Cameroon

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 16.4
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 52%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.9%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 475,440


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Fang 19,5
Bamileke and Bamoun 18,3
Douala, Lumdu and Bassa 14,5
Peul 9,4
Tikar 7,2
Mandara 5,5
Makas 4,7
Chamba 2,4
M'Boum 1,3
Haoussa 1,2
French 0,1
Other * 15,9



Main Cities Population
Douala 1 494 700
Yaoundé 1 248 200
Garoua 356 900
Bamenda 316 100
Maroua 271 700
Bafoussam 242 000



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Yaounde (GMT+1 ).



Languages
Official languages: French and English.
There are 200 African dialects.
Business language: French.

Free translation tools

Babel Fish
Free French-English-French translation of texts and web pages

Grand dictionnaire terminologique
Free French-English-French dictionary with 3 billion terms





Religion
Religious practises : Tribal Religions 51%
Christians 33% (Sud)
Sunni Muslims 16% (North).


Political context

Cameroon is a unitary Republic based on parliamentary democracy where President is given broad range of powers which he is able to carry out without consulting the parliament. Cameroon (official name: Republic of Cameroon) became an independent republic in 1960 after merging with southern part of British Cameroon.
President is the chief of the state and holds the executive powers. President is also the head of the armed forces. President is elected by popular vote for a seven-year term . He appoints the Prime Minister (who is the head of the government) and the Cabinet. President has the power to dissolve the National Assembly and declare by decree a state of emergency which shall confer upon him special powers.
The legislature is unicameral. The members of the parliament (called National Assembly) are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms - the President can either lengthen or shorten the term of the legislature elections. The constitution of the country calls for an upper chamber for the legislature (Senate) but it has not been yet ( as of 2006) formed. The main responsibility of theNational Assembly is to pass laws, but rarely has it changed any laws or blocked the passage of legislation. The political rights of the people of Cameroon are very much limited.
Judiciary is not independent in Cameroon and is highly subject to political influence. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1972 (approved by referendum, and revised in January 1996) which is based on French civil law system. The country accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. The judicial languages in the country are French and English.
Cameroon is not ruled by law. In the North of the country, powerful traditional chiefs run their own private militias, courts and prisons, which are used against the regime's political opponents. Foreigners cannot expect a fair trial from the country's judicial system. A high degree of corruption exists in the country.


Major political parties

RDCP (Democratic Rally of the Cameroon People), SDF (Social Democratic Front), UDC (Cameroonian Democratic Union), UPC (Union of Cameroonian Populations), UNDP (National Union for Democracy and Progress)


Major political leaders

President: Paul BIYA (since November 1982, re-elected many times, latest in Oct 2004) – RDCP
Prime Minister: Ephraim INONI (since December 2004) - RDCP


Next political election dates

Presidential: October 2011
National Assembly: Year 2012




Climate

 

 

Climate: Sahelian in the North and tropical humid in the South with a lot of different climates depending on the regions. Frequent rain shower in the South (except in December - March and June - August) which are less frequent when going up north. January - February are a good period to visit. Take light clothes and something to protect from the rain in the rainy season. It is advised to wear a woolen sweater when going to the mountains.

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Cameroon 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 190 .. ..
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
-Beaches of Kribi, Limbé...
-Water falls in Lobe, Mvigligui, Edéa, Lagbo...
-Natural caves in Akok-Bekoe
-Nature reserves in Wasa, Dja, Bénoué
Sites in the city of Douala and in the region of the West

For more information about tourism in Cameroon , check out the following web site(s) :
Cameroon Tourism Board in Paris, France



Food


Traditional dishes
For some people, the Cameroonian food is a mixture of French and Lebanese recipes.
Restaurants are usually quite expensive, even with exorbitant prices. Most Cameroonian dishes are prepared with fruits and salty ingredients. Cameroon produces avocados, pineapples, mangoes and a lot of citrus fruits.


Last modified on December 2006

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