The year 2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as a momentous one, for all the wrong reasons. It was a devastating year for most people, businesses, and organizations.

However, from a digital technology perspective, it was arguably a break-out year for many startups, tech companies, and some of the solutions they offer. This is because, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns around the world, telecommunications and specifically the internet took center stage in most people's and organizations' day-to-day life.

So much so that there was a common joke that went something like: What was responsible for your organization's digital transformation in 2020? A) CEO B) CFO) C) COVID-19 D) CTO.

As we published the iAfrikan Daily Brief newsletter in 2020 and through our research and insights work at iAfrikan Media, digital transformation was definitely among the top themes of 2020. However, several other themes and topics kept recurring throughout the year.

Recurring themes and topics across different African countries

Among some of the themes and topics, we observed that kept recurring and also among different countries are:

  • Economic development, as the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have put a spotlight on some of our governments' shortcomings.
  • Internet freedom, internet shutdowns, and restrictions continue to be a problem.
  • A growing interest in tech startups and innovation.
  • The impact of policy and regulation on the digital technology industry.
  • And many more.

Our Daily Brief newsletter grew substantially during 2020, with thousands of people subscribing to it from around the world. It has become a trusted source of insights, analysis, and commentary of the business, technology, and society stories that are making an impact on the diverse people of our continent.

Top 10 must-read iAfrikan Daily Brief newsletters from 2020

Below is a list of the top 10 issues of the Daily Brief newsletter from 2020 that our editorial team believes you must read.

1. Why most African countries are not prospering

πŸ“· 1950: Ruth Williams Khama with Seretse Khama on a hill somewhere in Botswana. Credit - History Today

Most problems that countries and people are experiencing have at some point been experienced by another country or someone else is some version or another. Thus, the question begs to be asked: why then are most African countries struggling if there’s so much collective human knowledge?


2. #EndPoliceBrutalityInNigeria explained ✊🏿

Criminals have gone online. Rather than follow them online, SARS remained stuck in the same methods and prefers to use profiling to victimize innocent Nigerians. This provides some analysis of the #EndPoliceBrutalityInNigeria protests.


3. Hush big puppy 🀫

One thing that stands out in the FBI statement regarding the arrest of of Nigeria's Ramon "Hushpuppi" Abbas is the mention of his extravagant lifestyle and his social media accounts. Perhaps he attracted the attention to himself, either way, crimes must be punished.


4. Washing money 🧺

How are tech startups funded and what is the source of those venture capital funds? This extends beyond investments in technology startups and applies to the NPO/NGO sector too. How many of these organizations know the source of their donor's funds? Knowing the source of the funds you receive especially in business dealings is important. By merely receiving "dirty money", you could legally be considered an alibi.


5. One app to rule them all πŸ“²

Vodacom Group has announced that it will be launching a super-app in South Africa through Vodacom Financial Services. Will this super-app succeed where Vodacom failed with M-PESA in South Africa?


6. Understanding the Experian Data Breach βš–οΈ

How the Experian Data Breach unfolded before iAfrikan discovered the data on a publicly viewable website.

Data breaches and leaks have become a common occurrence in South Africa in both the public and private sectors. Β Here is a detailed breakdown of what transpired regarding the Experian Data Breach.


7. The Democratic Republic of Congo's curse βš’οΈ

Trouble has been simmering and brewing in the Democratic Republic of Congo for many decades. Here is what you need to know and how it affects you, business, and technology.


8. Log off

It is very easy to get lost in the blurring lines between work, family, and leisure when working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s always good to remind yourself to log-off. You are only productive anyway when well-rested.


9. Facebook censored #EndSARS content πŸ™ˆπŸ™ŠπŸ™‰

Facebook labeled #EndSARS content following #LekkiMassacre as "false information." It later issued an apology blaming its "automated systems," this excuse is hard to accept given the company's history with fake news and hate speech.


10. Africa Rising, for who? πŸŒπŸ“ˆπŸ€”

More money leaves Africa via illicit financial transactions than the continent receives in aid funding.

More money leaves Africa via illicit financial transactions than the continent receives in aid funding. Coupled with unemployment and corruption, this brings into question the narrative that Africa is Rising. Specifically, for who is it rising?


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