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From the Niger Delta to the Red Sea, our best series from 2020

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Best of 2020

By The Africa Report
Posted on Thursday, 24 December 2020 15:24, updated on Friday, 25 December 2020 21:27

Throughout the year, our intrepid team of reporters have worked to bring you in-depth analysis of controversial, timely and off-beat topics. Here's a look at our top five from 2020:

1. Angola: on the trail of stolen billions

Angola’s economy is in a state of fragility. Its tough economic restructuring programme at the beginning of the year focused on the sale of state-owned oil and diamond assets, reform of the national budget. The major hit it has taken from the coronavirus epidemic, has also weakened the country. But perhaps Angola would have weathered the storm better had over $100bn not been stolen from state coffers during the four decade presidency of José Eduardo dos Santos.

In this series, Patrick Smith and Zoe Eisenstein report on the campaign to find those stolen funds and how it is changing the politics and economy of Angola.

2. Biometric Identification: How far can we go?

As technology proves more and more compatible with our daily needs, many corporations – big and small – are launching biometric identification products to respond to security and health needs.

In this series, we explore how far we can go in this growing industry?

3. Nigeria at 60

On 1 October 1960, Nigeria erupted into celebration to mark its independence from the clutches of Britain. In 60 years, the country has lived a lifetime and then some – surviving civil war, coups and dictatorships to become a thriving democratic country with one of Africa’s largest economies.

In this special series, we look back at Nigeria’s first 60 years and look forward to another 60.

4. Red Sea Dynamics

The Red Sea has always been the site of power plays amongst countries vying for its control. From the ancient Egyptian expeditions to Punt land, to the Romans who established its role as an important artery for trade with the East. And today, the strategic artery remains both a beacon of peace or a catalyst for destruction.

In this series, we look at its ever-changing dynamics.

5. Nigeria’s silent killer: The deadly price of oil

Nine years ago, after publishing a comprehensive survey of the damage, the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) called for the launch of a $1bn fund to clean up decades of oil spills there. It is a 600 square kilometre area full of shut-off oil wells and a labyrinth of ageing pipelines converge.

In this series, we examine how today it still remains one of the most contaminated stretches of water and marsh land in the world.

Also in this in Depth:

Kenya in 2020: Coming out strong, even if a little bruised

Kenya has come out of 2020 with one of the best performing economies in East Africa, despite Covid. And its political scene hasn't been disappointing either. Here's a look back at Kenya over the year.

Ethiopia ends 2020 with a bang

Ethiopia has ended the year on a very awkward and troubling note. From the arrival of the pandemic, the upsurge in protests across Oromio to the war in Tigray. One thing is certain: the country is going into 2021 entirely changed.

Brexit deal done: what’s in it and where next for the UK and EU?

With the UK finally coming to an arrangement with the EU over its legal relationship with the bloc, the focus now turns to what is inside the deal. Financial services, for example, face an uncertain future. Can Boris Johnson sell it beyond his party?