Capital: Capital–Yaounde (pop. 1.677 million). Other major cities–Douala (1.978 million), Garoua (519,000), Maroua (486,000), Bafoussam (348,000), Bamenda (486,000), Loum (221,000), and Ngaoundere (283,000).


Population: (2011 estimate): 20,424,645. About 20,000 non-Africans, including more than 6,000 French and 2,400 U.S. citizens, reside in Cameroon.

Ethnic groups: About 250. Cameroon’s estimated 250 ethnic groups form five large regional-cultural groups: western highlanders (or grassfielders), coastal tropical forest peoples, southern tropical forest peoples, predominantly Islamic peoples of the northern semi-arid regions (the Sahel) and central highlands, and the “Kirdi”, non-Islamic or recently Islamic peoples of the northern desert and central highlands

Religions: Christian 40%, Muslim 20%, indigenous African 40%.

Languages: French and English (both official) and about 270 African languages and dialects, including pidgin, Fulfulde, and Ewondo.

Government: Type –Republic – strong central government dominated by president.

Branches: Executive–president (chief of state), 7-year term, no term limits; appointed prime minister (head of government).

Legislative–unicameral National Assembly (180 members; meets briefly three times a year–March, June, November); a new Senate was called for under constitutional changes made in early 1996, but has not yet been established.

Judicial–falls under the executive’s Ministry of Justice.


Living Conditions: Education: Compulsory between ages 6 and 14. Attendance–65%. Literacy–76% Health: GDP per capita (2010 current prices): $1,102.

Infant mortality rate (2011)–60.91/1,000 live births. Life expectancy (2011)–54.39 yrs.
Work force: Agriculture–70%. Industry and commerce–13%:

The western highlands are among the most fertile regions in Cameroon and have a relatively healthy environment in higher altitudes. This region is densely populated and has intensive agriculture, commerce, cohesive communities, and historical emigration pressures. Bamileke people from this area have in recent years migrated to towns elsewhere in Cameroon, such as the coastal regions, where they form much of the business community.


History: Although the Portuguese arrived on Cameroon’s coast in the 1500s, malaria prevented significant European settlement and conquest of the interior until the late 1870s, when large supplies of the malaria suppressant, quinine, became available. The early European presence in Cameroon was primarily devoted to coastal trade and the acquisition of slaves. The northern part of Cameroon was an important part of the Muslim slave trade network. The slave trade was largely suppressed by the mid-19th century. Christian missions established a presence in the late 19th century and continue to play a role in Cameroonian life.

In 1884 an extended Cameroon became a German territory but was divided between the British and French after the First World War. The two territories became independent in 1960/61, two thirds of the British section, mainly Muslim, opting to join Nigeria.

The president outlawed all political parties apart from his own and took full control. He was constitutionally replaced in 1982 by President Paul Biya who has controlled the country ever since. His ability to appoint his own party to all significant positions has enabled him to ignore attempts to limit his powers. Elections, the latest in October 2011 when he gained 72% of the vote, have been reported as seriously flawed.


Pray for:

      • Dr. Poupo Elie, heading CPM in Cameroon and Francophone Africa.

      • Men of peace who can give entry to each of the many people groups including expats.

      • The Lord to raise up workers to go to the harvest fields.

      • A godly government which governs in righteousness without corruption.

      • A dissatisfaction of the people with the traditional religions and a Holy Spirit inspired search for truth.


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