streets for weeks. Nigerians had long launched an online campaign with the #EndSARS hashtag a few weeks before protesters moved to the Lagos State Governor’s House on Thursday 8 October and slept at the gate of the government house till Friday 9 October 2020. The protest continued for weeks.
— Nabilah (@stillmisskafi) January 20, 2021
#11 – October 15: Two young Nigerians sold PAYSTACK for over two hundred million dollars
Founded in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, PAYSTACK is a Nigerian tech company but was incorporated in Delaware, United States. The co-founders sold the company to STRIPE in a deal worth over $200 million, making it the biggest startup acquisition in Nigeria. The acquisition is aimed at providing more payment solutions to Nigeria and Africa.
In the midst of a tough week in Nigeria, we have some positive news to share.
— Paystack (@paystack) October 15, 2020
#10 – November 4: Ethiopia Tigray attack
The Tigray conflict in Ethiopia sparked one of the largest humanitarian crises in Africa. A disagreement between the Tigray Regional Government led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and forces supporting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed son spiralled into a full-blown war. It was reported that security forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attack the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in Mekele (Tigray’s region capital), killing scores.
#9 – November 7: Joe Biden Becomes The 46th President Of The United States,
Joe Biden won the U.S general elections with a big help from his birth state, Pennsylvania, which had the most votes to propel him to win the elections. Trump refused to accept defeat. Consequently, he skipped the inauguration ceremony.
Also two days before my birthday Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States and if he’s still there 🍊will be tasered on live tv
So I’m really thankful that 79 million people got me a great birthday present
— Ghrimbo (@Ghrimfoam) January 13, 2021
#8 – November 8: Kamala Harris Becomes The First Woman And Woman Of Color To Be Elected The United States’ Vice-President
The year 2020 sure had memorable moments and one of them was when Kamala Harris became the first woman and woman of color to be the vice-president of the United States of America. Kamala Harris is also the first person of South Asian descent to be elected vice-president of the United States.
While I may be the first, I won’t be the last. pic.twitter.com/R5CousWtdx
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 8, 2020
#7 – November 18: People Magazine Nominates Michael B. Jordan As The “Sexiest Man Alive”
Popular American actor was named 2020’s sexiest man alive by People Magazine. Jordan, known for his roles in “Fruitvale Station,” “Creed,” and “Black Panther” is one of the most talented actors and producers in Hollywood. Whether you agree with this or not is a debate for another day.
#6 – November 25: The New York Times Nominated Denzel Washington At Number One In Its “25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century (so far)
The Equalizer actor topped the chart in the New York “25 Greatest Actors of the 21st century”. New York Times critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis collaborated on this one. This list covers global actors, and based on Whose performances made the 21st century sublime so far.
#5 – December 2: The United Kingdom Becomes The first western country to authorize the COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine)
This day, the United Kingdom became the first nation in the west to authorize the use of a vaccine for coronavirus. This was a landmark because it paved the way for the roll-out of the first dozes into the country. Also, the UK ordered about 40 million doses of the vaccine to inoculate its residents.
Here's a new story… Canada Administers Its 1st COVID-19 Vaccine Shots: Canada joins the United Kingdom and the United States as the first Western countries to provide the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, as the coronavirus pandemic rages toward winter. …
— TraiStar (@LoveSignZodiac) December 14, 2020
#4 – December 7: Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo Wins Ghana’s general elections for the second term
Ghana’s incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo won Ghana’s 2020 general elections after beating long-time opponent John Mahama. The 76-year-old is a veteran politician who has been a figure in Ghanaian politics since the 1970s. Consequently, Nana Akufo-Addo becomes the 8th president of Ghana’s Fourth Republic. Mr. Mahama refused to concede.
Nana Akufo-Addo wins the election for the second mandate pic.twitter.com/NmwyM0IXz5
— Drissa Coulibaly (@DrissaOC) December 9, 2020
#3 – December 15: Mackenzie Scott announced she is donating more than $4 Billion to 384 non-profit organization in the United States
The ex-wife of Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, Mackenzie Scott donated more than $4 Billion in four months to assist those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The beneficiaries include food banks to emergency relief funds. The news came after her $38 billion divorce settlement with Bezos.
McKenzie Scott donates over $4 billion to charity. Come on Mr. President you don’t want to be a loser here. donate 5 billion to charity this month. Please show America how much you care about them in this time of need. Trump supporters please share
— WakeUpAmerica (@wakeupa10881418) December 16, 2020
#2 – December 17: Nigeria Rescues Nearly 350 Schoolboys After Being Kidnapped From Their School In Kastina State
Nigeria security forces rescued nearly 350 schoolboys kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents. This news was a huge relief to the Federal Government of Nigeria. However, the abduction brought back memories of Boko Haram’s 2014 kidnapping of more than 250 Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria.
On this day, the United States authorized Two COVID-19 vaccines: The Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Somewhat different from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine is by a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company. Both the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech have been authorized for use by the U.S government.
Even though there were lots of bad occurrences last year, there are still memorable moments. We shouldn’t forget that we also avoided a great depression even though the pandemic froze global economic activities. Also, 2020 saw many advances and progress on all front. We are optimistic that 2021 will be a great year for all of us. What do you wish for?