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A virtual guide to Cameroon, the Central African country is located north of the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean). The country is bordered to the west by Nigeria to the south by Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, to the east by the Central African Republic and north-east by Chad, and in north by Lake Chad.
With an area of 475,650 km², it is almost the size of Spain or slightly larger than the US state of California. Its southern and coastal areas are characterized by dense vegetation, a vast river system and a hot, humid climate with abundant rainfall.
Cameroon's highlands in central and west offer a cooler climate and an average altitude of more than 1,100 m, the region is rich in volcanic soils, favorable for agriculture (coffee, vegetable, etc.).
Largest city is Douala, the country's main port and economic capital with its commercial and industrial activities, Yaounde is the second largest city and the political capital of Cameroon.
Other major urban centers are Edea characterized by its heavy industry and its hydro-power plant, Limbe, headquarters of the oil industry and Kribi terminal of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline. English and French are official languages, although French is by far the most understood language.
Elephants in Waza National Park in Far North Region of Cameroon.
Republic of Cameroon | Republique du Cameroun
Flag of Cameroon
Republique du Cameroun (fr)
Republic of Cameroon (eng)
short form: Cameroun/Cameroon
formerly: French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon
ISO Country Code: cm
Local Time = UTC +1h
Actual Time: Sat-Oct-10 04:35
Country Calling Code: +237
Capital City: Yaounde (pop. 1.1 million)
Other Cities: Douala, major seaport and commercial capital (1.3 million), Garoua (424,312), Maroua (409,546), Bafoussam (319,457), Bamenda (321,490), Nkongsamba (166,262), and Ngaoundere (216,300).
Republic; with a strong central government dominated by president.
Independence: 1 January 1960 (for areas formerly ruled by France) and
1 October 1961 (for territory formerly ruled by Britain).
Constitution: 2 June 1972, last amended in January 1996.
Location: Central West Africa bordering the Bight of Biafra (part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean)
Area: 475,650 km² (183,650) sq. mi.).
Terrain: Northern plains, central and western highlands, southern and coastal tropical forests. Highest peak: Mt. Cameroon (13,353 ft.).
Climate: Northern plains, the Sahel region--semiarid and hot (7-month dry season);
Central and western highlands where Yaounde is located--cooler, shorter dry season; southern tropical forest--warm, 4-month dry season; Coastal tropical forest, where Douala is located--warm, humid year-round.
Nationality: Cameroonian(s); French noun and adjective--Camerounais(e).
Population (2010): 19.4 million
Ethnic groups: About 250.
Religions: Christian 53%, Muslim 22%, indigenous African 25%.
Languages: French and English (both official) and about 270 African languages and dialects, including pidgin, Fulfulde, and Ewondo.
Natural resources: Oil, timber, hydroelectric power, natural gas, cobalt, nickel.
Agriculture products: timber, coffee, tea, bananas, cocoa, rubber, palm oil, pineapples, cotton.
Industries: Petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Exports - commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, and cotton.
Exports partners: China 15.2%, Netherlands 9.7%, Spain 9.1%, India 8.6%, Portugal 8.1%, Italy 6%, USA 5.5%, France 4% (2012)
Imports partners: China 18.7%, France 14.9%, Nigeria 12.3%, Belgium 5.2%, USA 4.4%, India 4.2% (2012)
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF)
The name Cameroon is derived from the Portuguese word, Camaroes, meaning shrimps. As Portuguese sailor Ferdanando Poo arrived in 1472 at the Wouri river in Douala and discovered so many shrimps in the river he decided to call it Rio Dos Camaroes (River of shrimps, in Portuguese). It was from this word that the territory derived its name which is now spelt in various forms: Spanish spelt it Cameroes; Germans, Kamerun; English, Cameroon; and French, Cameroun.
The territory was colonized by the Germans in 1884 but after the end of the First World War Cameroon was mandated by the League of Nations to the French and British governments. France took the greater sector, formally known as East Cameroon, while Britain took responsibility over former West Cameroon known then as "Cameroon under British Administration".
On January 1st 1960 the French Sector became independent under the new name of Cameroon Republic. Following agitation for independence by the Southern Cameroons - before the name was changed to West Cameroon - a plebiscite was held in that sector of Cameroon on February 11th 1961 under the United Nations supervision. The result of the plebiscite was overwhelming for reunification (233,571 against 97,741) and gave Southern Cameroon automatic independence and unification, which was achieved on 1 October 1961. Thus after the reunification of both sectors, the Federal Republic of Cameroon was born.
After a referendum in May 1972, Cameroon became a United Republic and by a Presidential Decree of 1984 it became the Republic of Cameroon.
(Source: Cameroon Embassy in the Netherlands)
related countries: France, Germany, United Kingdom
Note: External links will open in a new browser window.
Official Sites of CameroonPresidence de la Republique du Cameroun
The Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon at Unity Palace.
Prime Minister's Office
Official website of the PM and government gateway site.
Assemblée Nationale du Cameroun
The National Assembly
Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
Washington, DC, USA.
The Hague, Netherlands.
Météorologie Nationale du Cameroun
National Meteorological Service Cameroun.
Map of Cameroon
Political map of Cameroon.
Administrative Map of Cameroon
Map showing Cameroon's administrative regions.
Google Earth Cameroon
Searchable map and satellite view of Cameroon.
Google Earth Yaounde
Searchable map and satellite view of Cameroon's capital city.
Map of Africa
Political Map of Africa.
Relief Map of Africa
Shore at Limbe, Southwest Province, Cameroon, with Bioko island (Equatorial Guinea) visible in the distance.
NewsCameroon News (in French)
La Nouvelle Expression
Electronic daily, published in Douala (in French)
Privat, published in Buea.
Monitors Cameroon news and views (in French and English)
Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV)
State run station.
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Arts & CultureThe National Museum of Yaounde
UNESCO site about the museum with its traditional African art collections.
Human Settlements in Cameroon
Traditional Architecture of Cameroon.
Spotlight on the Bakweri Society and Culture.
Culture, music and rites of initiation of the hunters and gatherers of the Central African rainforest.
Official website of Cameroon's national soccer team.
Business & EconomyBecause of its oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many serious problems such as stagnant per capita income, a relatively inequitable distribution of income, a top-heavy civil service, endemic corruption, and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise.
Banque Centrale des Etats d'Afrique Centrale - BEAC
Central Bank of Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
IZF.net, le portail de la Zone Franc CFA
Information about business and investment in the Western African countries within the monetary system of the Franc Zone - CFA. (in French)
Chad/Cameroon Development Project
Site about exploitation of oilfields in southern Chad, by a consortium of oil companies (Esso, Petronas and ChevronTexaco), and the building of a 1,070 kilometer (663 miles) underground pipeline to a marine terminal off the coast of Cameroon.
Energy Information Administration: Chad and Cameroon
Report by the United States Energy Information Administration about Chad's and Cameroon's oil production and the resulting "strong economic growth" of both countries.
Cameroon Airlines Corporation
Camair-Co is serving as the flag carrier of the country, it operates out of Douala International Airport.
Cameroon Airlines was Cameroon's flag carrier, it operated flights in Southern Africa and to France. The company ceased operations in 2008.
Destination Cameroon - Travel and Tour GuidesDiscover Cameroon: accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, biking, skiing, hiking, climbing, cruising, diving, tours and much more.
Tourism in Cameroon
North American Office with information on Tourism in Cameroon.
Office de Tourisme National Camerounais pour l'Europe
European Cameroon Tourism Office (in French).
Cameroon in Brief
by the Cameroon Consulate, Sydney, Australia.
Portal site (in French).
Cameroon comunity site (in French and English).
French language portal site with comprehensive information about the nation.
Images of Tchad and Cameroun by Michel Hasson.
Travel and Tour Consumer Information
EducationASOY American School of Yaoundé
Founded in 1964 primarily for children of American diplomats but it also serves students from all nationalities and religious groups.
Ecole Nationale Superieur Polytechnique ENSP
National Polytechnic School founded in 1971, Yaounde.
University of Douala
The University of Douala is located in Cameroon's largest city.
Université de Yaoundé I and
Université de Yaoundé II - SOA
The Universities of Yaounde are leading institutions of higher education in Cameroon, they will represent one of the five campuses of the new Pan African University (PAU), founded in 2011. (in French)
Environment & NatureCentre pour l'Environnement et le Développement -Yaoundé
Site about the Center, works on sustainable development, mainly with the rural population of the forest zone.
"Conservation et utilisation rationnelle des écosystèmes forestiers d'Afrique centrale".
Site with information about ECOFAC's programme in Cameroon's Dja Wildlife Reserve.
HistoryBrief history and political organization
by the Cameroon Embassy in the Netherlands.
Wikipedia article about Cameroon's History until today.
Colonial Picture Archive
Keyword searchable database of photographs from the German colonial history, the archive covers Namibia, Tanzania, Cameroon, Togo, and other former German colonies.
Rhumsiki landscape in the Far North Province
Cameroon on the net (French)
Additional Information about CameroonAfrica South of the Sahara: Cameroon (by Karen Fung)
Amnesty International: Cameroon Report 2006
BBC News Country Profile: Cameroon
Index on Africa: Cameroon
Open Directory: Cameroon
The World Factbook -- Cameroon
Other Countries of Central Africa
Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville)
Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe
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