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Introduction - Cameroon:
BackgroundThe former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon merged in 1961 to form the present country. Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite a slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of an ethnic oligarchy headed by President Paul BIYA.
Location - Cameroon:
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates6 00 N, 12 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 475,440 sq km
land: 469,440 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
Area comparativeslightly larger than California
Land boundariestotal: 4,591 km
border countries: Central African Republic 797 km, Chad 1,094 km, Republic of the Congo 523 km, Equatorial Guinea 189 km, Gabon 298 km, Nigeria 1,690 km
Coastline402 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climatevaries with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
Terraindiverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
Elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Fako 4,095 m (on Mt. Cameroon)
Natural resourcespetroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land usearable land: 12.54%
permanent crops: 2.52%
other: 84.94% (2005)
Irrigated land260 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsvolcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
Environment current issueswaterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing
Environment international agreementsparty 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 notesometimes 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 - Cameroon:
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 41.3% (male 3,763,332/female 3,695,053)
15-64 years: 55.5% (male 5,029,658/female 4,994,786)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 266,616/female 310,937) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.9 years
male: 18.7 years
female: 19 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate2.241% (2007 est.)
Birth rate35.07 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate12.66 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.018 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.007 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.857 male(s)/female
total population: 1.007 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 65.84 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 70.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 60.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 52.86 years
male: 52.15 years
female: 53.59 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate4.49 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate6.9% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids560,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths49,000 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified among birds in this country or surrounding region; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2007)
Ethnic groupsCameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%
Religionsindigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
Languages24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.9%
male: 77%
female: 59.8% (2001 est.)
Government - Cameroon:
Country nameconventional 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 typerepublic; multiparty presidential regime
Capitalname: Yaounde
geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions10 provinces; Adamaoua, Centre, Est, Extreme-Nord, Littoral, Nord, Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Ouest
Independence1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holidayRepublic Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
Constitution20 May 1972 approved by referendum, adopted 2 June 1972; revised January 1996
Legal systembased on French civil law system, with common law influence; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage20 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
head of government: Prime Minister Ephraim INONI (since 8 December 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from proposals submitted by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 11 October 2004 (next to be held by October 2011); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: President Paul BIYA reelected; percent of vote - Paul BIYA 70.9%, John FRU NDI 17.4%, Adamou Ndam NJOYA 4.5%, Garga Haman ADJI 3.7%
Legislative branchunicameral 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
elections: last held 23 June 2002 (next to be held in 22 July 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RDCP 133, SDF 21, UDC 5, other 21
note: the constitution calls for an upper chamber for the legislature, to be called a Senate, but it has yet to be established
Judicial branchSupreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); High Court of Justice (consists of nine judges and six substitute judges, elected by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leadersCameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]; Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement or RDCP [Paul BIYA]; Movement for the Defense of the Republic or MDR [Dakole DAISSALA]; Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO]; Movement for the Youth of Cameroon or MYC [Dieudonne TINA]; National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA]; Social Democratic Front or SDF [John FRU NDI]; Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Augustin Frederic KODOCK]
Political pressure groups and leadersSouthern Cameroon National Council [Ayamba Ette OTUN]; Human Rights Defense Group [Albert MUKONG, president]
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Jerome MENDOUGA
chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Niels MARQUARDT
embassy: Rue Nachtigal, Yaounde
mailing address: P. O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 220 15 00; Consular: [237] 220 16 03
FAX: [237] 220 16 20; Consular FAX: [237] 220 17 52
branch office(s): Douala
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Economy - Cameroon:
Economy overviewBecause 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 facing other underdeveloped countries, such as a top-heavy civil service 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 nations banks. In June 2000, the government completed an IMF-sponsored, three-year structural adjustment program; however, the IMF is pressing for more reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. International oil and cocoa prices have a significant impact on the economy.
Gdp purchasing power parity $42.48 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $16.27 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate3.5% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $2,400 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 45.2%
industry: 16.1%
services: 38.7% (2006 est.)
Labor force6.394 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17%
Unemployment rate30% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line48% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 36.6% (1996)
Distribution of family income gini index44.6 (2001)
Inflation rate consumer prices 2.4% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 16.8% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $3.339 billion
expenditures: $3.157 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt28.4% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productscoffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, root starches; livestock; timber
Industriespetroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate4.2% (1999 est.)
Electricity production3.924 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption3.649 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production82,300 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil consumption24,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves90 million bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves110.4 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance$419 million (2006 est.)
Exports$4.318 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiescrude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports partnersSpain 20.9%, Italy 15.2%, France 11.4%, South Korea 7.6%, Netherlands 7.1%, US 5.6%, Belgium 4.2% (2006)
Imports$3.083 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports partnersFrance 23.5%, Nigeria 13.2%, China 7.2%, Belgium 6.2%, US 4.5%, Brazil 4.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.336 billion (2006 est.)
Debt external$3.657 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid recipientin January 2001, the Paris Club agreed to reduce Cameroons debt of $1.3 billion by $900 million; debt relief now totals $1.26 billion
Currency code Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Exchange ratesCommunaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Communications - Cameroon:
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June
Telephones main lines in use100,300 (2005)
Telephones mobile cellular2,253 (2005)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: available only to business and government
domestic: cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter
international: country code - 237; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia
Radio broadcast stationsAM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (2001)
Television broadcast stations1 (2001)
Internet country
Internet hosts39 (2006)
Internet users370,000 (2006)
Transportation - Cameroon:
Airports47 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 9 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 70 km; liquid petroleum gas 9 km; oil 1,107 km (2006)
Railwaystotal: 987 km
narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 50,000 km
paved: 5,000 km
unpaved: 45,000 km (2004)
Waterwaysnavigation mainly on Benue River; limited during rainy season (2005)
Merchant marinetotal: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 38,613 GRT/68,820 DWT
by type: petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (France 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsDouala, Limboh Terminal
Military - Cameroon:
Military branchesCameroon Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de lAir du Cameroun, AAC) (2006)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; the government makes periodic calls for volunteers (2006)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 3,525,307
females age 18-49: 3,461,406 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,946,767
females age 18-49: 1,834,600 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 191,619
females age 18-49: 187,082 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp1.3% (2006)
Disputes internationalJoint Border Commission with Nigeria reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately cedes sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a phase-out of Nigerian control within two years while resolving patriation issues; implementation of the ICJ ruling on the Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea is pending due to imprecisely defined coordinates and a 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 Commissions admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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