|R¨¦publique du Cameroun (French)Republic
|Form of government
||UTC + 1
|Telephone area code
The Republic of Cameroon is located in Central Africa
and borders Nigeria to the west, Chad to the northeast,
the Central African Republic to the east, the Republic
of the Congo to the southeast and south, and Equatorial
Guinea to the south . In the west, the country has a
coastline of around 400 km on the Atlantic(Gulf of
Guinea). With an area of 475,442 km², Cameroon is one
third larger than Germany.
In the center of the country, the Adamaoua plateau
lies at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 m above sea level.
Scattered mountain ranges protrude from the highlands
and reach heights of over 2,000 m. The highest mountain
at 2,679 m is the Muti in the Bambouto Mountains in the
northwest of the country. In the north, the plateau
descends to the Chad basin, in the far north the country
shares in Lake Chad. To the west of the Adamaoua
highlands is a coastal plain up to 130 km wide. In the
northwest, in the immediate vicinity of the coast, is
the still active volcanic massif of the Cameroon
Mountain, at 4,070 m the highest elevation in the
country. The longest of Cameroon's numerous rivers is
the Sanaga, which flows through the highlands from
northeast to southwest and flows into the Gulf of
Yaound¨¦ (Yaound¨¦; 1.3 million residents) inland is
the capital of the country, with more than 1.5 million
residents the most populous city and economic center of
the country is the coastal city of Douala.
The climate in Cameroon is tropical, with the
Adamaoua highlands dividing the country into a
relatively dry north and a humid tropical south. In the
north, the average rainfall amounts to 500 mm annually,
a large part of the rain falls from May to October. The
temperature differences between day and night can be
very pronounced. Rainfall is consistently higher in the
southern part of the country, around 4,000 mm is
measured in the coastal area, and the western slopes of
Cameroon Mountain are among the rainiest areas in the
world with up to 10,000 mm of rainfall. The average
temperatures on the coast are around 25 ¡ã C all year
round, inland the average is around 22 ¡ã C.
Flora and fauna
The southern third of Cameroon belongs to the
tropical rainforest belt. Half of the country is covered
with forests. To the north, the rainforest initially
merges into moist savannah with gallery forests, then in
shrub savannah to the thorn shrub savannah in the north.
Mangrove swamps can be found in the coastal areas.
The large forest areas in Cameroon offer a suitable
habitat for a large number of animal species, whereby
both fauna and flora are increasingly restricted by
logging and the cultivation of cultivated land. Today,
many of the animal species are rarely found outside one
of the 14 protected areas. In Cameroon, elephants,
buffalos, various antelope species, giraffes, warthogs,
lions, leopards, various types of monkeys (gorillas,
chimpanzees, mandrels, vervet monkeys) as well as
pangolins and rhinos are found. Crocodiles and hippos
live on the fish-rich rivers.
Around 16.38 million people from many different
peoples live in Cameroon. There are a total of around
200 ethnic groups, the majority of which belong to the
Bantu (especially in the south of the country) and the
Sudanids. Ethnic groups include the Bamil¨¦k¨¦, Fulbe,
Douala and Tikar. The population density is low and is
around 34 residents per square kilometer, but is very
different regionally. Metropolitan areas are the
southern parts of the country and the coastal areas,
where most of the cities are located, and the savannah
areas in the north of the country. The country's largest
city is Douala on the Gulf of Guinea, followed by the
capital Yaound¨¦ and Garoua (358,000 residents).
The official languages in Cameroon are English and
French, with French mainly being used. Furthermore, over
20 languages from different ethnic groups are spoken.
According to COUNTRYAAH,
about 40% of the population are Christians (mostly
Catholics) and around 20% are Muslims. Natural religions
The standard of living of most of the population is
low, and income is extremely unevenly distributed; half
of the people live in poverty. The medical care of the
population is inadequate, especially outside the larger
cities. Life expectancy is around 48 years, over 40% of
the population are younger than 15 years. Population
growth is high at around 2.1%, despite an infant
mortality rate of 6.8% and an equally high HIV infection
rate. A social security system is emerging, the
expansion of the education system is the declared goal
of the Cameroon government and is beginning to bear
fruit: in the past few years, the literacy rate has
increased from 68 to 79%.
The Republic of Cameroon is a presidential republic
in the Commonwealth based on the French model. The
constitution dates from 1972. The head of state with
far-reaching powers is the president (since November
1982 Paul Biya). He has a seven-year term (direct
election by the people) with unlimited re-election. The
Prime Minister (Phil¨¦mon Yang since June 2009) is
appointed by the President, as is the cabinet on the
proposal of the Prime Minister.
The legislature lies with the National Assembly,
which consists of a chamber with 180 seats. The members
are directly elected by the people for a term of five
years. The President has the right to extend or shorten
the parliamentary term. In accordance with the
constitutional amendment of 1996, a second chamber in
the form of a senate started operating in May 2013. It
has a total of 100 seats for representatives of the
individual regions. 30 of them are appointed by the
President, the rest by indirect election. Cameroonian
citizens get the right to vote at the age of 21.
The legal system is based on the French.
Cameroon is divided into ten provinces.
In the early 1990s, the depletion of oil deposits and
a drop in world market prices initially led to an
economic crisis; various international structural
adjustment and aid programs have now brought some
stability. Nevertheless, the economy remains extremely
dependent on world market prices. About 40% of the
population live below the poverty line.
Agriculture makes up a fifth of GDP; over half of the
population is employed in this sector. Mainly in small
businesses, bananas, jams, cassava, corn, millet, rice
and beans are grown for their own use. Cocoa, coffee,
rubber and cotton are mainly cultivated for export.
Forestry is of great importance. Fishing is important
both for the population's own needs and for export.
The most important raw material in Cameroon is oil,
which accounts for almost two thirds of exports. The
deposits of bauxite, iron ore and natural gas have so
far hardly been exhausted. Industry (one third of GDP)
is geared towards processing agricultural and forestry
products and is to be diversified in the future. Due to
the many rivers in the country, most of the energy
requirements can be covered by hydropower.
The most important trading partners for exports are
the EU countries, especially the Netherlands, France,
Italy and Belgium, as well as China. Food, machinery,
consumer goods and fuel are mainly imported from France,
China and Germany.
The infrastructure is moderately developed, around
1,000 km of rail and 4,300 km of paved road (a total of
approx. 35,000 km) are available. The country's economic
center is the coastal city of Douala, which is the most
important port and the largest of the country's three
The currency is the CFA franc.