Cameroon is usually often called “Africa in miniature” due to its geographical and cultural variety.
The nation has one of many highest literacy charges in Africa however its financial progress has been hampered by corruption and many years of authoritarian rule.
Created in 1961 by the unification of a British and a French colony, the fashionable state of Cameroon has additionally struggled to search out peace and unity.
Since 2017, Cameroon’s primarily English-speaking northwest and southwest areas have seen a guerrilla conflict between insurgents and authorities forces for the independence of the area because the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.
Tons of of 1000’s have been internally displaced by the combating. The battle has additionally not directly led to an upsurge in assaults by Boko Haram – a part of the regional Islamist insurgency – as the military largely withdrew from the mainly-Muslim north to battle the anglophone separatists.
Space: 475,442 sq km
Inhabitants: 29.3 million
Languages: French, English, plus Cameroonian Pidgin English, Fula, Ewondo, Chadian Arabic, Camfranglais
Life expectancy: 59 years (males) 63 years (girls)
President: Paul Biya
In energy since 1982, Paul Biya is one in all Africa’s most entrenched leaders.
Parliament handed a controversial modification in 2008 permitting him to run for workplace once more, and he received new seven-year phrases in 2011 and 2018 in votes marred by irregularities.
His celebration, the Cameroonian Folks’s Democratic Motion (RDPC), has received landslide majorities in each parliamentary election since 1992.
Earlier than changing into president, Mr Biya spent his whole political profession within the service of President Ahmadou Ahidjo, changing into prime minister in 1975.
In 1983 he accused Mr Ahidjo of organising a coup towards him, forcing the previous president to flee the nation.
Though Cameroon has probably the most numerous media landscapes in Africa, it is likely one of the continent’s most harmful nations for journalists, says Reporters with out Borders (RSF).
Many media retailers apply self-censorship, as reporters can face harassment and threats if their reporting endangers authorities pursuits.
Some key dates in Cameroon’s historical past:
1520 – Portuguese arrange sugar plantations and start slave commerce in Cameroon.
1600s – Dutch take over slave commerce from Portuguese.
1884 – Cameroon turns into the German colony of Kamerun.
1911 – Below the Treaty of Fez – signed to settle the Agadir Disaster Franco-German battle over Morocco – France cedes territories to the east and south to Cameroon.
1916 – World Struggle One; British and French troops defeat German forces in Cameroon.
1919 – London Declaration divides Cameroon into French (80%) and British administrative zones (20%). The British zone is split into Northern and Southern Cameroons.
1960 – French Cameroon granted independence and turns into the Republic of Cameroon with Ahmadou Ahidjo as president.
1961 – Britain’s Cameroons colonies divide between Cameroon and Nigeria after a referendum. A big-scale rebel mars the nation’s first years of independence till it’s put down in 1963 with the assistance of French forces.
1972 – Cameroon turns into a unitary state following a nationwide referendum and is renamed the United Republic of Cameroon.
1982 – Prime Minister Paul Biya succeeds Ahidjo, who flees the nation the next yr after President Biya accuses him of masterminding a coup.
1984 – President Biya elected to his first full time period as president, adjustments the nation’s title to the Republic of Cameroon.
1994 – Preventing between Cameroon and Nigeria flares up over disputed oil-rich Bakassa Peninsula.
1996 – Additional Cameroonian-Nigerian border clashes. Either side conform to UN mediation.
1998 – Cameroon classed as probably the most corrupt nation on the planet by enterprise monitor Transparency Worldwide.
2001 – Fears for Cameroon’s atmosphere improve, with World Forest Watch reporting that 80% of the nation’s indigenous forests have been allotted for logging.
2002 – Ruling by Worldwide Court docket of Justice offers sovereignty of oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon. Nigeria, whose forces occupy the realm, initially rejects the ruling.
2006 – Nigeria withdraws its troops from the Bakassi Peninsula, settling the dispute with Cameroon.
2014 – Cameroon faces elevated assaults from the jihadist group Boko Haram; deploys troops to the border with northern Nigeria to counter the Islamist menace.
2016 – Activists in Anglophone areas step up a marketing campaign for larger autonomy, prompting a fierce response from the federal government.
2017 – Ambazonian leaders unilaterally declare independence. the insurgency sees widespread human rights abuses throughout Cameroon by armed teams and authorities forces.