Igbo Numerical System and Mathematics: Towards Harnessing Potential for Business, Governance, Science and Technology

BonaChristus Umeogu, Chukwuemeka Nelson Etodike, Ifeanyichukwu Jude Onebunne, Ifeoma Caroline Ojiakor


This study explored the nature of Igbo numerical system and mathematics towards harnessing its potential for business, governance and science and technology. Like other civilizations, Igbo mathematics evolved from its numerical system which is aboriginally vegesimal number system (of base 20). The Igbo number system was advanced because it has number names for all the numbers within its vegesimal system although the numerals were not symbolized. Outside its general and conventional use, the Igbo numbers do have social and religious implied meaning which influenced the use of the numbers and the people. The cultural influence of this number system to a large extent determined the utility and application of same in mathematical principles and later in its outcome as human development. Some humanistic aspects were implicated such as business enterprise, governance and science and technology as areas where the application potentials of indigenous numerical system and mathematical expressions in daily usage and science can be harnessed for greater benefits.


Ibo mathematics; Ethno-mathematics; Traditional Igbo number system; Governance; Science and technology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11052


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