Anambra is a state with a rich culture. Its known for its great myths, giant strides, creative, hardworking and innovative people. Its history is as mythical as its great people, as there are diverse perspectives to the origin of ndi Anambra.
Their existence dates as far back as 4500BC, as confirmed by archeological findings unearthed in various locations in the state, including Igbo Ukwu, Aguleri, Awka, Ezira and Nri. Ndi Anambra migrated from the cradle of human civilization to their present location and their history is strongly linked to the history of the entire Igboland, as the source of Igbo civilization.
Old Anambra State was first created in 1976 from the East Central State. A re-organization by the then military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, on August 27th 1991 further divided the Old Anambra into two states, present Anambra and Enugu States. The name Anambra is a colonial convenient pronunciation derived from the Omambala River, a tributary of the majestic River Niger.
Anambra is the tenth most populous state in Nigeria, with an estimated population of about 5,084,195 (2015 Census estimate). It covers an area of 4,416 square kilometers with rainforest vegetation, humid climate, a temperature of about 87°F and rainfall of between 152cm and 203cm per annum. Its natural features of hills, lakes, caves, forests and table savannah land from the beautiful landscape of the state. It shares boundaries with Abia, Delta, Enugu, Imo & Kogi States making it one of the few states with many neighbours. Agriculturally, Oil Palm, corn, rice, yam & cassava are its main cash crops. Fishing in inland waterways is also a significant commercial activity in the state.
Anambra State has deposits of natural gas and crude oil. Other minerals include gypsum, kaolin, bauxite, iron ore, lead, etc. Brewing, textiles, tourism, soft drinks processing/bottling, wood carving and blacksmithery form the major industries in the state. The business climate is highly favourable with a combination of large markets, abundant skilled labour force, entrepreneurial ability and easy access to capital and natural resources and a number of government incentives.
The state capital territory, Awka, famous for its legendary blacksmithery, spans across six Local Government Areas: Anaocha, Awka South, Awka North, Dunukofia, Njikoka and Orumba North and covers a land area of 400sq kilometers. The city of Onitsha, another major town in the state has with its massive market (the largest in West Africa), has strong trade links with many parts of the country and the world. Nnewi, the second most economically vibrant centre after Onitsha, has virtually become the automobile spare parts market of the nation and a fast-growing industrial centre.
The Igbo language is the mother tongue, but English is widely spoken due to the early influence of Missionary Schools & UAC Traders. A vast majority speak pidgin English, a blend of native Igbo dialect and English Language, which was probably adopted for ease of trade with early visiting Europeans. However, a small group of Igala-speaking people exists in Anambra West Local Government Area.
Ndi Anambra live and work in virtually every part of the country and the world and easily learn the languages of their places of sojourn. They integrate easily with the host communities where they find themselves, hence, their traditional hospitality and friendliness to visitors and strangers in their land.
A people of uncommon species, Ndi Anambra are shaped by their history and their environment to be persevering, hardworking, creative, innovative and adventurous. They are perhaps, the state’s most outstanding assets and the reason why Anambra is regarded as “Light of the Nation”.
The story of Ndi Anambra is that of outstanding achievements in Politics, Education, Commerce, Industry, Entertainment, Sports and indeed in every sphere of human endeavors.