Cameroon( Africa )


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Background:
French Cameroon became independent in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon. The following year the southern portion of neighboring British Cameroon voted to merge with the new country to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, a new constitution replaced the federation with a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon. The country has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of President Paul BIYA.
Geography
Location:
Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates:
6 00 N, 12 00 E
Area:
total: 475,440 sq km
land: 472,710 sq km
water: 2,730 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries:
total: 5,018 km
border countries: Central African Republic 901 km, Chad 1,116 km, Republic of the Congo 494 km, Equatorial Guinea 183 km, Gabon 349 km, Nigeria 1,975 km
Coastline:
402 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate:
varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
Terrain:
diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Fako 4,095 m (on Mt. Cameroon)
Natural resources:
petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 13.04%
permanent crops: 2.94%
other: 84.01% (2011)
Irrigated land:
256.5 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
285.5 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
total: 0.97 cu km/yr (23%/10%/68%)
per capita: 58.9 cu m/yr (2005)
Natural hazards:
volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
volcanism: Mt. Cameroon (elev. 4,095 m), which last erupted in 2000, is the most frequently active volcano in West Africa; lakes in Oku volcanic field have released fatal levels of gas on occasion, killing some 1,700 people in 1986
Environment current issues:
waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing
Environment international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography note:
sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa; throughout the country there are areas of thermal springs and indications of current or prior volcanic activity; Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in Sub-Saharan west Africa, is an active volcano
People and Society
Nationality:
noun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian
Ethnic groups:
Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%
Languages:
24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Religions:
indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
Population:
23,130,708
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.9% (male 5,001,984/female 4,927,122)
15-24 years: 19.6% (male 2,286,244/female 2,257,231)
25-54 years: 30.4% (male 3,529,203/female 3,491,125)
55-64 years: 3.9% (male 445,181/female 468,388)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 337,490/female 386,740) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 85.1 %
youth dependency ratio: 79.1 %
elderly dependency ratio: 6 %
potential support ratio: 16.8 (2014 est.)
Median age:
total: 18.3 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 18.4 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.6% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
36.58 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
10.4 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Urbanization:
urban population: 52.1% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3.23% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas population:
Douala 2.449 million; YAOUNDE (capital) 2.432 million (2011)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 55.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.78 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.31 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
690 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 57.35 years
male: 56.09 years
female: 58.65 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.82 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
23.4% (2011)
Health expenditures:
5.2% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density:
0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density:
1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 94.1% of population
rural: 51.9% of population
total: 74.1% of population
unimproved: urban: 5.9% of population
rural: 48.1% of population
total: 25.9% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 61.7% of population
rural: 26.8% of population
total: 45.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 38.3% of population
rural: 73.2% of population
total: 54.8% of population (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
4.5% (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
600,500 (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS deaths:
34,600 (2012 est.)
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
10.3% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
15.1% (2011)
Education expenditures:
3.2% of GDP (2011)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 71.3%
male: 78.3%
female: 64.8% (2010 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2011)
Child labor children ages 5-14:
total number: 1,396,281
percentage: 31 % (2006 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Government
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon
conventional short form: Cameroon
local long form: Republique du Cameroun/Republic of Cameroon
local short form: Cameroun/Cameroon
former: French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon
Government type:
republic; multiparty presidential regime
Capital:
name: Yaounde
geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
10 regions (regions, singular - region); Adamaoua, Centre, East (Est), Far North (Extreme-Nord), Littoral, North (Nord), North-West (Nord-Ouest), West (Ouest), South (Sud), South-West (Sud-Ouest)
Independence:
1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday:
Republic Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
Constitution:
several previous; latest effective 18 January 1996; amended 2008 (2008)
Legal system:
mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage:
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
head of government: Prime Minister Philemon YANG (since 30 June 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from proposals submitted by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (with no term limits per 2008 constitutional amendment); election last held on 9 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: President Paul BIYA reelected; percent of vote - Paul BIYA 78.0%, John FRU NDI 10.7%, Garga Haman ADJI 3.2%, Adamou Ndam NJOYA 1.7%, Paul Abine AYAH 1.3%, other 5.1%
Legislative branch:
bicameral legislature consisting of an upper house or Senate (100 seats; 70 indirectly elected by municipal councils, 30 appointed by the President) and a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - the president can either lengthen or shorten the term of the legislature; a senate was initially designated in 1996 by constitutional amendment but was only convened following a presidential decree in 2013
elections: Senate last held on 14 April 2013 (next to be held NA); National Assembly last held on 30 September 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Senate percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 56, SDF 14; National Assembley percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 148, SDF 18, UNDP 5, UDC 4, UPC 3, other 2
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cameroon (consists of 9 titular and 6 surrogate judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and audit chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 11 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the advice of the Higher Judicial Council of Cameroon (a body chaired by the president and includes the minister of justice, selected magistrates, and representatives of the National Assembly); judge term NA; Constitutional Council members appointed by the president for single 9-year terms
subordinate courts: Parliamentary Court of Justice (jurisdiction limited to cases involving the president and prime minister); appellate and first instance courts; circuit and magistrate's courts
Political parties and leaders:
Cameroon People's Democratic Movement or CPDM [Paul BIYA]
Cameroon People's Party or CPP [Edith Kah WALLA]
Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]
Movement for the Defense of the Republic or MDR [Dakole DAISSALA]
Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO]
National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA]
Progressive Movement or MP [Jean-Jacques EKINDI]
Social Democratic Front or SDF [John FRU NDI]
Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [The PMB, provisionary management bureau]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Human Rights Defense Group [Albert MUKONG, president]
Southern Cameroon National Council [Ayamba Ette OTUN]
International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, C, CEMAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph FOE-ATANGANA (since 12 September 2008)
chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; current temporary address - 3400 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Gregory THOME
embassy: Avenue Rosa Parks, Yaounde
mailing address: P. O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 2220 15 00; Consular: [237] 2220 16 03
FAX: [237] 2220 15 00 Ext. 4531; Consular FAX: [237] 2220 17 52
branch office(s): Douala
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow, with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band; the vertical tricolor recalls the flag of France; red symbolizes unity, yellow the sun, happiness, and the savannahs in the north, and green hope and the forests in the south; the star is referred to as the "star of unity"
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
National symbol(s):
lion
National anthem:
name: "O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancetres" (O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers)
lyrics/music: Rene Djam AFAME, Samuel Minkio BAMBA, Moise Nyatte NKO'O [French], Benard Nsokika FONLON [English]/Rene Djam AFAME
note: adopted 1957; Cameroon's anthem, also known as "Chant de Ralliement" (The Rallying Song), has been used unofficially since 1948 and officially adopted in 1957; the anthem has French and English versions whose lyrics differ
Economy
Economy overview:
Because of its modest oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious problems confronting other underdeveloped countries, such as stagnant per capita income, a relatively inequitable distribution of income, a top-heavy civil service, endemic corruption, and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise. Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. The IMF is pressing for more reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. Subsidies for electricity, food, and fuel have strained the budget. Cameroon has several large infrastructure projects under construction, including a deep sea port in Kribi and the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project. It also recently opened a natural gas powered electricity generating plant. Cameroon must attract more investment to improve its inadequate infrastructure, but its business environment is a deterrent to foreign investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$53.16 billion (2013 est.)
$50.85 billion (2012 est.)
$48.62 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$27.88 billion (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
4.6% (2013 est.)
4.6% (2012 est.)
4.1% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$2,400 (2013 est.)
$2,400 (2012 est.)
$2,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
21.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
21% of GDP (2012 est.)
19.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 65.6%
government consumption: 16%
investment in fixed capital: 21.7%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 31.7%
imports of goods and services: -35%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 20.6%
industry: 27.3%
services: 52.1% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, cassava (manioc, tapioca); livestock; timber
Industries:
petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate:
4.1% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
8.426 million (2013 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
30% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
48% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)
Distribution of family income Gini index:
44.6 (2001)
47.7 (1996)
Budget:
revenues: $5.089 billion
expenditures: $6.28 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
18.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
16.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
16.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.6% (2013 est.)
2.9% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
14% (31 December 2013 est.)
14% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$3.764 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$3.482 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$6.195 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.731 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$2.898 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.772 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$230 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Current account balance:
-$1.461 billion (2013 est.)
-$956.2 million (2012 est.)
Exports:
$6.002 billion (2013 est.)
$6.015 billion (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports partners:
China 15.2%, Netherlands 9.7%, Spain 9.1%, India 8.6%, Portugal 8.1%, Italy 6%, US 5.5%, France 4% (2012)
Imports:
$6.795 billion (2013 est.)
$6.321 billion (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports partners:
China 18.7%, France 14.9%, Nigeria 12.3%, Belgium 5.2%, US 4.4%, India 4.2% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.353 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$3.431 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$3.455 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$3.207 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
Exchange rates:
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per dollar -
500.7 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
495.28 (2010 est.)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)
Energy
Electricity production:
5.761 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity consumption:
5.181 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity imports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
1.115 million kW (2010 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
27.8% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
72.2% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Crude oil production:
63,520 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
55,680 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil imports:
34,220 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
200 million bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
43,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
29,410 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
13,370 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
6,018 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
150 million cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
210 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas exports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas imports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
135.1 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
8.126 million Mt (2011 est.)
Communications
Telephones mobile cellular:
13.1 million (2012)
Telephone system:
general assessment: system includes cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter; Camtel, the monopoly provider of fixed-line service, provides connections for only about 3 per 100 persons; equipment is old and outdated, and connections with many parts of the country are unreliable
domestic: mobile-cellular usage, in part a reflection of the poor condition and general inadequacy of the fixed-line network, has increased sharply, reaching a subscribership base of 50 per 100 persons
international: country code - 237; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
Telephones main lines in use:
737,400 (2012)
Broadcast media:
government maintains tight control over broadcast media; state-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), broadcasting on both a TV and radio network, was the only officially recognized and fully licensed broadcaster until August 2007 when the government finally issued licenses to 2 private TV broadcasters and 1 private radio broadcaster; about 70 privately owned, unlicensed radio stations operating but are subject to closure at any time; foreign news services required to partner with state-owned national station (2007)
Internet country code:
.cm
Internet users:
749,600 (2009)
Internet hosts:
10,207 (2012)
Transportation
Airports:
33 (2013)
Airports with paved runways:
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports with unpaved runways:
total: 22
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Heliports:
Pipelines:
gas 53 km; liquid petroleum gas 5 km; oil 1,107 km; water 35 km (2013)
Railways:
total: 1,245 km
narrow gauge: 1,245 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Roadways:
total: 51,350 km
paved: 4,108 km
unpaved: 47,242 km
note: there are 28,857 km of national roads (2011)
Merchant marine:
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Douala (Wouri); Garoua (Benoue)
oil/gas terminal(s): Limboh Terminal
Military
Military branches:
Cameroon Armed Forces (Forces Armees Camerounaises, FAC), Army (L'Armee de Terre), Navy (Marine Nationale Republique (MNR), includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC), Fire Fighter Corps, Gendarmerie (2013)
Military service age and obligation:
18-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years; the government makes periodic calls for volunteers (2012)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 4,667,251
females age 16-49: 4,548,909 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,794,998
females age 16-49: 2,718,110 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 215,248
female: 211,636 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.42% of GDP (2012)
1.37% of GDP (2011)
1.42% of GDP (2010)
Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
Joint Border Commission with Nigeria reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately ceded sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a full phase-out of Nigerian control and patriation of residents in 2008; Cameroon and Nigeria agreed on maritime delimitation in March 2008; sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 184,536 (Central African Republic); 12,400 (Nigeria) (2014)
Trafficking in persons: