The Country That Adopted Igbo As Its National Language.
It’s not a lie that the third largest ethnic group in Equatorial Guinea is the Igbo tribe and the Igbo Language is a national language in the country. The Igbo people of Equatorial Guinea live mainly in Bioko Island, formally known as the Fernando Po. Equatorial Guinea is an island country located in the middle of the ocean. The Igbos joined other Bantu tribes of the Island like Fang, Bubi, and Fula people to become the third-largest ethnic group on the island.
Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa. It was the only African country colonized by Spain in West Africa.
The Igbo people there migrated from the Eastern part of Nigeria during the colonial time to the Island as workers and made their home. Most of them came from Arochukwu (present-day Abia State, Nigeria).
They haven’t forgotten their culture. They still speak the Igbo language along with Pidgin English and Spanish which is the language of the colonizers.
There are about 50,000 Igbo people living in the Island country out of the 1.4 million inhabitants of the tiny country.
The Igbo language is one of the recognized languages in the country.
Most of the people there are traditionally Christians but they still practice their Igbo tradition.
It’s reported that relief agencies during the Biafran war used the Island as a base for flight into Biafra.
There are about 55,000 Igbos living in Equatorial Guinea. They migrated into the place as workers during the colonial era and remained there to date.
There are still many Igbo people living in Cameroon and Gabon and still identify with the Igbo people who mainly live in the Southeastern part of Nigeria.
In the Caribbean, there are still other people there who see themselves as Igbos. They call themselves ‘red Igbo’ because of their red-skinned color which is associated with the Igbo people.