CAMEROONIAN Facts & Figures

Size: 475,442 km2

Population: 19,100,000 

Capital: Yaoundé

Currency: Central African CFA franc

Weather / Climate:

Cameroonis sometimes described as "Africa in miniature" because it exhibits all the major climates and vegetation of the continent: mountains, desert, rain forest, savanna grassland, and ocean coastland. Cameroon can be divided into five geographic zones. These are distinguished by dominant physical, climatic, and vegetative features.

The climate varies with terrain, from tropical along the coast to semiarid and hot in the north. Exceedingly hot and humid, the coastal belt includes some of the wettest places on earth. For example, Debundscha, at the base of Mt. Cameroon, has an average annual rainfall of 405 inches (10,287 mm).

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Cameroon is home to 230 languages. These include 55 Afro-Asiatic languages, two Nilo-Saharan languages, and 173 Niger–Congo languages. This latter group is divided into one West Atlantic language (Fulfulde), 32 Adamawa-Ubangui languages, and 142 Benue–Congo languages (130 of which are Bantu languages).[2]

English and French are official languages, a heritage of Cameroon's colonial past as both a colony of the United Kingdom and France from 1916 to 1960. The nation strives toward bilingualism, but in reality, very few Cameroonians speak both French and English, and many speak neither. The government has established several bilingual schools in an effort to teach both languages more evenly.[3] Cameroon is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie.

Most people in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest provinces speak Cameroonian Pidgin English as a lingua franca.[4] Fulfulde serves the same function in the north, and Ewondo in much of the Center, South, and East provinces.[5] Camfranglais (or Frananglais) is a relatively new pidgin communication form emerging in urban areas and other locations where Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonians meet and interact. Popular singers have used the hybrid language and added to its popularity.[6]

There is little literature, radio, or television programming in native Cameroonian languages. Nevertheless, a large number of Cameroonian languages have alphabets or other writing systems, many developed by the Christian missionary group SIL International, who have translated the Bible, Christian hymns, and other materials. The General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages was developed in the late 1970s as an orthographic system for all Cameroonian languages.

Sultan Ibrahim Njoya developed the script for the Bamum language.[5]

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The demographic profile of Cameroon is complex for a country of its population. Cameroon comprises an estimated 250 distinct ethnic groups, which may be formed into five large regional-cultural divisions:

·  western highlanders(Semi-Bantu or grassfielders), including the Bamileke, Bamum (or Bamoun), and many smaller Tikar groups in the Northwest (est. 38% of total population);

· coastal tropical forest peoples, including the Bassa, Duala (or Douala), and many smaller groups in the Southwest (12%);

· southern tropical forest peoples, including the Beti-Pahuin, Bulu (a subgroup of Beti-Pahuin), Fang (subgroup of Beti-Pahuin), Maka, Njem, and Baka pygmies (18%);

·  predominantly Islamic peoplesof the northern semi-arid regions (the Sahel) and central highlands, including the Fulani (French: Peulor Peuhl; Fula: Ful?e) (14%); and

·  the "Kirdi", non-Islamic or recently Islamic peoples of the northern desert and central highlands (18%).

An up-to-date demographic profile is unavailable from the country's government, which hasn't published census data since 1976.

The Cameroon government held two national censuses during the country's first 44 years as an independent country, in 1976 and again in 1987. Results from the second head count were never published. A third census, expected to take years to product results, began on November 11, 2005, with a three-week interviewing phase. It is one of a series of projects and reforms required by the International Monetary Fund as prerequisites for foreign debt relief.

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Cameroonian cuisine is one of the most varied in Africa due to its location on the crossroads between the north, west, and centre of the continent; added to this is the profound influence of French food, a legacy of the colonial era.

The national dish of Cameroon is ndolé, a stew consisting of fish or beef, nuts and bitter greens.

Staple foods in Cameroon include cassava, yam, rice, plantain, potato, maize, beans, and millet. The French introduced French bread and Italian pasta, which are not as widely consumed, however, due to their price. The main source of protein for most inhabitants is fish, with poultry and meat being too expensive for anything other than special occasions. Bush meat, however, is commonly consumed, some of the most sought after species being the pangolin, the porcupine and the giant rat. There is also a thriving trade in such exotic bush meat species as chimpanzee and gorilla.

The soil of most of the country is very fertile and a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, both domestic and imported species, are grown. Common vegetables include tomatoes, bitterleaf, cassava leaves, okra, and garden egg (eggplant).

Among Cameroonian specialties are brochettes (a kind of barbecued kebab made from either chicken, beef, or goat), sangah (a mixture of maize, cassava leaf and palmnut juice) and ndolé (a spicy stew containing bitterleaf greens, meat, shrimp, pork rind, and peanut paste).

Taken from wikipedia

Places to go in CAMEROON


Doing business in CAMEROON

Cameroon's per-capita GDP (Purchasing power parity) was estimated as US$2,300 in 2008,[62] one of the ten highest in sub-Saharan Africa.[63] Major export markets include France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.[26] Cameroon has enjoyed a decade of strong economic performance, with GDP growing at an average of 4 percent per year. During the 2004–2008 period, public debt was reduced from over 60 percent of GDP to 10 percent and official reserves quadrupled to over USD 3 billion.[64] Cameroon is part of the Bank of Central African States (of which it is the dominant economy),[63] the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UDEAC) and the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).[65]

Its currency is the CFA franc. Red tape, high taxes, and endemic corruption have impeded growth of the private sector. Unemployment was estimated at 30% in 2001, and about a third of the population was living below the international poverty threshold of US$1.25 a day in 2009.[66] Since the late 1980s, Cameroon has been following programmes advocated by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce poverty, privatise industries, and increase economic growth.[27]Tourism is a growing sector, particularly in the coastal area, around Mount Cameroon, and in the north.[citation needed]

Cameroon's natural resources are very well suited to agriculture and arboriculture. An estimated 70% of the population farms, and agriculture comprised an estimated 19.8% of GDP in 2009.[26] Most agriculture is done at the subsistence scale by local farmers using simple tools. They sell their surplus produce, and some maintain separate fields for commercial use. Urban centres are particularly reliant on peasant agriculture for their foodstuffs. Soils and climate on the coast encourage extensive commercial cultivation of bananas, cocoa, oil palms, rubber, and tea. Inland on the South Cameroon Plateau, cash crops include coffee, sugar, and tobacco. Coffee is a major cash crop in the western highlands, and in the north, natural conditions favour crops such as cotton, groundnuts, and rice. Reliance on agricultural exports makes Cameroon vulnerable to shifts in their prices.[26]

Livestock are raised throughout the country. Fishing employs some 5,000 people and provides 20,000 tons of seafood each year. Bushmeat, long a staple food for rural Cameroonians, is today a delicacy in the country's urban centres. The commercial bushmeat trade has now surpassed deforestation as the main threat to wildlife in Cameroon.[citation needed]

The southern rainforest has vast timber reserves, estimated to cover 37% of Cameroon's total land area. However, large areas of the forest are difficult to reach. Logging, largely handled by foreign-owned firms, provides the government US$60 million a year, and laws mandate the safe and sustainable exploitation of timber. Nevertheless, in practice, the industry is one of the least regulated in Cameroon.

Factory-based industry accounted for an estimated 29.7% of GDP in 2009.[26] More than 75% of Cameroon's industrial strength is located in Douala and Bonabéri. Cameroon possesses substantial mineral resources, but these are not extensively mined.[27] Petroleum exploitation has fallen since 1985, but this is still a substantial sector such that dips in prices have a strong effect on the economy. Rapids and waterfalls obstruct the southern rivers, but these sites offer opportunities for hydroelectric development and supply most of Cameroon's energy. The Sanaga River powers the largest hydroelectric station, located at Edéa. The rest of Cameroon's energy comes from oil-powered thermal engines. Much of the country remains without reliable power supplies.[citation needed]

Transport in Cameroon is often difficult. Except for the several relatively good toll roads which connect major cities (all of them one-lane) roads are poorly maintained and subject to inclement weather, since only 10% of the roadways are tarred.[26] Roadblocks often serve little other purpose than to allow police and gendarmes to collect bribes from travellers.[67] Road banditry has long hampered transport along the eastern and western borders, and since 2005, the problem has intensified in the east as the Central African Republic has further destabilised.[68]

Intercity bus services run by multiple private companies connect all major cities, although intercity buses rarely depart on schedule, but rather wait until all the available tickets are sold. They are the most popular means of transportation followed by the rail service Camrail. Rail service runs from Kumba in the west to Bélabo in the east and north to Ngaoundéré.[citation needed]

International airports are located in Douala and Yaoundé. The airport at Bamenda is now closed. The Wouri estuary provides a harbour for Douala, the country's principal seaport. In the north, the Bénoué River is seasonally navigable from Garoua across into Nigeria.[citation needed]

Although press freedoms have improved since the first decade of the 21st century, the press is corrupt and beholden to special interests and political groups.[69] Newspapers routinely self-censor to avoid government reprisals.[30] The major radio and television stations are state-run and other communications, such as land-based telephones and telegraphs, are largely under government control.[70] However, cell phone networks and Internet providers have increased dramatically since the first decade of the 21st century[71] and are largely unregulated.[31]

Taken from wikipedia

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