Cameroon State Overview

Geography

Cameroon limits to the south with Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, to the south and southeast with the Congo, to the east with the Central African Republic, to the northeast with Chad and to the northwest with Nigeria, to the west it opens onto the Atlantic.

The most important cities are Yaoundé, capital of the state and also of the department of Mefon, located to the south of the central region of the country; Douala, an important port on the West African coast, located near the Wouri River estuary and Nkongsamba, an important agricultural and commercial center.

Relief

In Cameroon, three very different regions are distinguished: the littoral plain, the central plateau with the Adamaua massif to the north, and the north, which includes the Lake Chad basin and the Sahel. Along the coast, the Cameroon massif rises isolated (4,070 m). The coasts are generally low, except in the south, where they are rocky and jagged.

Hydrography

The most important waterways are the Sanaga River and the Nyong River. The Benué, the Logone and the Cari run to the north, forming the border with Chad.

Climate

To the south, the climate is equatorial and in the rest of the territory, tropical, with a greater degree of aridity as you move towards Chad. Temperatures range between 21 and 28ºC with a high percentage of humidity. On the coasts the precipitations are more frequent than in the interior. The dry spells in the south range from December to February and from July to September. To the north, the dry period runs from October to April.

Flora and fauna

Tropical forests are rich in ebony, orchids, and ferns. The savannah is the typical vegetation of the north of the country. Evergreen forests abound in the central region. More than half of the area is made up of forests, and only 13% of the territory is used for cultivation.

The fauna of Cameroon is very diverse and includes buffalo, elephants, hippos, some varieties of antelope, giraffes, chimpanzees, leopards and lions, as well as striking varieties of birds. The 170,000 hectare Waza National Park has important colonies of different species of birds.

Demography

Cameroon has almost 17 million residents, as well as an area of ​​475,442 km2. The country is populated by Sudanese, Bantu, [Bamilekés and Pygmies. All these groups tend to be animists, although there are also minorities of Muslims and Catholics in the country. There is no official religion.

The most important tribes are the Peul, the bases, the bakoto, the bambikil and Kirdis. The population is unevenly distributed across the country. The highest concentrations are found in the central and western areas, while the eastern and southern areas have very low densities.

The official languages are French and English, but the languages and dialects of the different groups are still alive in everyday life, often still steeped in their ancestral beliefs.

Economy

Due to the rapid development of the oil industry and the dynamization of the agricultural sector, Cameroon is among the African countries, one of those that have reached the highest standard of living.

Agriculture has traditionally been the mainstay of the Cameroonian economy. Today it is highly diversified and is developing dynamically. More than 70% of the workforce works in this sector. The main agricultural products are coffee, cocoa, cotton, sugar cane, banana, among others.

As the oil industry gained importance, agricultural production took a back seat and could not maintain the steady growth rate it had achieved. The agricultural sector includes the exploitation of forest wealth and fishing. These two economic activities contribute annually to increase the percentage of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

The main industries in the country include cotton, food and tobacco. This country covers more than 90% of the hydroelectric needs of its territory. But without a doubt, it is the oil discovered in the Rio del Rey, in 1973, the most outstanding element of the Cameroonian economy and the one that has contributed the most to the rapid economic development of this country. Although they run the risk that their reserves will be depleted in a short time. It also has important iron ore deposits estimated in the 1980s at 120 million tons.

Cameroon exports oil, coffee and cocoa to the Netherlands, France and the United States. It also imports electrical and transport equipment, telegraph equipment and telephones from France, Germany and Japan.

Cameroon has 64,905 km of roads and 1,173 km of railways. The country also has 10 airports. The fluvial and maritime communications are quite developed and in the Douala-Bonaberí estuary is the most important port in the country. Tourism is an underdeveloped sector. However, the number of visitors increases every year.

Social development

Health

Medical services are concentrated in the cities. This situation is particularly serious in an eminently rural country. Life expectancy is about 48 years for men and 52 for women.

Education

According to andyeducation, the educational system is the responsibility of the government. At present, education in Cameroon can be public or private, compulsory and free for all school-age children.

In 1972, bilingualism was introduced in the country’s schools. It began with the lowest levels, that is, with children who attended primary schools. Then in 1979 this experience was extended to all other levels.

Primary education begins at six years of age and has a different duration depending on the geographical area in which the school is located. Thus, in the west of the country it lasts for seven years and in the east, six. This is related to the fact that before the country was divided and one part was under French rule and the other under English rule. Secondary education begins at the age of twelve or thirteen and lasts for seven years.

Higher studies can be carried out in the country. In the capital of Cameroon, Yaoundé, there is a university, divided into five faculties. There are also technical and teaching schools.

Culture

The traditional villages are located in the north of the country, in the region of the Mandara Mountains. At present there are a large number of territories that are under the authority of the customary chief, as in the case of chefferies located mainly in the western region, around Bamenda and Foumban.

Cameroon State Overview