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CIA - The World Factbook -- Cameroon
 

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This page was last updated on 17 October, 2006


Map of Cameroon



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Cameroon Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The 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.
   Geography    Cameroon Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
6 00 N, 12 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 475,440 sq km
land: 469,440 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 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
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
402 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 50 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Fako 4,095 m (on Mt. Cameroon)
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 12.54%
permanent crops: 2.52%
other: 84.94% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
260 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
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    Cameroon Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17,340,702
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 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 41.2% (male 3,614,430/female 3,531,047)
15-64 years: 55.5% (male 4,835,453/female 4,796,276)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 260,342/female 303,154) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18.9 years
male: 18.7 years
female: 19 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.04% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33.89 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.47 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 63.52 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 67.38 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 59.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 51.16 years
male: 50.98 years
female: 51.34 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.39 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
560,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
49,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree 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 (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79%
male: 84.7%
female: 73.4% (2003 est.)
   Government    Cameroon Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
republic; multiparty presidential regime
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
10 provinces; Adamaoua, Centre, Est, Extreme-Nord, Littoral, Nord, Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Ouest
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Republic Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
20 May 1972 approved by referendum, 2 June 1972 formally adopted; revised January 1996
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on French civil law system, with common law influence; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief 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 branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral 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 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 branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme 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 leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]; Democratic Rally of the Cameroon People 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 Cameroonian Populations or UPC [Augustin Frederic KODOCK]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Southern Cameroon National Council [Ayamba Ette OTUN]; Human Rights Defense Group [Albert MUKONG, president]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, C, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief 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 US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Niels MARQUARDT
embassy: Rue Nachtigal, Yaounde
mailing address: P. O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, 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 description:
Definition Field Listing
three 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 Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Because of its 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 nation's 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 considerable impact on the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$40.83 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$15.35 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.8% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2,400 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 44.8%
industry: 17%
services: 38.2% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.86 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
48% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 36.6% (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
44.6 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.3% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $3.263 billion
expenditures: $2.705 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
65.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, root starches; livestock; timber
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.2% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.988 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.779 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
82,300 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
85 million bbl (2005 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA cu m
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA cu m
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
110.4 billion cu m (2005)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$39 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.236 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Spain 17.2%, Italy 13.7%, France 9.4%, South Korea 8.1%, UK 8%, Netherlands 7.8%, Belgium 4.8%, US 4.3% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.514 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 25%, Nigeria 12.5%, Belgium 6.6%, China 5.8%, US 5.3%, Thailand 4.7%, Germany 4.4% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$964.8 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9.168 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
in January 2001, the Paris Club agreed to reduce Cameroon's debt of $1.3 billion by $900 million; debt relief now totals $1.26 billion
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Cameroon Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
99,400 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.259 million (2005)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general 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 stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (2002)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2002)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.cm
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
34 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
167,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Cameroon Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
47 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 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 runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 9 (2006)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 90 km; liquid petroleum gas 9 km; oil 1,120 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 987 km
narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 80,932 km
paved: 5,398 km
unpaved: 75,534 km (2002)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
navigation mainly on Benue River; limited during rainy season (2005)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 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 terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Douala, Limboh Terminal
   Military    Cameroon Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Cameroon Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (1999)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 3,525,307
females age 18-49: 3,461,406 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 1,946,767
females age 18-49: 1,834,600 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 191,619
females age 18-49: 187,082 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$230.2 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.5% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Cameroon Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
ICJ ruled in 2002 on the entire Cameroon-Nigeria land and maritime boundary but the parties formed a Joint Border Commission, which continues to meet regularly to resolve differences bilaterally and have commenced with demarcation in less-contested sections of the boundary, starting in Lake Chad in the north; implementation of the ICJ ruling on the Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea is impeded by imprecisely defined coordinates and a sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River; Nigeria initially rejected cession of the Bakassi Peninsula, then agreed, but much of the indigenous population opposes cession; 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:
Definition Field Listing
refugees (country of origin): 39,290 (Chad) 16,686 (Nigeria) 9,634 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2005)

This page was last updated on 17 October, 2006


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