About Cameroon

Over View
Cameroon, often called “Africa Miniature,” is one of the most geographically, ethnically, and culturally diverse countries on the continent. A country of about 19 million people, it is home to 275 ethnic groups, roughly 160 indigenous languages, diverse religious traditions, and a landscape that ranges from the arid desert terrain in the north to dense rainforest in the south. Cameroon is divided in several significant ways, the most important being its linguistic demarcation. While the country is bilingual—its two official languages are French and English—the government and the country itself are dominated by the Francophone sector. Eight out of Cameroon’s 10 administrative regions are Francophone, compared to the two regions (the Southwest and the Northwest) that consist of the English-speaking population. The country is also split up religiously, with a significant Muslim population in the north and a proliferation of Christians in the south. Traditional animist religions also play an important role in Cameroonian spiritual life.

Quick Facts

Population: 19.9 million (UN, 2010)
Capital: Yaounde
Area: 475,442 sq km (183,568 sq miles)
Major languages: French, English, languages of Bantu, Semi-Bantu and Sudanic groups
Major religions: Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs
Life expectancy: 52 years (men), 53 years (women)(UN)
Monetary unit: 1 CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc = 100 centimes
Main exports: Crude oil and petroleum products, timber, cocoa, aluminium, coffee, cotton
GNI per capita: US $1,170 (World Bank, 2009)
Internet domain: .cm
International dialling code: +237
Source: BBC Country Profiles