History refers to the study of past events, present situation and prediction of the future or it is the study of changes in the process of material production. It’s the record of human activities which enable man to survival and attain essential needs from the environment. The basic needs of humankind include food shelter and clothing. Due to social, political, cultural, economic and technological transformations humankind’s activities have to change from time to time. Actions taken against nature aim to change natural objects into conditions that can satisfy human needs; these activities against nature are what we call material production. Material production includes can be observed in sharpening of sticks to make a spear, digging trenches to trap wild animals and many more. Studying history is important because of the following reason’s:-
(1) It allow us to Understand how African societies were formed, how they developed and the factors that influenced this development. It also allows us to develop an understanding of the events, conditions and factors that shaped the past and those which have shaped the present conditions of the world in order to predict the future.
(2) Historical knowledge makes the present comprehensive which is why journalists and writers of sensational stories spend some time explaining the history of a particular incident; it is only when one knows the past of a person or an incident that the present can became meaningful.
(3) Develop an understanding and appreciation of the cultural, political, economic and technological advancements made by African societies before and after colonial rulership.
(4) Developthebasic skills of critical thinking, reasoning, judgment, empathy and effective participation in human developmental activities. Studying history also helps us to understand and appreciate the efforts made and strategies used by African people to regain their independence and resist neo-colonialism.
(5) Develop, understand and appreciation the need for African unity, cooperation and interdependence, conflict resolution and effective participation in social, economic and political development of Africa. It also helps us to develop an understanding of the relationships between African’s development problems and foreign intrusion, colonial domination, cultural subjugation and economic exploitation at various stages in history.
(6) Acquire knowledge for its own sake as you enjoy a novel with fiction, a film with an interesting plot. It is not clear why people are interested in these ventures and in the same way people do enjoy to know the history of particular topics.
(7) Develop our patriotism, history students know their heroes and heroines and traitors. This make history a sensitive subject in places where political leaders are not sure of their legitimacy.
(8) Enlightens people about the advantages of certain economic practices for example, the way the development in the world today is measured by the industrial revolution that took place in Europe in 1750.
(9) Understand the level of development at different stages of human development. Without history it is very difficult to determine or to tell what humans were doing in the past. Therefore, it is through history that one can extensively understand the level of development that humans have reached at in a given period in time.
(10) Helps us learn about technological transformations, for example primitive livelihood to advanced livelihood (using of stones and wood tools to iron tools).
(11) Understand how humans adapted to their environment and how the struggled to earn a living from the environment. This therefore looks at the long struggle of man by exercises of his reason to understand the environment and to act up on it.