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Cameroon

Cameroon lies in the western region of Africa. Bordering the Bight of Biafra, Cameroon lies next to Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Chad. In 1961, Cameroon gained independence when French Cameroun and British Cameroon united to form the modern state of Cameroon. Since gaining independence, Cameroon has struggled form a one-party system to a multi-party system. Politically, Cameroon remains stable. The country has experienced development and investment in agriculture, education, health care, transportation as well as the petroleum industry. Cameroon also has one of the highest literacy rates on the African continent. Many say that Cameroon is

Africa in miniature. That is because Cameroon is home to everything that the African continent has. For example, the southern region is home to tropical rainforests and deserted golden beaches and the northern parts have large areas of desert, lakes and savannah. The rest of the country has everything from volcanic mountains to wildlife. Cameroon has various national parks from the Kalamaloué Reserve to the Korup National Park, which is known as Africa’s richest and most biologically diverse rainforest. The capital city of Cameroon, Yaoundé, stands of seven hills.  It is filled with markets, modern hotels, shops and cinemas. Museums include the Musée des Bénédictins and the National Museum of Yaoundé, all showcasing Cameroon’s arts and crafts. An enticing feature of Yaoundé is Mont Fébé, a mountain overlooking the city. This area is now a resort, with a luxury hotel. Everyone can enjoy the excellent climate that this high altitude offers.  Douala is Cameroon’s largest city and industrial centre. It is known for its Mount Cameroon (4095 m; West Africa’s highest mountain and Africa’s highest active volcano), shopping avenues, the Artisanat National, which is a craft and souvenir market, as well as the museum and harbor of this port city. Although the major spoken languages are French and English, Cameroon has over 200 ethnic languages and a number of tribes. The most popular Cameroonian music is makossa; a popular dance rhythm which is adaptable to a variety of instruments.
CATEGORIES: Demographics - Quick Facts - Economy - Communications - Health Issues
Demographics
Country Flag: Cameroon's Flag

Three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia

Nationality: Cameroonian

Capital: Yaoundé

Population: 17,340,702 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 41.2%
  • 15-64 years: 55.5%
  • 65 years and over: 3.2% (2006 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.04% (2006 est.)

Literacy rate:

  • ages 15 and above can read and write.
  • 79% of the population is literate (male: 84.7%, female: 73.4%) (2003 est.)

Major religions: indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%

Languages: English (official), French (official), 24 major African language groups

Quick Facts
Area:
  • total: 475,440 sq km
  • land: 469,440 sq km
  • water: 6,000 sq km

Area comparative to Canadian province: slightly smaller than the Yukon Territory

Natural resources: petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower

Environmental Issues: waterborne diseases are common; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing

Economy

Cameroon’s economy is defined as one of sub-Saharan Africa’s best primary commodity economies due to its oil resources and good agricultural conditions. However, Cameroon also needs to address economic problems such as improving the climate for business enterprise. The government has been part of IMF and World Bank programs since 1990, designed to improve business investment, efficiency in agriculture as well as trade. Cameroon’s economy remains highly affected by the international oil and cocoa prices.

Major industries:

  • textiles
  • petroleum production and refining
  • aluminum production
  • food processing
  • light consumer goods
  • lumber
  • ship repair

Agricultural products:

  • cotton
  • coffee
  • cocoa
  • rubber
  • bananas
  • oilseed
  • grains
  • root starches
  • livestock
  • timber

Oil production: 82,300 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Railways: 1,008 km

Road map: 80,932 km (paved: 5,398 km, unpaved: 75,534 km)

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc

Communications

Telephone lines in use: 110,900 (2002)

Cellular lines in use: 1,536,600 (2004)

Television Stations: 1 (2002)

Radio Stations: AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (2002)

Internet users: 167,000 (2005)

Health Issues

HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 6.9% (2003 est.)

People living with HIV/AIDS: 560,000 (2003 est.)

More Information

For more informaiton, please visit:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/cm.html