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            Africa is a rich continent that has for centuries provided the world with art, culture, labor, wealth and natural resources. It has vast mineral deposits, fossil fuels, and commercial crops. But most important is the fact that fossil evidence indicates that human being originated in Africa. The earliest traces of human beings and their tools are almost two million years old. Their descendents have migrated throughout the world.
             Africa is large, complex, and diverse. It encompasses an area more than 11,7000,000 square miles. The United States, Europe, and India could fit easily into it. The sheer size is and indication of the continent's great variety in geography, terrain, climate, flora, fauna, peoples, languages and cultures. Much of contemporary Africa has been shaped by European colonial rule, industrialization, urbanization, and the demands of a world economic system. For more than seventy years, large regions of Africa were ruled by Great Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain. African peoples from various ethnic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds were brought together to form colonial states. .
             For decades, Africans struggled to gain their independence. It was not until after World War II that the colonial territories became independent African states. Today, almost all of Africa is ruled by Africans. Large numbers of Africans live in modern cities.
             Rural Africa is also being transformed, and yet its people still engage in many of their age-old customs and beliefs. Contemporary circumstances and natural events have not always been kind to ordinary Africans. Today, however, new popular social movements and technological innovations pose great promise for future development.
             The IGBO (pronounce IBO) are a distinguished group of people who live in southeastern Nigeria. In numbers alone, the Igbo are one of the three dominent ethnic groups of Nigeria, with the Hausa and the Yoruba.

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