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A lot is happening.

Drake did it, he took my future album name, “What a Time to Be Alive”, no pun intended. The first time I heard this phrase was in a in an episode of The Simpsons, when Abe Simpson’s best friend Jasper places himself in a grocery store freezer in a misunderstood attempt at cryogenic hibernation spanning over several decades. Shortly after entering the freezer, Jasper mistakenly thinks he successfully traveled in time after discovering a moon pie snack food. 

Speaking of time travel, did you wish…do you wish right now that you could go back in time, to relive the past or live in a diffident era? Well, sorry for you because you’ll be losing out on possibly the best time to be alive, there is actually no better time than now, don’t take my words for it, here are some facts:

Global Health

  1. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) malaria deaths fell in 2019 to the lowest level ever recorded. Mortality rate has dropped by almost 60% in the last two decades. Algeria an Argentina officially eliminated malaria in 2019. India also reported a huge reduction in malaria, with 2.6 million fewer cases in 2018 than in 2017 – Nature
  2. Remember bird flu, the disease that was going to be the next global pandemic? There hasn’t been a single H5N1 human infection since February 2017- STAT
  3. Senegal became the first African country to begin providing free treatment for women with breast or cervical cancer (the leading cause of cancer deaths), and Mali announced it would begin providing free healthcare for pregnant women and children under five – Guardian
  4. In Rwanda, 95% of babies currently receive vaccinations for rubella, measles and polio, and it’s also on track to be the first country to eliminate cervical cancer – CNN
  5. Malawi eliminated the world’s most common infectious eye disease, trachoma, the second African country to do so after Ghana. In 2014 more than 8 million people were at risk. Today, that number is zero – Hippocratic Post
  6. A new Ebola vaccine was cleared for distribution in 2019, and is working miracles, reducing mortality rates from 70% to as low as 6% – Boston University


  1. New surveys revealed that the population of humpback whales in the South Atlantic region are now 24,900 almost 93% of their population size before they were hunted to the brink of extinction – BBC
  2. In Kenya, poaching rates have dropped by 85% for rhinos and 78% for elephants in the last five years, in South Africa, the number of rhinos killed by poachers fell by 25%, the fifth annual decrease in a row, and in Mozambique, one of Africa’s largest wildlife reserves went an entire year without losing a single elephant. 
  3. Belize doubled the size of ocean reserves around the world’s second largest barrier reef and South Africa increased its proportion of protected waters from 0.4% to 5.4%
  4. Some organisations in African countries subscribed to receive warnings from a new service using satellites to detect decreases in forest cover in the tropics, in these African countries deforestation dropped by 18% in two years.


  1. Ghana, Indonesia and Vietnam are among the nations accelerating action on plastic waste as part of a global partnership tackling plastic pollution.
  2. The world’s largest multilateral financial institution, The European Investment Bank, agreed to stop all financing for fossil fuels, and committed to investing half of its entire annual outlay — not just its energy budget — on climate action and sustainability by 2025 – Guardian
  3. Clean energy jobs grew by 3.6% in the United States last year, adding 110,000 net new jobs, and the dramatic reduction of coal in the country’s energy mix has reduced deaths from air pollution and has cut the cost of damages by more than $200 billion – Ars Technica
  4. The world’s largest car supplier, Bosch, said it will be fully carbon neutral by 2020, making it the first major industrial company to take that step – Reuters
  5. New Zealand passed a bill to reach zero carbon by 2050, committed to planting a billion trees in the next decade, and said it would run its grid entirely from clean energy by 2035 – Independent
  6. Automakers collectively committing $225 billion for electric vehicles in the next five years. Volkswagen, the largest car manufacturer in the world, led the way, with a $44 billion ‘electric offensive’ and a promise to abandon the development of all new fossil fuel vehicles by 2026 – NYT


  1. According to UNESCO 19 African countries reached gender parity (equal numbers of boys and girls) in primary education in the past decade – Brookings
  2. The number of people killed in wars around the world reached its lowest level in seven years, and battle fatalities have fallen by 43% since 2014 – PRIO
  3. A new study covering 90% of the world’s population showed that the international homicide rate has dropped by 20% since 1990 – Eureka Alert
  4. In June 2019, Kenya’s High Court ruled that rape survivors have the right to an abortion, a landmark ruling in a country where women still do not have the right to choose – Reuters
  5. Sudan’s dictatorship was overthrown after months of protests in 2019, its leaders signed a landmark deal for transition to civilian government and also repealed a series of laws used to regulate women’s behaviour under the former president – Guardian
  6. Global executions fell by almost a third last year, reaching their lowest figure in at least a decade –  Amnesty International
  7. The 2019 Global Terrorism Index revealed that deaths from terrorism decreased by 15.2% last year, the fourth consecutive year of improvement. The overall number of terror attacks fell by a third, deaths halved, and attacks by Daesh fell by 71%.
  8. The World Health Organisation removed ‘gender identity disorder’ from its list of mental illnesses – CBS


  1. Since the beginning of the century, the number of houses with adequate sanitation, living area and reliable construction doubled in sub-Saharan Africa, from 11% to 23% – Nature
  2. New research showed that the proportion of people in extreme poverty around the world fell from 36% in 1990 to 8.6% in 2018. Numbers were down from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 610 million in 2018 – ODI
  3. Save the Children’s 2020 Global Childhood Report shows the overall situation for children appears more favourable in 121 out of 180 countries. Compared to 2000, today there are:

4.4 million fewer child deaths per year

49 million fewer stunted children

30 million more children in school

94 million fewer child labourers

3 million fewer teen births per year

12,000 fewer child homicides per year

The list goes on for those who care to find out and share. I tried to focus more on Africa’s successes in this article, but there are so many other milestones world leaders have achieved and I couldn’t be more proud to be a citizen of the world. I’m not trying to claim everything is rainbow and unicorns, it clearly isn’t, everything isn’t awesome and my natural inclination now is towards pessimism. Nevertheless, the world is in a much better place now that it has ever been. 

2020 felt like the worst year of our lives, with refugee crises, global extreme poverty rising for the first time in over 20 years due to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic compounded by the forces of global terrorism, conflict, and climate change, race-related shootings to name a few of the gloomier headlines. However, scientific and societal strides in recent decades have transformed global living standards and I believe Africa hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of what we can contribute on a global scale. The world is far from perfect, and if you had the chance to be reborn, one of the smarter, more prudent choices would be today; right now. 

There is no doubt that our species is far from nailing the task of becoming a prosperous, harmonious and civilised, but while the first half of the 20th century marked a period of extraordinary violence, the world has become more peaceful in the past 30 years, a new statistical analysis of the global death toll. I know it may seem far from the truth, and you feel everything I’m writing is untrue because the media bombards us everyday with bad new and technology has made news spread faster. Hence why you feel the world has gone to oblivion, perhaps this may increase your feelings of wanting to time travelling no wonder we feel like the world has gone to sh**. We see death more clearly everyday through the news, but the truth is the likelihood of a violent deaths has never been lower; on average, we’re better educated than ever, and childhood mortality has plummeted. All these are important to highlight because in 2020 major global challenges manifolded. We may have never had it so good in Africa, but there’s no doubt that there remains much to improve for our continent, ourselves and the world. 

The Twitter, Instagram and Facebook community is constantly in a panic about leading headlines and the unconventional wisdom that “everything is horrible, we hate it here”. I get it, but did we even bother to ask yourselves, why is there so much bad news? News flash! Bad news sells faster, it may be because as humans we are naturally drawn to depressing stories without realising. The arrival of the pandemic has been credited with jump-starting the rapid unrolling of digital technology, whether in media, health, banking or insurance in Africa. We have a chance, a real opportunity to strive.

Even when things are hard you can you still see the smile on an African’s face, there is strength in our resilience and oneness, but if we are all running away then who will be the saviours, the wakanda’s of Africa? how do we repaint the picture sown by the outsiders? It’s starts from inside, our minds, then crubbing the bad news and amplifying the good, meaningful, true success stories across our continent. 

Let’s time travel to 1835, when a British Parliamentary Lord Maculay wrote “in order for the west to overthrow Africa we must break the very backbone of this nation” and “replace her old and ancient education system, her culture”. When we believe that everything that is western is better and true, then they can dominate us forever. We as Africans, have our truths too so let’s try to rewrite history in order to attract investment into Africa by Africans. Memory often reminds us just how horrible the past was, and why that change was so desperately needed hence why people fought for it. If there’s one thing 2021 and beyond needs it’s more memory of the bad old days — and fewer amnesiacs spreading performative pessimism all over social media. If we want to change the story of the human race in the 21st century, we have to change the stories we tell ourselves. 

The older I get, the more widely I read and the harder it becomes to avoid the conclusion that in the long run, almost everything keeps getting better. Hope is what we desperately need to win the war on climate change, energy and sustainability, living standards, peace and love. What we don’t need is the performative pessimism. The challenges facing our human and animal family right now are big and scary and there’s no guarantee we will overcome them, but on the bright side, count our blessings. African music is on the rise, our continent’s creative culture as a whole influences pop-culture, fashion, film, and food; visit Africa and you will be guaranteed to come across African innovation. We have historically been known as a nation of big thinkers and little opportunity. Good news, a lot is now more attainable so a reshaping of the old narrative is in order. Let’s capitalise on that in whatever area of life we have stumbled into or chosen. Action is possible, better solutions are available and a better future can be built. Telling the story of change, and inspiring people to leave the world a better place than when we came into it.

There is no hope, except for us. If you care about the planet, and about the people and animals who live in it, there are two ways to think about this. You can keep on hoping that catastrophe is preventable, and feel ever more frustrated or enraged by the world’s inaction. Or you can accept that disaster is coming, and begin to rethink what it means to have hope. No single person can change the world, but if enough talented minds are put to enough discrete problems – if we share knowledge, and exchange ideas with one another – then seemingly incremental progress can gradually transform into the greatest leap for our generation. 

WAKANDA forever, what a time to be alive!

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  1. Wow Thanks for this information i find it hard to stumble on smart information out there when it comes to this material thank for the write-up website

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