The Igbo, sometimes referred to as Ibo, are one of the largest single ethnic groups in Africa.
The Igbo people are descended from Eri, a divine figure who, according to Igbo folklore, was sent from heaven to begin civilization. Another account presents Eri as one of the sons of Gad, as mentioned in the book of Genesis in the Bible, who travelled down to establish the present-day Igboland.
However, in this article, I will be sharing with you 3 countries in Africa where Igbo tribe can be found:
In Nigeria, Igbos inhabit an area referred to as Igboland, which is divided into two sections along the lower River Niger. They live in most parts of five states such as Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, as well as minor parts of Delta, Rivers and Benue states.
Igbo make up around 18 per cent of Nigeria’s population. Their traditional homeland straddles the Niger River in the south-east and is one of the most densely populated areas of the African continent. Igbo are predominantly Christian. Traditionally, Igbo were subsistence farmers of yams, taro and cassava. Today many are well educated and work as civil servants and in business. Over a period of many years, over 1 million Igbo have migrated to other parts of Nigeria.
Igbo are believed to have originated as a people several thousand years ago in the area where the Benue flows into the Niger River. The Igbo were active slave traders, selling captives from the interior to European traders. The British established control over the region in the 19th century, made easier by the Igbo’s decentralized political organization. Christian missionaries also found Igboland to be fertile ground for proselytizing.
The Republic of Cameroon is a west African country bordered by Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south, and Nigeria to the west. The country’s coast, on the Bight of Bonny, is part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Due to its geological and cultural diversity, it is called Africa in miniature.
Large ethnic Igbo populations are found in Cameroon.
In Cameroon, however, there are an estimated 105,000 Igbo speakers in the country.
3. Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea is one of Africa’s smallest countries, composed of a mainland and five islands, the largest of which contains the capital city, Malabo. It is the only Spanish-speaking nation in Africa, having gained its independence from Spain in October 1968. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been in power since 1979. The constitution vests all executive authority in the president.
Fuelled by the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest oil exporter.
In Equatorial Guinea, the Igbo, which is one of the major tribes in Nigeria, is also one of the tribes in the country. Some other tribes in this country include the Fang, Bubi, Baka, Kwasio, Benga, among others.
The Igbos, as officially declared by the government of Equatorial Guinea, is the third-largest after the Fang and Bubi tribes. They occupy a small area in Bioko. Most of them migrated to Bioko from Arochukwu in Abia State, Nigeria.
They speak Igbo language primarily. They practice marginal Christianity.
Most people in Bioko conduct their daily lives in either Fang, Bubi, or Igbo, all of which are in the Bantu family of languages.
The population of the Igbo people in Equatorial Guinea is 33,500, a country with a total population of 1.2milliom people.
The people of this tribe are hardworking and this has reflected in their achievements wherever they find themselves around the world.