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State

Capital

Cameroon

Yaoundé

Currency unit

CFA franc

Connections

Central

Francophonie

Germans

West Africa

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

Like several other west African countries it stretches across three main climatic zones. The larger part, in the south, is in the forest belt; the northern part reaches into the open grassland savannah. Like Nigeria its neighbor there are two main types of people: the Muslims of the north; and the Christian or Traditionalist people of the south.

This area is believed by some historians to be the dispersion area from where the Bantu people spread to southern and eastern Africa, but others disagree and believe it was further south or west.

In the north are the non-Bantu Fulani.

The Portuguese were at the coast in the 16th century and settled to produce sugar and export slaves. In 1884 the Germans declared a protectorate. They were conquered by the British and French during the first world war. In 1919 the land was divided between the British and French. The League of Nations confirmed this by declaring them as Mandates from 1922. The British mandates were added to their colony of Nigeria. In 1961 after a plebiscite the northern British zone joined Nigeria which was by then independent; the southern part joined the French area which had become independent in 1960. They formed the present republic, first as a federation, then as a unitary state but with two government languages, English and French.

The president on independence, Ahmadou Ahidjo, handed over to the present president Paul Biya in 1982. As in many other territories in Africa there are now calls for political change taking the form of demonstrations.

The people of the English-speaking area feel themselves increasingly neglected and there may in the long run be a secession movement. War between the three different parts is not impossible.

Languages

Bantu langs.

Fulani

Kanuri

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

Until 1990 there was a one party state. However, since then there has been a movement towards multi-party democracy. But it is being resisted by the government and the opposition has claimed that elections have been rigged against them.

The country joined the Commonwealth in 1994? (west Cameroon had been ruled by Britain).

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

Some oil has been found which adds to the other exports of timber as a source of foreign exchange. But the money probably goes into the pockets of the president and his friends (and French companies).

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

The extraction of timber is destroying one of the last areas of rain forest remaining in West Africa. There are international efforts to save part of the rain forest as a Reserve, but it would be better to encourage smaller amounts of extraction and replanting. The danger is that the rest will go.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Climate effects

Last revised 17/12/97


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