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A virtual guide to Cameroon. Get an overview of Cameroon's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and its government.
Beside a country profile with facts and figures, this page offers maps, statistics, weather information, and links to sources that provide you with information about this West central african nation, e.g.: official web sites of Cameroon, addresses of Cameroonian and foreign embassies, domestic airlines, local news, city- and country guides with extensive travel and tourism information on accommodation, tourist attractions, events and more.

Rhumsiki landscape
Rhumsiki landscape © mintur
 

Republic of Cameroon | Republique du Cameroun

Country Profile



Cameroon Flag
Flag of Cameroon

Background:
The name Cameroon is derived from the Portuguese word, Camaroes, meaning shrimps. A Portuguese sailor Ferdanando Poo in 1472 arrived at the River Wouri in Douala and discovered so many shrimps in the river that he decided to call it Rio Dos Camaroes (River of shrimps, in Portuguese)... It was from this word that the territory derived is 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 in1884 and after the end of the 1914-1918 war, Cameroon was mandated by the Ligue 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 01st 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 which was overwhelming for reunification (233,571 against 97,741) gave Southern Cameroons automatic independence and unification, which was achieved on October 01st 1961. Thus after the reunification of both sectors, the Federal Republic of Cameroon was born.
After a May 20,1972 referendum, Cameroon became a United Republic and by a Presidential Decree of 1984 it became the Republic of Cameroon.
(Source: Cameroon Embassy in the Netherlands)

border countries: Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) , Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria

related countries: France, Germany, United Kingdom
 
where in Africa is Cameroon?

Official Names:
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

Time:
Local Time = UTC +1h
Actual Time: Fri-Mar-27  21:50

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).


Government:
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.

Geography:
Location: Central West Africa bordering the Bight of Biafra (part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean)
Area: 475,000 km² (184,000) 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.

People:
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.
Literacy: 75%

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 partners: Spain 17.2%, Italy 13.7%, France 9.4%, South Korea 8.1%, UK 8%, Netherlands 7.8%, Belgium 4.8%, USA 4.3% (2005)

Imports partners: France 25%, Nigeria 12.5%, Belgium 6.6%, China 5.8%, USA 5.3%, Thailand 4.7%, Germany 4.4% (2005)

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Cameroon

Presidence 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


Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
Washington, DC, USA.
Cameroon Embassy
The Hague, Netherlands.
Cameroon Consulate
Sydney, Australia


Weather
Météorologie Nationale du Cameroun
National Meteorological Service Cameroun.


Maps

Map of Cameroon
Political map of Cameroon.
Administrative Map of Cameroon
Map showing Cameroon's administrative regions.

Google Earth Google Earth Cameroon
Searchable map and satellite view of Cameroon.
Google Earth Google Earth Yaounde
Searchable map and satellite view of Cameroon's capital city.

Map of Africa
Political Map of Africa.
Relief Map of Africa
 

News

Cameroon News (in French)
Cameroon-Info.Net
Cameroon Tribune
La Nouvelle Expression
Le Messager
Electronic daily, published in Douala (in French)

English-language News
The Post
Privat, published in Buea.

Postwatch
Monitors Cameroon news and views (in French and English)

Radio/TV
Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV)
State run station.
 

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Arts & Culture

The National Museum of Yaounde
UNESCO site about the museum with its traditional African art collections.
Human Settlements in Cameroon
Traditional Architecture of Cameroon.

Native
bakwerirama
Spotlight on the Bakweri Society and Culture.
Baka Pygmies
Culture, music and rites of initiation of the hunters and gatherers of the Central African rainforest.

Sports
CamLions
Official website of Cameroon's national soccer team.
 

 

Business & Economy

Because of its oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa.

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.


Transportation
Cameroon Airlines Corporation
Camair-Co is serving as the flag carrier of the country, it operates out of Douala International Airport.
Cameroon Airlines
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 Guides

Discover 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.

Camerounlink
Portal site (in French).
CameroonOnline.org
Cameroon comunity site (in French and English).
cameroun-plus.com
French language portal site with comprehensive information about the nation.
Photothèque Tchad-Cameroun
Images of Tchad and Cameroun by Michel Hasson.
 

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

 

Education

ASOY 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 (server not responding).

Universities
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 & Nature

Centre pour l'Environnement et le Développement -Yaoundé
Site about the Center, works on sustainable development, mainly with the rural population of the forest zone.
ECOFAC
"Conservation et utilisation rationnelle des écosystèmes forestiers d'Afrique centrale".
Site with information about ECOFAC's programme in Cameroon's Dja Wildlife Reserve.
 
 

History

Brief history and political organization
by the Cameroon Embassy in the Netherlands.
Cameroon History
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.
 
 
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Other Countries of Central Africa
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Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe