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Presentation of Cameroun!

Click to zoom the image Cameroon, country of central Africa open on the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Yaounde. Cameroun is member of the Commonwealth.
Cameroun is limited to the west by Nigeria, the North-East by Chad, the east by the Central African Republic, in the south by Congo, Gabon and Guinea Equatoriale.

Since the gulf of Guinea (gulf of Biafra), Cameroun stretches itself towards north to the lake Chad, forming a triangle of 475.442 km ² of surface, which connects equatorial Africa and Western Africa.

Click here to download the chart of Cameroun

Relief and hydrography

Cameroun is divided into several areas. In the south, the coastal plain and the interior of the grounds are covered with thick tropical forests while in direction of north those make place with savanna then with the steppe soudano-sahélienne, which ends in marshes in edge of the lake Chad. The feature dominating of its relief is the solid mass of Adamaoua, a mountainous arc which separates north and the south from the country. Its plates, at an average altitude of 1.370 m, dominate the plains of Bénoué, in north and the west, along the border with Nigeria. More rectified in north and the west, where it rises up to 2.460 m, Adamaoua is prolonged in south-west by high mountains of volcanic origin where culminates the Cameroun mount to 4.095 Mr. This volcano is still in activity. The pollutant gas emanations of the lake Nyos, formed in one of the craters, had made more than one thousand of victims in 1986, and in-depth gas concentration seems today to be renewed. Adamaoua determines also the hydrographic orientation of Cameroun. Logone runs out towards north, from the central plate towards the basin of Chad. Bénoué there also takes its source and connects is and the north of the plate to the vast river system of Niger in the west (Nigeria). Towards the south, the solid mass gives rise to many national coastal rivers, of which Sanaga and Nyong, which are thrown in the Atlantic. Its sources supply also the basin of the river Congo (Sangha), in the east.

Climate, flora and fauna

Cameroun as Africa in miniature does not have uniform climate.
  • Because it has very low plains (coastal plain; Plain of Chad) and the very high mountains (Mount Cameroun, Manengouba, Tchabal Ndabo, Mambila).
  • Because it has areas close to the sea and others very distant.
  • Because it is subjected to different winds (Harmattan, Mousson)

Temperatures
  • Latitude: while going from Yaounde to Maroua the temperature increases.
  • Softened sea it climate
  • Altitude: the weather is fresher in Yaounde (760m) that in Douala (13m); in Bamenda (1 520m) that in Gaoundéré (1 100m).
Rains and winds
January: it is the reign of Harmattan, cold wind and dryness coming from North. In Douala, it is the time of the minimum of rains.
July: the wet winds coming from the sea (Monsoon) go up on the center: it is the wet season.
Let us note the regular reduction in the moisture of the coast of the Atlantic to the Lake Chad;
The big role of reliefs: slopes of the South-west of the mountains condense the steam and have a strong rainfall; the Cameroun Mount is partly responsible for the very strong rainfall of Douala (4.294 m).

North in the south, one distinguishes a zone from steppe, a zone of savanna of altitude and a forest zone. The tropical forest rich natural in cash or is cultivated (bamboo, palm tree with oil, hévéa, mahogany tree, teak and ebony). The wildlife is extremely varied and relatively preserved, within national parks: monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas meet in the south; antelopes, lions and elephants, in north.

Climatic Areas
  • Tropical Climate: Adamaoua and Nord
  • One season Alternation dries which shortens towards North
  • Gaoundéré does not have 02 equal seasons
  • Garoua and Maroua undergo a total dryness during five to eight month
  • Equatorial Climate: Center and Southern
  • High Moisture
  • Much of clouds
  • Abundant rains and regular
  • Two rainy seasons and 02 dry

Wet Tropical forest
Dense wet tropical forests extend in the south and on the coastal plains of Cameroun and, on the central plate of the country, yield little by little the place to savanna. The wet tropical climate of the south supports the growth of palm trees, mahogany trees, teaks, ebony trees and hévéas. These wooded areas shelter a varied flora and a fauna. Cameroun depends besides mainly on its forest resources, coveted in the whole world.
Stations Latitude/Altitude Annual average The hottest month The coldest month 
Douala 4 ° 13 m 26 ° 4 March 32 °1 September 22°9
Yaoundé 4 ° 760 m 23 ° 5 March 30 °8 October. 18°6
Bamenda 6 ° 1520 m 19 ° 5 March 26 °4 December. 13°5
N’Gaoundéré 7 ° 5 1100 m 22 ° 5 March 33 °2 December - january 12°5

Agriculture

Main resource of the country, agriculture occupies 60,6 p. 100 of the active population and accounts for 19,9 p. 100 of the GDP. The principal cultures of export are the coffee, the cocoa, cotton, the tobacco and the banana. In 2006, the annual productions of cotton and cocoa respectively reached 58.000 tons and 164.553 tons. The principal food crops are the sorghum, the yam, the groundnut, the manioc, the corn, the millet and the banana plantain.

The breeding, activity traditional of Peul, is important in the solid mass of Adamaoua and savannas of North, and the export of cattle on foot in direction of the cities of the coast profited from the devaluation of CFA franc. In 2006, the livestock counted 6 million bovines, 3,8 million sheep and 4,4 million caprine. The breeding of pigs is developed in the South.

The production of wood consists primarily of wood of mahogany tree, ebony and teak coming from the large tropical forests of the South. The annual cuts reached 11,4 million m ³ in 2006. Up to one recent period, traditional fishing related to especially fish of fresh water intended for local consumption. However, fishing at sea developed quickly, in particular in the area of Douala. In 2005, the annual catches rose to 142.682 T (of which approximately the half of fresh water fish).

Economy

Cameroun has vast resources, as well agricultural as mining and oil. He knew a considerable growth between 1977 and 1985 (more than 10 p. 100 per annum) thanks to the valorization of his oil resources and his agricultural exports. After one major and durable crisis period economic due to the degradation of the terms of trade (in fall of 44 p. 100 between 1986 and 1988) and to competition with its neighbor Nigerian, parallel to an increase in the public expenditure, the country carried out as from 1988 a policy of adjustment under the aegis of the Funds international currency (FMI). The devaluation of CFA franc in 1994 allowed a revival of exports and a recovery of the economy.
Cameroun profits from the initiative in favor of the poor countries heavily in debt (PPTE), which must lead to a lightening of the debt with the profit of the fight against poverty (in 2001,40,2 p. 100 of the population lived in lower part of the poverty line). Even if it remains fragile, the Cameronian economy joined again with the growth: over the period 2006, the growth rate of the GDP amounts to 3,80 p. 100. In 2006, the GDP was estimated at 18,32 billion dollars. The GDP per capita amounted to 1 008,20 dollars.
Currency CFA Franc
GNP 13 billion dollars (2004)
990 dollars per capita (2006)
GDP  18,3 billion dollars (2006)
1 008,2 dollars per capita (2006)
Growth rate of the GDP 3.8% (2006)
Rate of inflation  3.7% (2006)
Unemployment rate 7.5% (2001)
Trade balance 35,2% of the imports (2002-2004)
Part of the primary sector 60,6% of the active population (1990)
19,9% of the GDP (2006)
Part of the secondary industry 9,1% of the active population (1990)
33,2% of the GDP (2006)
Part of the tertiary sector 23,1% of the active population (1990)
46,9% of the GDP (2006)

Natural resources, Demography

In addition to the important forest resources, Cameroun has very profitable bauxite layers in the north of the country. Gas reserves naturalness and oil reservoirs are exploited in open sea, with broad of Douala. Gold is extracted in minor amounts, just as the tin ore and the stone with lime. The hydrographic network offers a considerable hydroelectric potential made profitable in metallugic installations (factory of Edéa).

Demography
In 2008, the Cameronian population is estimated at 18,5 million inhabitants. The annual growth rate of the population reaches 2,22 p. 100. In 2008, the index of fruitfulness remains high (4,4 children per woman) while infantile death rate is of 65 p. 1.000 and the life expectancy with the 53 years birth.
The population density (39 inhabitants with the km ² on average) varies according to the areas. It is concentrated in the great agglomerations of the South, like in the mountains of the West and the zone of savannas of North.

The latter is populated by Peul, of the seminomad pastors. Kirdis, of the farmers, also live in north, in the mountains of Kapsiki. The South is mainly inhabited by the people of language bantoue: the most important community is that of Bamileke, which is dynamic tradesmen. The forests of the South constitute one of the last refuges for the Pygmies.
Population 18.467.692 inhabitants (2008)
Population density 39,3 inhabitants with km2 (2008)
Fertility rate 4,4 child (S) by woman (2008)
Death rate 12.4 per 1,000 (2008)
Infantile death rate 64.6 per 1,000 (2008)
Growth rate of the population 2.22% (2008)
Life expectancy men: 52,5 years (2008)
women: 54,1 years (2008)
Population by age brackets less than 25 years: 62% (2008)
25-64 years: 34,8% (2008)
more than 65 years: 3,2% (2008)
Rate of urbanization 52.9% (2005)
Rate of elimination of illiteracy men: 86,2% (2005)
women: 76,1% (2005)
HDI 0.506 (2006)

Principal city 

Approximately 53 p. 100 of the Cameronians lived downtown in 2005. But the rural migration does not cease accelerating, in particular in direction of Yaounde (435 900 inhabitants in 1981,1 616.000 in 2003), capital and principal shopping mall. Douala is the most important port on the gulf of Biafra (637 000 inhabitants in 1981,1 494.700 in 2001). The other cities are kongsamba (130 000 inhabitants), Maroua (140 000 inhabitants), Bafoussam (120 000 inhabitants) and Foumban (50 100 inhabitants).

Languages and religions
A quarter approximately of the population is animist. The Moslems (22 p. 100) live mainly North while the Christians (33 p. 100 catholics, 17 p. 100 Protestants) populate the South. French and English are the official languages, the French-speaking people (78 p. 100 of the total population) being more numerous than the english-speaking (22 p. 100). The Sudanese languages are spoken in North, the languages bantoues in the South (see Africa, languages of).

Institutions and political life
Since 1990 and the introduction of the multi-party system, Cameroun knows a difficult democratization of the mode. The political life continues to be dominated by the old sole party rested by president Ahmadou Ahidjo in 1966, the democratic Gathering of the Cameronian people (RDPC), whose leader Paul Biya chairs the country since 1982. The principal parties of opposition are the Social front democratic (Social Democratic Front, SDF), english-speaking, and the Cameronian democratic Union (UDC).
The Cameronian political system is governed by the Constitution of 1972, revised in 1996. The president of the Republic is the Head of the State and the commander of the armed forces. He is elected by the vote for all for a seven years mandate. The Prime Minister is named by the president, just as his ministers. The president also names the governors of the 10 provinces which account country. The legislative power is reserved for an National Assembly monocamérale which counts 180 members, elected officials by the universal direct suffrage for a five years mandate.

Exchanges

The service sector employs 23,1 p. 100 of the active population and contributes to 46,9 p. 100 of the GDP. Cameroun belongs to the free zone. Its currency is CFA franc, divided into 100 centimes. It is emitted by the Bank of the States of central Africa (BEAC), based in Yaounde. In January 1994, CFA franc was devaluated of 50 p. 100 compared to the French franc.
In 2006, the foreign debt of the countries accounts for 17,50 p. 100 of the GNP. The principal economic partners of Cameroun are France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.
Cameroun has some 50.000 km of roads, of which 10 p. 100 only are bituminized. The majority are impracticable in rain season. The country is also equipped with a rail network of 1.016 km. The harbor traffic is carried out primarily in Douala, which is also used as commercial port for the adjoining countries deprived of maritime outlets. The second port, Kribi, should soon accommodate a pipeline being used to run out the oil exploited in the south of Chad, but there exists a strong opposition to its passage in Cameronian territory on behalf of the populations concerned. More in north, on Bénoué, the port of Garoua is open three months per annum to the river trade with Nigeria. Air Cameroun exploits internal lines and international. The principal airport is located at Douala. The organization of broadcasting and television, controlled by the State, has its seat in Yaounde.
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