If I close my eyes and sit still, I can remember Jan 1st 2020. We had just agreed in principle to partner with Appolonia City for our affordable housing projects in Ghana a few days ago, and the entire team was buzzing with excitement about the massive changes we were going to bring to the housing sector in Ghana and we just couldn’t wait to rush out and start implementing all our plans.
Nobody saw what was coming, not the Cofundie team, not the WHO, not world governments, no one, and it took a full 3 months for people to begin to come to grips with the fact that nothing was going back to normal anytime soon.
Covid hit and then nothing was the same (I like Drake, sue me)
A lot of people would argue that 2020 was an annus horribilis (A term to describe a horrible year) but like everything, I think its all relative.
There are still people alive today who survived World War II, the Holocaust, and the Nigerian Civil War and other horrible events like these and I guess to them this year would have been child’s play.
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.”
― Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
In my opinion, the above quote best encapsulates 2020, everything happened this year;
It began with the US strike on the senior Iranian official that had us all scared for WWIII, we lost Kobe Bryant, then we witnessed the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor which sparked a wave of peaceful protests across the world in solidarity with black people in the United States of America.
Sometime in July, there was a massive Twitter hack which targetted multiple high profile accounts including Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Kanye West — in a bitcoin scam.
Then there was the tragic explosion that destroyed most of the port at Beirut in Lebanon.
In August we lost Chadwick Boseman & Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
And young Nigerians also took to the streets to demand an end to the rogue police unit known as SARS which is responsible for hundreds of killings and human rights violations of which the youth are disproportionately affected.
And in November, for the first time in almost 3 decades, a US president failed to win re-election.
The year was brutal for the business environment on the continent and startups were some of the worst-hit.
Closer to home, the Cofundie team faced our share of challenges and growing pains, but we made some giant strides this year too; From our partnership with Appolonia City, Ghana’s largest urban developer and a subsidiary of Rendevaour one of the largest Urban developers in Africa.
We launched Ghana’s first real estate crowdfunding campaign which will deliver at least 20 affordable housing units, grew the size of our team and added some highly motivated and qualified people who have been force multipliers, got selected as the best solution in Smart Cities and Urban settlements in Ghana for the World Summit Awards and currently in the running to win best world solution.
We also Exhibited at the WAPI summit and participated in a panel along with market leaders like Eko Atlantic City, Consensys, Clifton homes etc.
We also expanded our advisory board and investment committee, including veterans and experts in the fields of management consulting, finance and real estate etc.
We launched Realsights, the first real estate investing education platform in West Africa.
And most importantly we made it through to the end of the year, both as a company and as individuals and I think this has been our biggest win.
Internally we joke that 2020 was essentially a crucible for us, but on a more serious note, the effects of going through a crucible are a stronger purer metal which can withstand any kind of pressure and we also feel like that represents what we are becoming and building at Cofundie.
I am excited for how we will be applying the learnings from 2020 into the next year and all the innovative processes and financing methods we have developed and are ready to deploy by 2021. There’s already been an exciting response from stakeholders we have engaged so far.
Igbos have a saying that “When a man is focused, the world will align itself to him” we take that very seriously here at Cofundie and we hope that you will do the same thing as we go into the year 2021.
I wish you happy holidays, merry Christmas and a happy new year.
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