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pushpin_map_caption =Location in Nigeria
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Awka is the capital of
Anambra State, Nigeria. The town is located in southeastern Nigeria in Igbolandand lies along roads leading from Owerri, Umuahia, Onitsha, and Enugu. The area around Awka now mostly consists of wooded grassland. South of the town on the slopes of the Awka-Orlu Uplands are some examples of soil erosion and gullying. Awka is an agricultural trade centre ) for the Igbo people of the surrounding area and trades in yams, cassava, taro, corn [maize] , palm oil and kernels. [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/46049/Awka]
History and politics
In pre-colonial times Awka (Oka) was famous for metal working and its blacksmiths were prized throughout the region. The Awka area in earlier times was the site of the Nri civilization that produced the earliest documented bronze works in Sub-Saharan Africa around 800 AD (See
Igbo-Ukwu). Awka currently is divided into two local government areas, Awka North and Awka South. There is Awka Etiti in Idemili South local government area which is often confused with the main capital.cite web | url=http://geoanalyzer.britannica.com/ebc/article-9011472 | title="Britannica Concise Encyclopedia" | accessdate=2007-02-20] Today it is the capital of Anambra state of Nigeria. Slogan: "Sires of Smiths"
Awka hosts a number of federal and state
electronic mediastations. The NTA Awka is a federally owned station, while the state government maintains the headquarters of its TV and radio stations Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) in the city center.
However, the base infrastructure of the city has deteriorated in the last decade with poor roads, intermittent electricity and a non-functional water supply system becoming the norm due to tremendous graft at all levels of Nigerian government.
Against this background, trade and business have grown in Awka with banks establishing branches in the town and local entrepreneurs opening up hotels and retail stores.
Nnamdi Azikiwe Universityformerly AnambraState University of Technology has also been overhauled under a new Vice-Chancellor with a new site and building decent buildings.
As a result, the population of the city has exploded in the past few years with a large influx of traders, government employees and private sector businesses creating a boom in new housing and hotel projects. The city's population is currently estimated to be about 176,858.cite web | url=http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?men=gpro&des=gamelan&geo=346410707 | title="The World Gazetteer" | accessdate=2007-02-20]
Several new businesses and hotels have erected fascinating new buildings that have largely changed the face of Awka city. The partly state-owned
Orient Petroleum ResourcesLtd has the headquarters in Awka. The company is poised to set up a refinery at Igbariamto jump-start the exploitation of the huge crude oildeposits in the Anambra Riverbasin.
Notable people from Awka
Kenneth Dike, a historian known for his study of pre-colonial Nigerian history, the first Vice-Chancellor of the first Nigerian University and the person who set up Nigeria's National Archives.
Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy, a London-based visual artist. The first black artist to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II when commissioned to paint the official Golden Jubileeportrait. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/1865633.stm Queen's Jubilee portrait unveiled] , " BBC News", 12 March 2002.] She was chosen as one of the UK Women of the Year in 2002 and 2003, represented the UK at the Council of Europeand was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of East Anglia. During 2006 her work was represented on the national postage stamps of six countries. In 2008 she addressed the Cambridge Union[(http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/yourgallery/artist_profile/Chinwe+Chukwuogo-roy/27490.html)] [(http://www.cambridge-union.org/index.php?page=ZXZlbnQ=&eventid=362)] Chukwuogo-Roy is a regular contributor to BBC and other current affairs programmes.
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