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Cameroon Facts

General Facts:

Population: 22.25 million (2013),

Official Languages French,English.

Further  Languages
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. Cameroon is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie.
Kamtok, or Pidgin English, has in many ways been the lingua franca of Cameroon since the 1880s. It is commonly used as a vehicle for enhancing communication in this bilingual country that has approximately 250 native dialects. There are several variations on Kamtok based upon where it is used — in grass fields, in the Catholic Church, in the Francophone areas of the country, in the southwest of the country, and among the Bororo cattle traders.

Capital
Yaoundé

Regions : Douala, Bafoussam, Ebolowa, and Bertoua.

Area: 183,569 mi²

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Beaches

Limbe is a great beach and port city. Previously known as Victoria, it is located on the slopes of Mount Cameroon, where Lava from the great mountain flows directly into the Atlantic Ocean.
Limbe is known as the Town of Friendship. It’s very pretty and surrounded by rolls and rolls of oil palms, which were planted during the colonial days.
The town has many restaurants, nightclubs and hotels located closest to the Atlantic Ocean. The town also has a small botanic garden and a museum, not far away from the garden. These attract visitors from all over.
Limbe is very accessible. It’s connected to Douala and Buea, some of the best towns and cities in the country.
Thousands of people flock to the beach everyday and walk the long stretch of coastline, swim or bask in the beautiful sun. The Sun shines most during the months of November through April and is the best time to visit.
Kribi Beach is also one of the best Cameroon Beaches. It is located in the South Region of the country. It’s famous for it’s beautiful beaches and relaxing atmosphere. It is known that many influential people in the country go there to relax and have fun.
In Kribi, you will find accommodation in almost all price category, the town is fantastic with great surroundings.
The beach shapes people’s daily lives. A waterfall, the Lobe waterfalls flows straight into ocean.

Currency: CFA franc

 

Crime & Security:
High unemployment and an under-equipped police force continue to fuel criminality in Yaounde, Douala, and other towns in Cameroon. An influx of refugees fleeing conflict in the Central African Republic and Nigeria has strained Cameroon’s economy and added population to already crowded urban areas.
Street crime is endemic in major metropolitan areas. Wealthy Cameroonians, expatriates, and members of the diplomatic community continue to be targeted. Persons have been robbed inside and outside their residences, on the street, in restaurants, and in shops. Victims are pickpocketed at virtually all large gatherings and soccer matches. A thief may move in close and place the tip of a knife or other sharp object in the victim’s side, while leading the victim to an isolated location or crowd before taking or demanding money. Thieves often attempt to distract a victim by asking questions or bumping/jostling the victim. While the victim is distracted, an accomplice may snatch a necklace, purse, or wallet. Often, the thieves use knives or razor blades to cut valuables out of pockets or handbags. Thieves routinely use motorcycles as a platform to snatch purses. Theft by intimidation or extortion is another popular street crime.
Generally, November and December witness increased street crime, thefts from vehicles (occupied and unoccupied), residential break-ins, highway banditry, and armed robberies. These crimes are economically-motivated and often involve violence, especially when victims attempt to resist or fight back.

Economy
Cameroon was one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. The drop in commodity prices for its principal exports petroleum, cocoa, coffee, and cotton.In the mid-1980s, combined with an overvalued currency and economic mismanagement, led to a decade-long recession. Real per capita GDP fell by more than 60% from 1986 to 1994. The current account and fiscal deficits widened, and foreign debt grew. Yet because of its oil reserves and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon still has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa.Cameroon’s oil industry is small compared to many other countries. However, oil exports are crucial for the economy and provide around a quarter of the government’s revenues. Natural gas is also becoming important.
Because agricultural exports are important to the economy, any dip in world prices for commodities such as coffee and cocoa can cause serious problems to small-scale growers in Cameroon.

 

Education in Cameroon
There are two secondary models in Cameroon, based on the French and the British school systems, depending on where children live.
However, many parents are unable to afford secondary school fees. For those lucky enough to attend secondary education and gain GCE Advanced Level or Baccaluareate qualifications at the end, there are seven public universities where they can pursue further education. All the universities except one teach in French.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture is the main pillar of Cameroon’s economy. It accounts for 43 % of GDP, employs 70 % of the working population and generates more than one third of total export earnings (Fresh Produce Journal 2004). Main agricultural products include plantains, cattle meat, cocoa beans, taro, bananas, maize, fresh vegetables and groundnuts. Cameroon’s primary export crops are cocoa, cotton, coffee, bananas, rubber and palm oil (FAO, 14.07.2006). The country’s main export partner is the European Union. However, still the bigger part of agricultural activity is confined to subsistence level farming.

The most important cash crops are cocoa, coffee, cotton, bananas, rubber, palm oil and kernels, and peanuts. The main food crops are plantains, cassava, corn, millet, and sugarcane. Palm oil production has shown signs of strength, but the product is not marketed internationally. Cameroon bananas are sold internationally, and the sector was reorganized and privatized in 1987. Similarly, rubber output has grown in spite of Asian competition. Cameroon is among the world’s largest cocoa producers; 130,000 tons of cocoa beans were produced in 2004. Two types of coffee, robusta and arabica, are grown; production was 60,000 tons in 2004. About 85,000 hectares (210,000 acres) are allocated to cotton plantations. Some cotton is exported, while the remainder is processed by local textile plants. Total cotton output was 109,000 tons in 2004. Bananas are grown mainly in the southwest; 2004 estimated production was 630,000 tons. The output of rubber, also grown in the southwest, was 45,892 tons in 2004. Estimated production in 2004 of palm kernels and oil was 64,000 and 1,200,000 tons, respectively. For peanuts (in the shell) the figure was 200,000 tons. Small amounts of tobacco, tea, and pineapples are also grown.

 

Health 

With a severe shortage of medical professionals – there are fewer than two doctors for every 10,000 people – the Cameroonian health system struggles to offer a high level of care.
With a shortage of doctors, health services in Cameroon are often provided by nurses. As well as being trained in basic health care, nurses focus on preventative programmes and education on matters such as hygiene, nutrition and HIV/AIDS.
Adequate funding is lacking, with around 6% of government expenditure spent on health. To improve the availability of services and drugs, a fee-based system was introduced. This allows medical facilities to charge fees for services and treatments.

With a seasonally wet climate in many regions, malaria is a constant threat to health. Children are particularly vulnerable and nearly a fifth of deaths among under-fives are caused by malaria.
Cholera is another killer disease. Epidemics tend to break out during the wet season. Heavy rain or flooding can lead to the contamination of water wells and other drinking sources. A severe outbreak of cholera caused over 700 deaths in 2011. Two specialist treatment centres (in Yaoundé and Maroua) offer free treatment to cholera patients.
In Yaoundé, the government has promised to improve public water facilities for the city’s 2 million inhabitants.

Around 600,000 Cameroonians are infected with HIV, the prevalence of which stands at 4.5 percent, according to UNAIDS statistics. In 2007, the country made antiretroviral (ARV) treatment free, in part to fight a common belief that people with HIV were condemned to death, said David Kob of the National AIDS Control Committee.
People living with HIV/AIDS in Cameroon, which has the highest prevalence of the disease in West and Central Africa, endure widespread stigma, with some facing difficulties obtaining bank loans or suffering mistreatment at hospitals, patients and observers say.

 

Malaria Prevention

Malaria is endemic in Cameroon, where it is the leading cause of morbidity (41%) and mortality (43%). According to the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), malaria accounts for 50–56% of morbidity and 40% of deaths among children less than five years of age. Fifty-nine percent of hospitalizations during pregnancy are due to malaria, and can result in adverse birth outcomes and maternal death.
Malaria constitutes a heavy burden on the health care system and economy. It is responsible for 40–50% of medical consultations and 30–47% of hospitalizations, as well as 40% of household health expenditure and 26% of work absenteeism. The consequent health care costs and loss in productivity result in an estimated annual loss of 1.3% GDP to the national economy. Patterns of malaria transmission vary throughout the country, with stable perennial transmission in the south, unstable seasonal transmission in the mountainous Adamawa region, and short seasonal transmission in the north.
Despite the implementation of malaria prevention and treatment strategies since 2002, coverage of malaria services and commodities lag behind goals for universal coverage. Only 21% of children under five years of age sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs), and the percentage of pregnant women receiving correct and timely interim preventive treatment (IPTp) is estimated to be 26%.your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in West Africa, including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug.

 

Government
Under the constitution of 1996, Cameroon is a unitary republic with an executive president as head of state. Before the constitutional amendment of April 2008, presidential terms were seven years with a maximum of two terms. However, in that month the National Assembly approved an amendment that removed presidential term limits. The president is elected by popular vote.
The president appoints the prime minister, and appoints the cabinet from proposals submitted by the prime minister. The prime minister is head of government, and the government is responsible to the national assembly. The president also appoints the provincial governors, the judges and government delegates in main towns.

 

Climate

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 10,300 millimetres (405 in).

 

Religion

Christian churches and Muslim centres of various denominations operate freely throughout Cameroon. Approximately 70 percent of the population is at least nominally Christian, 20 percent is nominally Muslim and 6 percent practise traditional indigenous religious beliefs.

 

Public Transport

The main international airport is the Douala International Airport and a secondary international airport at Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport. As of May 2014 Cameroon had regular international air connections with nearly every major international airport in West and Southwest Africa as well as several connections to Europe and East Africa.
In 2008 there were 34 airports, only 10 of which had paved runways.

There are paved roads from Douala to Yaoundé, Limbé, Buéa, Bafoussam and Bamenda and between main centres. Other roads are generally poorly maintained and become almost impassable during the rainy season. Many vehicles are poorly lit and badly driven.

 

Languages

Both English and French are official languages, although French is by far the most understood language (more than 80%). German, the language of the original colonisers, has long since been displaced by French and English. Cameroonian Pidgin English is the lingua franca in the formerly British-administered territories. A mixture of English, French, and Pidgin called Camfranglais has been gaining popularity in urban centres since the mid-1970s. The government encourages bilingualism in English and French, and as such, official government documents, new legislation, ballots, among others, are written and provided in both languages. As part of the initiative to encourage bilingualism in Cameroon, six of the eight universities in the country are entirely bilingual. In addition to the colonial languages, there are approximately 250 other languages spoken by nearly 20 million Cameroonians.It is because of this that Cameroon is considered one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. In 2017 there were language protests by the anglophone population against perceived oppression by the francophone. The military was deployed against the protesters and people have been killed, hundreds imprisoned and thousands fled the country.

 

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