In the 17th century the Ibo Island was the capital of a large area in the east coast and east mainland of Africa. At that time, this area was dominated by the Portuguese, from the centre of their Oriental Colonial Empire: Goa.
Its strategic location allowed the Portuguese to control the Arab trading that existed then in the region.
Other Europeans, such as the Dutch and the French, made several attempts to conquer the island. Consequently, in the late 18th century (1791) the Saint John Baptist Fortress was built.
This military and commercial evolution attracted people from different parts of the world to this small island in the Indic Ocean, as it can be seen, still today, by its mixed population.