Afikpo town website: Afikpo culture, news, events, people, business, tourism & travel guide

About Afikpo

Panoramic view of Afikpo

Panoramic view of Afikpo

Afikpo is the second largest town in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The population is approximately half a million people and growing. The local language (okwu Ehugbo) is a dialect of Igbo, which is the common language among the five south eastern states of Nigeria (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states). However, most people in Afikpo are fluent in English or the pidgin version called “Broken” (i.e., broken English).

Afikpo is a mecca of ancient Igbo tradition and ceremonial (now antique) masks which have been carefully preserved. Some of these masks are on display in museums and for sale in art galleries worldwide.  Several archeological findings support the claim that Afikpo civilization existed as far back as the Neolithic age. Afikpo is also home to some of Africa’s top traditional dance groups, artists and cultural festivals.

Inside Afikpo Town

Inside Afikpo Town

Afikpo people are mainly traders, farmers and civil servants. The town used to be a predominantly agrarian community with farmers making up the bulk of the population but that is changing as an increasing number of civil servants and traders call Afikpo home. The growth in the population of civil servants and traders is fueled by the influx of merchants, banks and a Federal Polytechnic that employs thousands.

Although commercial activity has increased markedly over the last decade, Afikpo has managed to retain much of its cultural identity, ancestral heritage and celebrated art forms. Many towns of similar size in South Eastern Nigeria have not been so lucky, as some have seen much of their cultural norms and practices eclipsed by Western culture.

A residential area in Afikpo

A residential area in Afikpo

Afikpo is the birthplace of several accomplished Nigerian men and women. A notable example is the late Dr. Akanu Ibiam of Uwana, one of the first Igbo medical doctors and former Governor of the Eastern Region.

The Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana is located in Afikpo. So is the Mater Misericordia Specialist Hospital (Mater Hospital). Mater Hospital School of Nursing and Midwifery was one of the first nursing schools established in Nigeria by Irish missionaries.

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