Geography of Cameroon
Cameroon is located between West and Central Africa, North of the Atlantic Ocean (the Gulf of Guinea). It is bordered to the west by Nigeria, to the south by Congo Brazzaville, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, to the east by Central Africa Republic, and in the north by Chard. It has a surface area of 475,650KM² almost the size of Spain and slightly larger than the US state of California. The country’s population is 23,600,031 people as of 1st January 2016. Average yearly temperature is 27ºC; highest temperature is 30ºC in January and February, with the coldest 20ºC in the month of August. The highlands in the central and western part of the country offers a cooler climate and an average altitude of more than 1,100m, with very rich volcanic soils, favorable for agriculture especial for crops such as cocoa coffee, rubber, banana, palm, vegetable, etc. Its southern and coastal areas are characterized by dense vegetation, a vast river system and a hot, humid climate with abundant rainfall.
Cameroon is divided in 10 regions, headed by 10 main cities. Largest city is Douala, the country’s main port and economic capital with its commercial and industrial activities, Yaoundé is the second largest city and the political capital of Cameroon. Other major urban centers are Edea characterized by its heavy industries like the Aluminum industry and hydro-power plants, Limbe, where you have the main oil refinery SONARA headquarters of the oil industry, and Kribi terminal of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline.
THE 10 REGIONS OF CAMEROON AND THEIR HEAD CITIES
Economy of Cameroon
The economy of Cameroon is the largest in CEMAC zone. It Economic capital is Douala where the main industrial ports are found. It has an encouraging economic growth rate of 5.4% as of 2015 with a forecast of 5.6% in 2016. The government of Cameroon is highly engage in projects to carry the economy to emergence by 2035. with this goal, there are ongoing major economic reforms put in place to attract both home and foreign investors. There are also giant infrastructural and industrialize projects in the country such as the Kribi deep sea port, Lom Panga hydro electric dam, Douala-Yauonde auto-route, the second bridge over the wouri river, and many others. Main export revenue comes from oil and agriculture. Main Natural resources include Oil, timber, hydroelectric power, natural gas, cobalt, nickel. Main agricultural products are coffee, cocoa tea, bananas, rubber, palm oil, cotton.etc. Main Industries are Petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, timber, ship repair. Exports commodities are crude oil and petroleum products, timber, cocoa beans, aluminum, banana, palm oil, coffee, and cotton. Cameroon exports partners are; China 15.2%, Netherlands 9.7%, Spain 9.1%, India 8.6%, Portugal 8.1%, Italy 6%, USA 5.5%, France 4% (2012) Imports partners: China 18.7%, France 14.9%, Nigeria 12.3%, Belgium 5.2%, USA 4.4%, India 4.2% (2012).
Source: African Economic Outlook (2016)
Culture and Ethnic Relations in Cameroon
Cameroon is home of distinct variety of ethnic groups as well as socio-political, Linguistic and religious variety. The country has over 250 diverse ethnic groups with very rich interesting culture and traditions. Cameroon has two official languages; English and French. The North and South West regions of the country speak English and the rest of the other eight regions are French Speaking. The English Speaking region is divided into two main ethnic people; the Bamenda Grassfield people in the North West region and the Coastal people in the South West region. The Grasfield has over 100 chiefdom each ruled by a divine king (fon) notably, Bafut, Bali, Nsoh, etc. The Coastal people in the South West Region are less hierarchical compared to those in the Grassfield. The coastal chiefs are appointed by the local government, notably the Bakweri in the slope of Mount Cameroon, Bakossi, Manyu, etc.
The dominant French speaking region is inhabited by the Beti people which include; Ewondo, Duala, Bulu, Gbaya and Bassa people in Littoral, Centre, East and South. Cameroon. Also, the western grasslands is the Bamum Kingdom ruled by a sultan and peculiar for their art work and their beautiful Foumban palace and the Bamilekes tribe in the Western highlands Known for business and agricultural skills. Those from the centre, southern, eastern, western and and northwestern part of Cameroon are of Christian domination. The East Region is also home for Baka; the pygmies typically known for their forest life in the tropical forest in this region. the Northern Region in the French part of Cameroon is dominantly the Muslim Fulani cattle grazers with their common Bororos, Kokotos, Hausas, and Arab Choas.
By Mufuh Ramiro