History can be defined as that branch of knowledge dealing with past events. It is also described as a continuous and systematic narrative of past events as they relate to a particular people, country, period, and person etc., usually written in a chronological order.

AFRICAN HISTORY

African history concerns itself with the study of the way of life of Africans and people of African descent as it existed in the past and how this relates to the Africans’ way of life over the ages. African history was not a popular area of study until after 1960 when most African countries under colonial rule became independent. That was when serious attention was given to the study of African history.

IMPORTANCE OF AFRICAN HISTORY

  • Africa as the Cradle of Humankind: Research has established that Africa is the only continent where there is evidence of man’s early life on this planet. If this research is accurate, then the study of African history, by students of history, must be of immense academicimportance.

  • Relating the Past to the Present: Studying history helps to relate Africa’s past to its present. Also, it is important to study the history of Africa since it assists the individual to relate Africa’s past to the present so as to afford the opportunity for the continent to forge ahead.

  • Identify Stages of African Development: The study of African history helps the student to identify the various stages of the Africa’s developments as it relates to the other continents. It also helps to genuinely compare the past to the present situations of Africa and determine how far the continent has developed in the course of time.

  • Proof that White Superiority is a Myth: The study of African history enables the individual to clear his/her mind of the wrong impression that Africa and the African had no history before the advent of white Europeans. Through the study of history, the myth of the superiority of the white man can be broken.

  • Skills and Values Acquisition: The study of history helps in the acquisition of relevant skills and values that are inherent in the lives of our forefathers. Such skills include the heroic deeds of Africanancestors and their sense of patriotism. These values could be a source of inspiration to the students of African history.

  • Expand Knowledge Base of Students about other People: Students acquire information about practices and ways of life of other people in the rest of Africa, in addition to that of his own country. Students can acquire knowledge about the origination other ethnic groups and their social and political activities and also the remote causes of certain conflicts.