CAMEROON

Date of establishment: January 1, 1960

Brief history:

  • Pre-Colonial Period: Cameroon was home to various ethnic groups and kingdoms, including the kingdoms of Bamum, Duala, and others.
  • German Colonization (1884-1916): Germany gained control of Cameroon in 1884. Infrastructure projects were developed during this time, but there was also repression and the exploitation of indigenous labor.
  • Mandate period (1916-1960): After the First World War, Cameroon was divided between Great Britain and France. The French part was known as French Cameroon, while the British part was known as British Cameroon. During this time, both parts were under colonial rule, which affected the culture and society of Cameroon.
  • Independence (1960): French Cameroon gained independence on 1 January 1960, becoming the Republic of Cameroon. British Cameroon was divided between Cameroon and Nigeria.
  • Federation and Independence of the Southern Cameroons (1961): the Southern Cameroons gained independence on 1 October 1961 and formed a federation with the Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, a new constitution was adopted, which saw the name changed to the Republic of Cameroon.
  • Political Development: After independence, the state went through several political changes and periods of political instability. Including the government of President Paul Biya and his long reign that started in 1982.

 

International abbreviation: CM

 

Currency: Central African CFA franc

The Central African franc is the common currency for several African states that are members of the Economic and Monetary Union of Central African States (CEMAC) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The Central African CFA franc is divided into 100 centimes.

 

Internet domain: .cm

 

Dialing code: + 237

 

Time zone: GMT +1

 

Geography:

Cameroon has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean on the western side of the country, and it is the location of Douala, which is one of the largest cities and economic centers of Cameroon.

The country includes several mountain ranges. The most important of them is the Adamawa, which is located in the central part. Further to the west is the Bamboutos mountain range and to the north the Mandara mountain range.

It has many lakes, the largest of which is Lake Chad in the north of the country. Other important lakes are Léko, Nyos, and Mfou.

The country is crisscrossed by many rivers, the largest and most important of which is the Sanaga, which flows through the central part of the country and empties into the Atlantic. Other important rivers are the Benue, Logone, and Chari. The eastern and southern parts are covered with savannah and rainforest.

The northern part includes the desert and steppe areas that extend around Lake Chad and are a landscape ideal for pastoralism and the traditional ways of life of the local people.

 

Highest peak: Mount Cameroon 4 095 m (13 435 feet) above sea level.

Mount Cameroon is a stratovolcano located in the western part of the country, near the Atlantic coast. This volcano is one of the highest mountains on the African continent outside of the Rwenzori and Kilimanjaro mountain systems. It is also the only active volcano in West Africa.

The area is surrounded by rainforest and is home to abundant fauna and flora. Climbing Mount Cameroon is popular with climbers and hikers.

 

Climate:

The coastal region in Cameroon has a tropical maritime climate with high humidity and rainfall throughout the year. Average temperatures range from 24°C (75°F) to 28°C (82°F). The area has two main rainy seasons – the short rains from March to June and the long rains from September to November. The central region also has a tropical climate with significant rainy seasons.

The eastern and southern parts are savannah areas with dry and rainy seasons. Average temperatures can range from 24°C (75°F) to 30°C (86°F). The northern part is a dry desert and steppe region with high daytime temperatures that can exceed 40°C (104°F) and low rainfall.

The summit of Mount Cameroon has a cooler climate with low temperatures and frequent precipitation, including snow on the higher peaks.

 

Fauna and flora:

In the northern steppes of Cameroon, there are many camels, which are used for transport and as a source of food.

The country is home to African elephants that inhabit forests and savannah. Protecting these elephants is a key task of conservationists. Leopards and lions live mainly in savannah.

You can find different types of parrots and colorful birds in the rainforests. The pangolin, which lives there, is a small, unusual mammal that is known for its hard, scaly skin and its ability to curl up into a ball when it feels threatened.

The eastern and southern parts are home to extensive tropical rainforests that include various types of trees, vines, and exotic plants. The northern part is characterized by dry savannah with grass, acacia, and other plant species adapted to dry conditions. Baobabs are very common in the savannah and are known for their imposing trunks. Palm trees grow in the coastal area, which play an important role in the country’s economy. Cameroon is known for its rich population of orchids, which grow in the rainforest and are popular flowers.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops grown in Cameroon include maize, cassava, bananas, sorghum, sweet potatoes, rice, cocoa, coffee, and oil palm. Cocoa is especially important in terms of the economy, and the country is one of the largest producers of cocoa in the world. Bananas are an important product of Cameroonian agriculture and are exported to Europe and other regions.

Livestock breeding also plays an important role. Farmed animals include cattle, goats, sheep, poultry (chickens and ducks) and pigs.

The country has many plantations, mainly for growing palm oil and rubber. Many rural residents still engage in traditional agriculture, which involves growing crops on small farms and raising livestock for their own consumption.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Cameroon has significant oil and natural gas reserves. The largest oil deposit in the country is in the Lake Chad basin.

It is one of the main African timber producers. Logging is an important economic activity, especially in the rainforests of the eastern and southern parts of the country. There are reserves of bauxite, which is a raw material used to produce aluminum. It has diamond reserves that are mined in some regions of the country. Gold mining is also carried out in some parts of Cameroon.

 

Industry:

It is one of the main African wood producers and exporters. The woodworking industry includes the harvesting of wood and its processing into wood products such as decking, veneers, and furniture. The food industry processes foods such as bananas, cocoa, coffee, oilseeds, and other crops.

The textiles industry includes the production of clothing and textile products for the domestic market. The state has reserves of various minerals, including bauxite, iron ore, manganese, and zinc. Construction and building materials are in demand due to the rapid growth of urban centers such as Douala and Yaoundé.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: tourism, services, and transport

 

Natural and historical attractions: Ekom Nkam and Lobé waterfalls, Dja and Lobéké national parks and reserves, Mount Cameroon, and the Mandara Mountains

Cameroon offers a wide range of natural beauty, including tropical rainforests, mountain ranges, lakes, and coastal beaches. Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in West Africa, attracts climbers and hikers.

The savannah areas are home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, lions, and giraffes. National parks such as Waza National Park are ideal for safaris.

The country has beautiful coastal areas with beaches and opportunities for water sports. The town of Limbe is famous for its black sand beaches.

 

Waterparks in Cameroon:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The main executive power lies with the president, who is the head of state and government. The president is directly elected for a seven-year term and can be re-elected only once. The president appoints the prime minister, who heads the government. Ministers are appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister.

Cameroon is a unitary state but has a federal structure that includes 10 regions with their own governors. This arrangement allows for a certain degree of autonomy for the regions within the federation.

Legislative power is exercised by a bicameral parliament consisting of the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) and the Senate. Members of the National Assembly are elected for five-year terms, while senators are elected for ten-year terms.

The country’s judiciary is independent and includes the Constitutional Court, the Court of Justice, and the general courts. The court system is based on a combination of civil law, common law, and some aspects of French and English law.

 

Capital city: Yaoundé

It is located in the central part of the country and lies approximately 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of the Atlantic coast.

The city is an important center in the country, and as the capital it has played and still plays a key role in the political, economic, and cultural life of the country.

 

Area: 475 442 km2 (183 569 square miles)

 

Population: 29 400 000 (2022)

Cameroon has more than 250 different ethnic groups. Among the largest are the Bamileke, Fulbe (also known as Fulani), Duala, Tikar, Ewondo, Beti-Fang, and Bantu. Each of these groups has its own language, culture, and traditions. More than 250 different languages and dialects are spoken here. The official languages are French and English, but there are also many other indigenous languages. French is the predominant language in most of the country, while English is used in the Anglophone regions in the west.

The country has a diverse religious community. The main religions are Christianity, Islam and traditional African religions. Islam is most widespread in the northern regions of the country.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 2

 

  1. Dja Reserve (1987) – One of the largest, best protected and preserved rainforests in Africa.
  2. Sangha Trinational (2012) – Three national parks on the triple border of the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Congo with a combined area of more than 750,000 ha.

 

National parks: 20

 

  1. Bakossi National Park
  2. Bénoué National Park
  3. Bouba Njida National Park
  4. Boumba Bek National Park
  5. Campo Ma’an National Park
  6. Deng Deng National Park
  7. Douala Edéa National Park
  8. Faro National Park
  9. Kimbi-Fungom National Park
  10. Korup National Park
  11. Lobéké National Park
  12. Mbam Djerem National Park
  13. Mbéré Valley National Park
  14. Mount Cameroon National Park
  15. Mozogo-Gokoro National Park
  16. Mpem and Djim National Park
  17. Nki National Park
  18. Takamanda National Park
  19. Tchabal Mbabo National Park
  20. Waza National Park