The official name is the Republic of Cameroon (Ripublique du Cameroun, Republic of Cameroon).
Located in Central Africa. The area is 475 thousand km2, the population is 16.1 million people. (2002). The official languages are French and English. The capital is the city of Yaounde (1122.5 thousand people, 2002). Public holiday – Republic Proclamation Day May 20 (since 1972). The monetary unit is the African franc (equal to 100 centimes).
Member of the UN (since 1960), AU (since 1963), associate member of the EU, etc.
Geography of Cameroon
Located between 8° and 16° east longitude and 2° and 13° north latitude. It borders in the northwest with Nigeria, in the north and northeast with Chad, in the east with the Central African Republic, in the south with the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea. In the west it has access to the Atlantic Ocean, the length of the coastline is 402 km. The coast is steep, slightly dissected. There are few natural harbors. Most of Cameroon is a plateau, in the center is the Adamawa Highlands (2740 m). In the southwest is the active volcano Cameroon with a height of 4070 m.
Minerals: oil (70 million tons), natural gas (200 billion m3), bauxite (1.2 billion tons), iron ore (120 million tons), nickel, cobalt, cassiterite (tin-bearing ores), disthene, nipheline syenite, uranium ore (10 thousand tons), limestone, granite, marble. Soils: in the south – red-yellow ferralitic, in the central regions – red, in the north – red-brown and black tropical, in mountainous regions – humus-ferrallitic. The climate in the south is equatorial, in the north it is equatorial-monsoonal. Average monthly temperatures are from +19°С in the south to +33°С in the north. Precipitation falls annually from 500 mm in the north to 10,000 mm on the slopes of Mount Cameroon. The river network is dense and abundant. The main river is Sanaga (belongs to the Congo River basin). In addition to the Sanaga River, Nyong and Ntem flow into the Biafa Bay. In the north, the Benue, Logone and Shari rivers flow, and there is Lake Chad. Tropical forests dominate in the south, savannahs in the north. Fauna: monkeys, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, rhinos, antelopes, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, leopards, St. 750 species of birds, etc.
The population of Cameroon
According to Countryaah, average annual growth rate is 2.18% (2000-02). Population density 34 people. per 1 km2. Birth rate 36%, mortality 12%, infant mortality – 69 people. per 1000 newborns. Life expectancy – 54 years (men – 53; women – 55). Sex and age structure: 0-14 years – 42% (ratio of men and women 1.02); 15-64 years – 55% (1.01); 65 years and older – 3% (0.85). The ratio of men and women in the entire population is 1.01. Among the adult population, 36.5% are illiterate (men – 25%, women – 48%).
Ethnic composition: Bamileke (31%), Beti Fang (19%), Kirdi (11%), Fulbe (10%), Coastal Bantu (8%), Negro Bantu (7%). Of the local languages, the Kikuyu and Luo languages are widely spoken.
40% of the population adhere to traditional beliefs, 40% are Christians, 20% are Muslims.
History of Cameroon
In the 17th-19th centuries. on the territory of modern Cameroon, there were the Mandara Sultanate, feudal Muslim states (lamitads) of the Fulbe, the states of Bali, Duala, Bamum, and others. The penetration of Europeans began in the end. 15th c. Since 1894 Cameroon has been a protectorate of Germany. In 1916, the territory of Cameroon was divided between France and Great Britain, which received, respectively, Eastern and Western Cameroon (in 1946, Great Britain ceded Northern and Southern Cameroon). Since 1922, Eastern and Western Cameroon have been mandated territories, and since 1946, UN trust territories under the administration of France and Great Britain. January 1, 1960 East Cameroon became an independent state. In 1961, following the results of a referendum, the unification of Eastern and Southern Cameroon took place, forming the Federal Republic of Cameroon (since 1972 – the United Republic of Cameroon, since 1984 – the Republic of Cameroon). Northern Cameroon joined Nigeria in 1961. A. Ahidjo was the first president of independent Cameroon in 1961–82 until his resignation. In 1982, P. Biya replaced him in this post. Until 1991, the only and ruling party in the country was the Cameroonian National Union (KNU, since 1985 it has been called the Democratic Union of the Cameroonian People – DOCN). In 1991, under the influence of mass actions of workers, the country’s leadership began to liberalize public life, in particular, the introduction of a multi-party system. In the presidential elections in October 1997, Biya was elected President of Cameroon for the fourth time, the parliamentary elections showed a clear advantage for the DOCS, which received 109 out of 180 seats in parliament, in the June 2002 elections, the DOCS received 149 out of 180 mandates. In recent years, the problem of transition to a federal structure of the republic has become particularly acute.
State structure and political system of Cameroon
In accordance with the Constitution of 1972 (as amended in 1995), Cameroon is a republic. The head of state is the President, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country. The President is elected by universal direct and secret suffrage for a term of 7 years and can be re-elected once. Legislative power is exercised by the National Assembly (180 deputies elected by universal direct and secret suffrage for 5 years). Executive power is exercised by the president and the government, appointed by the president.
Administrative division – 10 provinces. The largest cities: Yaounde, Douala (1239.1 thousand people).
DOCH was founded in 1966 and is a leader in the political arena of Cameroon. The Social Democratic Front (established in 1990), the Democratic Union of Cameroon (operated since 1991), the Movement for the Defense of the Republic (founded in 1991), the National Union for Democracy and Progress (operated since 1991), the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (founded in 1948).
The trade union movement in the country is led by the Confederation of Cameroonian Trade Unions, founded in 1985.
The armed forces number 22,100 people, incl. Ground forces 11.5 thousand people, Navy 1.3 thousand, Air Force 300 people, paramilitary formations 8000.
Cameroon has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on February 20, 1964).
Economy of Cameroon
Cameroon’s GDP is $8.5 billion, or $530 per capita (2001). The average annual GDP growth in 2000–02 was 4.73%. GDP structure: agriculture 44%, industry 20%, services 36%. 70% of the economically active population is employed in agriculture, 13% in industry and trade. Agriculture is the backbone of Cameroon’s economy. The main export crops are cocoa (on average 125,000 tons harvested between 2000 and 2000), coffee (75,000 tons), and cotton (90,000 tons). Sorghum (450 thousand tons), millet (71 thousand tons), corn (600 thousand tons), rice (55 thousand tons) are grown for domestic consumption. Livestock: 4.9 million cattle, 3.8 million sheep, 3.8 million goats, 36,000 donkeys, 1.4 million pigs, and 15,000 horses. t.
The oil-producing, oil-refining, mining, metallurgical and logging industries have been developed (oil production 5.5-6.0 million tons per year, bauxite 1.5-2.0 million tons, commercial timber 2.5-3 million m3, production of petroleum products 1 million tons, production of aluminum ingots 70-72 thousand tons), primary processing of agricultural raw materials, food, light industry.
The railway network has a length of 1104 km, roads 34300 km, incl. 1288 km paved. Waterways – 1090 km. Major ports are Douala-Bonaberi, Garva, Kribi, Tiko. There are 49 airports, incl. 11 modern class.
The economic policy is aimed at the implementation of privatization programs that relate to 134 enterprises, the reduction of the state apparatus and, accordingly, the cost of its maintenance.
Budget (2001): revenues $2.2 billion, expenditures $2.1 billion.
External debt 4.9 billion US dollars, deductions on account of its repayment 12.6% of export earnings (2001).
48% of Cameroon’s population lives below the poverty line. Inflation 2.8% (2002). Unemployment 30% (2001).
Foreign trade turnover 3.6 billion US dollars (2000): exports 2.1 billion dollars (crude oil and oil products, timber, cocoa, aluminum, coffee, cotton); imports of 1.5 billion dollars (machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles, fuel, food products). Main trading partners: for export – Italy (24%), France (18%), the Netherlands (10%); imports – France (29%), Germany (7%), USA (6%), Japan (6%).
Science and culture of Cameroon
Free education has been introduced in state educational institutions. The higher school is represented by 6 universities: the State University in Yaounde (founded in 1962), the Institute of International Relations of Cameroon. (1971), Pedagogical Institute, International Insurance Institute, Development Institute, Enterprise Management Institute. Research work in the country is supervised by the General Committee for Scientific and Technical Research. Cameroonian literature is known by such names as M.Beti, F.-L.Oyono, F.Bebey, B.Ma-tip, F.Sengo-Kuo, E.E.Yondo.