How 2020 is proving to be a tough year in just four months

Vision 2020 was a dream project everyone looked forward to. Many countries made projections for what their nations would achieve or become by then. The Nigerian government believed that "by 2020 Nigeria will be one of the 20 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena."

The idea of a prosperous and developed nation sounded spectacular when it was announced in 2007, but the reality today seems nothing like the grand vision. Although analysts had concluded as far as three years ago that Vision 2020 will never be realized, no one thought that the year was going to be this difficult. At least, not this early and not globally.

Nearly four months into the year, almost everyone can agree that 2020 is the most difficult year in the past decade.

The year started decently around the world for the most part, except for some usual tragedy here and there. In Puerto Rico, a series of earthquakes that started in December 2019 hit the highest point on January 7, 2020, recording a 6.4 magnitude. It spilled over to more days, killing at least four people, injuring several others and rendering about 5,000 people homeless. The Australian bushfire crisis that covered 110,000 sq km, killing 33 people including four firefighters, countless animals and destroying parks and forests got global attention too. 

Adding to the list was the tragic crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 which was shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran shortly after its take-off from Tehran. The crash recorded no survivors; all 176 passengers aboard including 9 crew members and 15 children died in the incident. This was all part of a standoff with the US following the killing of an Iranian Major-General, Qasem Soleimani. The flight according to an explanation from the Iranian government had been mistaken to be an enemy craft and shot down with two Tor-M1 missiles.

There was a World War 3 speculation, but the issue was eventually brought under control. 

Leaving the global stage, closer home, there was an increase in armed conflict in places like the Central African Republic, DRC, Burundi, and Burkina Faso. The ongoing insurgency in Nigeria which also affects Chad, Cameroon, and Niger raged on while climate change and drought in Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya, and Madagascar, became worse. The hardship that came with these situations led to high levels of humanitarian burden across the continent. 

However, the worst was yet to come as the novel Coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China. The disease which has almost brought the entire world to its knees has altered all the vision for the year. Everyone is now focused on surviving the pandemic.

As of April 20, Coronavirus is still a big threat to the world. The number of confirmed cases is now over 2.4 million with at least 167,000 deaths worldwide. Businesses, schools, markets, manufacturing plants, public transport systems have all been shut down. With no cure or vaccine available for the virus there's no telling when the lockdown will end. 

The global oil prices have taken a nosedive to just under $30 and countries like Nigeria who essentially depend on oil revenues to function are experiencing rising levels of poverty and an impending economic crisis.

With these uncertainties leaving many people in a very precarious position, it is not farfetched to see 2020 as a tough year.

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