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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Cameroon  
Flag of Cameroon
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Cameroon

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Cameroon
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 movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of an ethnic oligarchy.
   Geography    Cameroon
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
total: 475,440 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
land: 469,440 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 (on Cameroon Mountain) 4,095 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 13%
permanent crops: 3%
other: 84% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
330 sq km (1998 est.)
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
water-borne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban
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
Population:
Definition Field Listing
16,184,748
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 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 42.1% (male 3,443,505; female 3,367,571)
15-64 years: 54.5% (male 4,431,524; female 4,392,155)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 253,242; female 296,751) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.36% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
35.66 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
12.08 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
68.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 54.36 years
female: 55.23 years (2002 est.)
male: 53.51 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.72 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.73% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
540,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
52,000 (1999 est.)
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: 63.4%
male: 75%
female: 52.1% (1995 est.)
   Government    Cameroon
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon
conventional short form: Cameroon
former: French Cameroon
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
unitary republic; multiparty presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990)
note: preponderance of power remains with the president
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Yaounde
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; has not accepted 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)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 12 October 1997 (next to be held NA October 2004); prime minister appointed by the president
head of government: Prime Minister Peter Mafany MUSONGE (since 19 September 1996)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from proposals submitted by the prime minister
election results: President Paul BIYA reelected; percent of vote - Paul BIYA 92.6%; note - supporters of the opposition candidates boycotted the elections, making a comparison of vote shares relatively meaningless
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 17 May 1997 (next to be held NA 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RDCP 109, SDF 43, UNDP 13, UDC 5, UPC-K 1, MDR 1, MLDC 1; note - results from seven contested seats were canceled by the Supreme Court, further elections on 3 August 1997 gave these seats to the RDCP
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 6 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 [leader Marcel YONDO]; Movement for the Youth of Cameroon or MYC [Dieudonne TINA]; National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA, chairman]; 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 [Frederick Ebong ALOBWEDE]; Human Rights Defense Group [Albert MUKONG, president]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, C, CCC, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-19, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Jerome MENDOUGA
chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826
telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador George McDade STAPLES
embassy: Rue Nachtigal, Yaounde
mailing address: P. O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 23-40-14, 22-17-94
FAX: [237] 23-07-53
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
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 and privatization. International oil and cocoa prices have considerable impact on the economy.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $26.4 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.9% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 44%
industry: 20%
services: 36% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
48% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
2% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 70%, industry and commerce 13%, other 17%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
30% (2001 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.2 billion
expenditures: $2.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum production and refining, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.2% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
3.623 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 2.57%
hydro: 97.43%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
3.369 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, root starches; livestock; timber
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$2.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Italy 24%, France 18%, Netherlands 10% (2000 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$1.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 29%, Germany 7%, US 6%, Japan 6% (2000 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$10.9 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
on 23 January 2001, the Paris Club agreed to reduce Cameroon's debt of $1.3 billion by $900 million; total debt relief now amounts to $1.26 billion
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
XAF
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Cameroon
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
95,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
300,000 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: available only to business and government
domestic: cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 11, FM 8, shortwave 3 (1998)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
2.27 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (1998)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
450,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.cm
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
29 (2002)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
20,000 (2000)
note: in 2000, Cameroon also had 112 cyber-cafes
   Transportation    Cameroon
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,104 km
narrow gauge: 1,104 km 1.000-m gauge (1995 est.)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 34,300 km
paved: 4,288 km
unpaved: 30,012 km (1995)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
2,090 km (of decreasing importance)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bonaberi, Douala, Garoua, Kribi, Tiko
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
49 (2001)
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 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 38
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 21
under 914 m: 10 (2001)
   Military    Cameroon
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy (includes naval infantry), Air Force, National Gendarmerie, Presidential Guard
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 3,872,965 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,959,357 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 174,308 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$118.6 million (FY00/01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.4% (FY98/99)
   Transnational Issues    Cameroon
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
oral arguments on the land and maritime boundary disputes between Cameroon and Nigeria were presented to the ICJ; disputes center around Bakasi Peninsula, where armed clashes continue, Bouram Island on Lake Chad, and the maritime boundary and economic zone dispute in the Gulf of Guinea, which also involves Equatorial Guinea; Lake Chad Basin Commission urges signatories Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria to ratify delimitation treaty over lake region, the site of continuing armed clashes

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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