Cameroon Facts

Cameroon Facts and History


Cameroon – The former German colony

As a result of the Versailles Treaty in 1919, Cameroon was lost to the German Empire as a colony, which it had been since 1884, and fell to France. A smaller area in the west of the country, near the border with Nigeria, went to England. That is why the Republic of Cameroon today has two official languages: French and English. After years of guerrilla warfare, East Cameroon succeeded in liberating itself from French colonial rule in 1960 and gaining its independence. Just one year later, following a referendum, what had been British West Cameroon was reunified.

It is an irony of history that Germany is hardly more popular in any African country than in its former colony, Cameroon. With the early withdrawal of the German colonial rulers, which was immediately followed by the division of the country, a great glorification of the thoroughly sordid history of oppression began.

In addition, Cameroon was classified by the German side as a priority country for bilateral cooperation. Since 1965, the German Development Service has been trying to provide training and further education in Cameroon. In 2009, around 5,600 people from the country were studying in Germany.

Cameroon thus has the most students in Germany of all African countries.

In the course of his pastoral trip to Africa, the Pope visited Cameroon and Angola in March 2009, where the closing service took place on March 22nd in front of about a million people in Luanda.


The country is divided between the urban and rural population, but especially between the Anglophone minority in the west of the country and the Francophone majority. The capital Yaounde, for example, is clearly and largely francophone. This goes so far that the Anglophone minority advocates a state of its own and violent clashes with numerous dead occur again and again.

Name of the country Republic of Cameroon
Form of government Presidential Republic
Geographical location Central African west coast
National anthem Chant de Ralliement (Rallying Song)
Population about 25 million (Credit: Countryaah: Cameroon Population)
Ethnicities approx. 200 ethnic groups or ethnic groups (Bantu, Semibantu, Sudan peoples, etc.)
Religions approx. 50% Christians, 30% animists, 20% Muslims
Languages French a. English (official languages), africa. languages
Capital Yaoundé
Surface 475,442 km²
Highest mountain Cameroon Mountain with a height of 4,070 m
Longest river Sanaga with a length of 918 km
Largest lake Lake Chad with an area of 20,700 km²
International license plate CAM
National currency 1 CFA Franc = 100 Centimes
Time difference to CET 0h
International phone code 00237
Mains voltage, frequency 220/110 volts and 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .cm

Cameroon: history

By the end of the 19th century

The oldest traces of human settlement in today’s Cameroon are around 7,000 years old. From 500 BC Ships of the Mediterranean cultures landed on the coast of the country. Around 200 BC The emigration of the Bantu, whose original homeland is Cameroon, began in the south and east of the world. Around 100 BC In BC Islamic nomads invaded the area. Among other things, they founded the kingdom of the Sao.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, one of the greatest medieval African empires was Kanem-Bornu. Kanem was founded in the 9th century by the nomadic Zagawa (Tuareg) people. After unification with Bornu, they conquered the Sao Empire, among other things, so that the decentralized feudal monarchy, during the height of its power in the 13th century, expanded south to present-day Cameroon.

In 1472 the mouth of the Wouri was discovered by the Portuguese, which was called “Rio dos Camaroes” because of its abundance of shrimp. In the coastal region it came to the establishment of trading posts, which primarily served the slave trade.

Invaded in the late 16th century Fulani tribes present in the north of the country and established there Islamic principalities. In the 19th century, they extended their rule in a southerly direction and met resistance from the Bamiléké and Bamoun.

In 1884 Germany became a colonial power in Cameroon through treaties signed with Great Britain and France as well as local rulers.

In the 20th and 21st centuries

After the First World War, the League of Nations gave France the mandate for East Cameroon and Great Britain that for West Cameroon. This ended the German colonial era in Cameroon.

On January 1, 1960, East Cameroon gained independence after years of guerrilla warfare. The first president of the republic was Ahmadou Ahidjo, who ruled in a dictatorial style. In 1961, after a referendum in Western Cameroon, the two parts of the country were reunited. On October 1 of the same year the Federal Republic of Cameroon was founded.

On May 20, 1972, this became the “United Republic of Cameroon” by referendum. After Ahidjo’s resignation in 1982, the previous Prime Minister Paul Biya succeeded him.

He was confirmed in office in early presidential elections in 1984. An attempted coup by Ahidjo’s supporters in the same year could only be put down after days of fighting. In 1985, the country’s previous unity party, UNC, was renamed RDPC (Rassemblement Démocratique du Peuple Camerounais).

In 1990 a multi-party law was passed, as a result of which around 160 parties were founded. The SDF (Social Democratic Front) became the main opposition party. In 1991 around 300 people lost their lives in demonstrations and actions similar to general strikes. The early parliamentary elections in March 1992 led to the formation of a coalition government made up of the RDPC and MDR. In the controversial presidential election in October of the same year, Paul Biya (born 1933) received a narrow majority of the votes.

In January 1996, the country’s new constitution came into force. From the parliamentary elections in May 1997, the RDPC, chaired by Biya, received 116 out of 180 seats. The presidential elections in October 1997 re-confirmed President Biya in office, but were boycotted by the opposition parties. In October 2004 Biya was re-elected President of Cameroon.

Cameroon Facts