Cameroon

Introduction 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 President Paul BIYA.
History

The territory of present day Cameroon was first settled during the Neolithic. The longest continuous inhabitants are the Pygmy groups such as the Baka.[1] The Sao culture arose around Lake Chad c. AD 500 and gave way to the Kanem and its successor state, the Bornu empire. Kingdoms, fondoms, and chiefdoms arose in the west.

Portuguese sailors reached the coast in 1472. They noted an abundance of prawns and crayfish in the Wouri River and named it Rio dos Camarões, Portuguese for "River of Prawns", and the phrase from which Cameroon is derived. Over the following few centuries, European interests regularised trade with the coastal peoples, and Christian missionaries pushed inland. In the early 19th century, Modibo Adama led Fulani soldiers on a jihad in the north against non-Muslim and partially Muslim peoples and established the Adamawa Emirate. Settled peoples who fled the Fulani caused a major redistribution of population.[2]

The German Empire claimed the territory as the colony of Kamerun in 1884 and began a steady push inland. They initiated projects to improve the colony's infrastructure, relying on a harsh system of forced labour.[3] With the defeat of Germany in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroun and British Cameroons in 1919. The French carefully integrated the economy of Cameroun with that of France[4] and improved the infrastructure with capital investments, skilled workers, and continued forced labour.[3] The British administered their territory from neighbouring Nigeria. Natives complained that this made them a neglected "colony of a colony". Nigerian migrant workers flocked to Southern Cameroons, ending forced labour but angering indigenous peoples.[5] The League of Nations mandates were converted into United Nations Trusteeships in 1946, and the question of independence became a pressing issue in French Cameroun.[4] France outlawed the most radical political party, the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC), on 13 July 1955. This prompted a long guerrilla war and the assassination of the party's leader, Ruben Um Nyobé.[6] In British Cameroons, the question was whether to reunify with French Cameroun or join Nigeria.

On 1 January 1960, French Cameroun gained independence from France under President Ahmadou Ahidjo, and on 1 October 1961, the formerly-British Southern Cameroons united with its neighbour to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. Ahidjo used the ongoing war with the UPC and fears of ethnic conflict to concentrate power in the presidency, continuing with this even after the suppression of the UPC in 1971.[6] His political party, the Cameroon National Union (CNU), became the sole legal political party on 1 September 1966 and in 1972, the federal system of government was abolished in favour of a United Republic of Cameroon, headed from Yaoundé.[7] Ahidjo pursued an economic policy of planned liberalism, prioritising cash crops and petroleum exploitation. The government used oil money to create a national cash reserve, pay farmers, and finance major development projects; however, many initiatives failed when Ahidjo appointed unqualified allies to direct them.[8]

Ahidjo stepped down on 4 November 1982 and left power to his constitutional successor, Paul Biya. However, Ahidjo remained in control of the CNU and tried to run the country from behind the scenes until Biya and his allies pressured him into resigning. Biya began his administration by moving toward a more democratic government, but a failed coup d'état nudged him toward the leadership style of his predecessor.[9] An economic crisis took effect in the mid-1980s to late 1990s as a result of international economic conditions, drought, falling petroleum prices, and years of corruption, mismanagement, and cronyism. Cameroon turned to foreign aid, cut government spending, and privatised industries. With the reintroduction of multi-party politics in December 1990, Anglophone pressure groups called for greater autonomy, with some advocating complete secession as the Republic of Ambazonia.[10] In February 2008, Cameroon experienced its worse violence in 15 years when a transport union strike in Douala escalated into violent protests in 31 municipal areas.

Geography Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates: 6 00 N, 12 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 475,440 sq km
land: 469,440 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than California
Land boundaries: 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: 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: 12.54%
permanent crops: 2.52%
other: 84.94% (2005)
Irrigated land: 260 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 285.5 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.99 cu km/yr (18%/8%/74%)
per capita: 61 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
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
Politics

The President of Cameroon has broad, unilateral powers to create policy, administer government agencies, command the armed forces, negotiate and ratify treaties, and declare a state of emergency.[13] The president appoints government officials at all levels, from the prime minister (considered the official head of government), to the provincial governors, divisional officers, and urban-council members in large cities. The president is selected by popular vote every seven years. In smaller municipalities, the public elects mayors and councilors. Corruption is rife at all levels of government. In 1997, Cameroon established anti-corruption bureaus in 29 ministries, but only 25% became operational,[14] and in 2007, Transparency International placed Cameroon at number 138 on a list of 163 countries ranked from least to most corrupt.[15] On 18 January 2006, Biya initiated an anti-corruption drive under the direction of the National Anti-Corruption Observatory.[14]

Cameroon's legal system is largely based on French civil law with common law influences.[16] Although nominally independent, the judiciary falls under the authority of the executive's Ministry of Justice.[17] The president appoints judges at all levels. The judiciary is officially divided into tribunals, the court of appeal, and the supreme court. The National Assembly elects the members of a nine-member High Court of Justice that judges high-ranking members of government in the event they are charged with high treason or harming national security.

Human rights organisations accuse police and military forces of mistreating and even torturing criminal suspects, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, and political activists.[18] Prisons are overcrowded with little access to adequate food and medical facilities,[19][20] and prisons run by traditional rulers in the north are charged with holding political opponents at the behest of the government.[21] However, since the early 2000s, an increasing number of police and gendarmes have been prosecuted for improper conduct.[20]

The National Assembly makes legislation. The body consists of 180 members who are elected for five-year terms and meet three times per year. Laws are passed on a majority vote. Rarely has the assembly changed or blocked legislation proposed by the president.[17] The 1996 constitution establishes a second house of parliament, the 100-seat Senate, but this body has never been put into practice.[16] The government recognises the authority of traditional chiefs, fons, and lamibe to govern at the local level and to resolve disputes as long as such rulings do not conflict with national law.[22]

President Paul Biya's Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) was the only legal political party until December 1990. Numerous ethnic and regional political groups have since formed. The primary opposition is the Social Democratic Front (SDF), based largely in the Anglophone region of the country and headed by John Fru Ndi.[23] Biya and his party have maintained control of the presidency and the National Assembly in national elections, but rivals contend that these have been unfair.[10] Human rights organisations allege that the government suppresses the freedoms of opposition groups by preventing demonstrations, disrupting meetings, and arresting opposition leaders and journalists.[24][21] Freedom House ranks Cameroon as "not free" in terms of political rights and civil liberties.[25] The last parliamentary elections were held on 22 July 2007.[26]

Cameroon is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie. Its foreign policy closely follows that of its main ally, France.[27] The country relies heavily on France for its defence,[17] although military spending is high in comparison to other sectors of government.[28] Biya has clashed with the government of Nigeria over possession of the Bakassi peninsula and with Gabon's president, El Hadj Omar Bongo, over personal rivalries.[29] Nevertheless, civil war presents a more credible threat to national security, as tensions between Christians and Muslims and between Anglophones and Francophones remain high.

People Population: 18,060,382
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 structure: 0-14 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 age: total: 18.9 years
male: 18.7 years
female: 19 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.241% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 35.07 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 12.66 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at 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 rate: total: 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 birth: total population: 52.86 years
male: 52.15 years
female: 53.59 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.49 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 6.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 560,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 49,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2008)
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%
Religions: indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
Languages: 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.9%
male: 77%
female: 59.8% (2001 est.)
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 provinces; Adamaoua, Centre, Est, Extreme-Nord, Littoral, Nord, Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Ouest
Independence: 1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: Republic Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
Constitution: 20 May 1972 approved by referendum, adopted 2 June 1972; revised January 1996
Legal system: based on French civil law system, with common law influence; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch: 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: 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 22 July 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RDCP 140, SDF 14, UDC 4, UNDP 4, MP 1, vacant 17; note - vacant seats will be determined in a yet to be scheduled by-election after the Supreme Court nullified results in five districts
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: 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: Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]; Cameroon People's Democratic Movement or RDPC [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]; National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA]; Progressive Movement or MP; Social Democratic Front or SDF [John FRU NDI]; Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Augustin Frederic KODOCK]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Southern Cameroon National Council [Ayamba Ette OTUN]; Human Rights Defense Group [Albert MUKONG, president]
International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, C, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: 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: chief of mission: Ambassador Janet E. GARVEY
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 16 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
note: uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Culture

Each of Cameroon's ethnic groups has its own unique cultural forms. Typical celebrations include births, deaths, plantings, harvests, and religious rituals. Seven national holidays are observed throughout the year, and movable holidays include the Christian holy days of Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, and Ascension; and the Muslim holy days of 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-Adha, and Eid Milad Nnabi.

Music and dance are an integral part of Cameroonian ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings, and storytelling.[93] Traditional dances are highly choreographed and separate men and women or forbid participation by one sex altogether.[94] The goals of dances range from pure entertainment to religious devotion.[95] Traditionally, music is transmitted orally. In a typical performance, a chorus of singers echoes a soloist.[96] Musical accompaniment may be as simple as clapping hands and stomping feet,[97] but traditional instruments include bells worn by dancers, clappers, drums and talking drums, flutes, horns, rattles, scrapers, stringed instruments, whistles, and xylophones; the exact combination varies with ethnic group and region. Some performers sing complete songs by themselves, accompanied by a harplike instrument.[96][98]

Popular music styles include ambasse bey of the coast, assiko of the Bassa, mangambeu of the Bangangte, and tsamassi of the Bamileke.[99] Nigerian music has influenced Anglophone Cameroonian performers, and Prince Nico Mbarga's highlife hit "Sweet Mother" is the top-selling African record in history.[100] The two most popular styles are makossa and bikutsi. Makossa developed in Douala and mixes folk music, highlife, soul, and Congo music. Performers such as Manu Dibango, Francis Bebey, Moni Bilé, and Petit-Pays popularised the style worldwide in the 1970s and 1980s. Bikutsi originated as war music among the Ewondo. Artists such as Anne-Marie Nzié developed it into a popular dance music beginning in the 1940s, and performers such as Mama Ohandja and Les Têtes Brulées popularised it internationally during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.[101]

Cuisine varies by region, but a large, one-course, evening meal is common throughout the country. A typical dish is based on cocoyams, maize, manioc, millet, plantains, potatoes, rice, or yams, often pounded into dough-like fufu (cous-cous). This is served with a sauce, soup, or stew made from greens, groundnuts, palm oil, or other ingredients.[102] Meat and fish are popular but expensive additions.[103] Dishes are often quite hot, spiced with salt, red pepper, and Maggi.[104] Water, palm wine, and millet beer are the traditional mealtime drinks, although beer, soda, and wine have gained popularity.[105] Silverware is common, but food is traditionally manipulated with the right hand. Breakfast consists of leftovers or bread and fruit with coffee or tea. Snacks are popular, especially in larger towns where they may be bought from street vendors.

Traditional arts and crafts are practiced throughout the country for commercial, decorative, and religious purposes. Woodcarvings and sculptures are especially common.[106] The high-quality clay of the western highlands is suitable for pottery and ceramics.[95] Other crafts include basket weaving, beadworking, brass and bronze working, calabash carving and painting, embroidery, and leather working. Traditional housing styles make use of locally available materials and vary from temporary wood-and-leaf shelters of nomadic Mbororo to the rectangular mud-and-thatch homes of southern peoples. Dwellings made from materials such as cement and tin are increasingly common.[107]

Cameroonian literature and film have concentrated on both European and African themes. Colonial-era writers such as Louis-Marie Pouka and Sankie Maimo were educated by European missionary societies and advocated assimilation into European culture as the means to bring Cameroon into the modern world.[108] After World War II, writers such as Mongo Beti and Ferdinand Oyono analysed and criticised colonialism and rejected assimilation.[109] Shortly after independence, filmmakers such as Jean-Paul Ngassa and Thérèse Sita-Bella explored similar themes.[110] In the 1960s, Mongo Beti and other writers explored post-colonialism, problems of African development, and the recovery of African identity.[111] Meanwhile, in the mid-1970s, filmmakers such as Jean-Pierre Dikongué Pipa and Daniel Kamwa dealt with the conflicts between traditional and post-colonial society. Literature and films during the next two decades concentrated more on wholly Cameroonian themes.[112]

National policy strongly advocates sport in all forms. Traditional sports include canoe racing and wrestling, and several hundred runners participate in the 40 km (24.8 mi) Mount Cameroon Race of Hope each year.[113] Cameroon is one of the few tropical countries to have competed in the Winter Olympics. However, sport in Cameroon is dominated by football (soccer). Amateur football clubs abound, organised along ethnic lines or under corporate sponsors. The Cameroon national football team has been one of the most successful in the world since its strong showing in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Cameroon has won four African Cup of Nations titles and the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics.

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 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 a significant impact on the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $40.01 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $20.93 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.2% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,300 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 44.3%
industry: 15.9%
services: 39.8% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 6.68 million (2007 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)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 17.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $4.14 billion
expenditures: $3.3 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 13.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, root starches; livestock; timber
Industries: petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 4.09 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 2.7%
hydro: 97.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 3.435 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 82,670 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 24,200 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 107,400 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 63,710 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 400 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 105.9 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$501 million (2007 est.)
Exports: $3.705 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports - partners: Spain 21.4%, Italy 15.4%, France 11.6%, South Korea 7.3%, Netherlands 7.2%, US 5.7%, Belgium 4.2% (2006)
Imports: $3.632 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports - partners: France 23.6%, Nigeria 13.2%, China 7.2%, Belgium 6.1%, US 4.5% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $413.8 million 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 (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.341 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $2.449 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code: XAF
Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 100,300 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 2.253 million (2005)
Telephone system: general assessment: fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; equipment is old and outdated, and connections with many parts of the country are unreliable; mobile-cellular usage, in part a reflection of the poor condition and general inadequacy of the fixed-line network, has been increasing steadily and currently stands at 14 per 100 persons
domestic: cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter
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) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 3 (2001)
Radios: 2.27 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 1 (2001)
Televisions: 450,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .cm
Internet hosts: 512 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2002)
Internet users: 370,000 (2006)
Transportation Airports: 45 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: 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 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 34
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 8 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 27 km; liquid petroleum gas 5 km; oil 1,110 km (2007)
Railways: total: 987 km
narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 50,000 km
paved: 5,000 km
unpaved: 45,000 km (2004)
Waterways: navigation mainly on Benue River; limited during rainy season (2005)
Merchant marine: total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 38,613 GRT/68,820 DWT
by type: petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (France 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Douala, Limboh Terminal
Military Military branches: Cameroon Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC) (2008)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; the government makes periodic calls for volunteers (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 3,525,307
females age 18-49: 3,461,406 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 1,946,767
females age 18-49: 1,834,600 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 191,619
females age 18-49: 187,082 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.3% (2006)
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 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 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): 39,303 (Chad), 9,711 (Nigeria), 13,000 (Central African Republic); note - there are an additional 10,000 Central African refugees unregistered with UNHCR as of December 2006 (2006)