COUNTRIES BRIEFS Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108

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Prime Minister' services - THE REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON - BRIEFS

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Cameroon map :The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
The University of Texas at Austin

The Republic of Cameroon is located just north of the Equator, alongside the Bight of Biafra, (Coastline: 402 km) in Western Africa, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria.

Its name originated from a description given to the Wouri River by a 15th century Portuguese sailor: Rio dos Cameroes (River of Shrimps).

Its total area: 475,440 (land: 469,440 sq. km water: 6,000 sq. km)

The bordering countries are: Central African Republic (over 797 km), Chad (over 1,094 km); Republic of the Congo (over 523 km); Equatorial Guinea (over 189 km); Gabon (over 298 km); Nigeria (over 1,690 km)

Population: 15,746,179 (census 2003); 17,705,000 (July 2005 est.). Population growth rate: 2.79% (1999); 2.49% (2005 est.)

Capital-City: Yaounde

Independence: from France: 1 January 1960 (United Nations' trusteeship under French administration)

National holiday: May, 20 - Constitution: May 20, 1972

Natural resources: petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower

Agricultural productions: coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, root starches; livestock; timber

Industrial productions: petroleum production and refining, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber Industrial production growth rate: 2.5%

Cameroon another African country (soon) in trouble?

For five decades running, Cameroon, under the leadership of its two heads of state - Ahidjo (from 1960 to 1982) and Paul Biya since 1982 - enjoyed political stability in comparison to other surrounding regional countries such as Chad and Central African republic. (click here for countries briefs). However, during 1992-1994 period the opposition staged huge civil unrest rallies (Operation "villes mortes" / Dead cities protestations rallies) in order to force out Biya. Biya managed to survived and hang on to power.

After that troubled period, the country enjoyed a decade of relative stability, that is now coming to an end. Indeed, since 2007, dark clouds are gathering and instability is looming. On February 28, 2008, riots erupted in several cities and in the city-port of Douala, led by gangs of jobless youths, who ransacked infrastructure, smashed cars and vehicles, and burnt down shops. To restore Law and Order, Army and police fire ball-cartridges, that caused the death of at least 25 people (official counting)

All this unrest is happening because the developing strategy used since the independence era had not established an economy that creates jobs. 60% of the working class toil in the "gray"/ underground economy, earning survival "wages" [EURO40 per month in average] that is insufficient to pay for escalating living costs: housing rental, utilities supply, food staples purchase and healthcare. In addition, 80% of graduated in all lines of knowledge are jobless. This is not peculiar to Cameroon as here exposed.

The energy crisis (experienced by the whole continent) is not helping either. It is hampering small enterprises' productivity. Tailors-shop, industrious welders and mechanics shops cannot rely on a permanent supply of energy. Transport businesses, thousands of taxi-cab drivers and moto-drivers are handicapped by the rising cost of oil.

In response to the risings, the government hiked civil servants' salaries. Private sector enterprises may also follow suit. However, that initiative would only buy time, as the energy crisis is not helping to increase productivity of existing businesses or establish new enterprises.

A sober observer of Cameroon political stage can see that, like most of African countries, Cameroon is at the cross-road that may lead to global conflagration and chaos - which is already happening in several other African countries. for lack of a proper developing strategy capable of establishing an economic system that creates jobs to cope with demand,and riches for all in order to alleviate poverty.

Nevertheless Cameroon has assets

Cameroon has one of the strongest agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and is amongst the top world producers of cash crops: coffee, cocoa, banana, pineapple. These productions and comfortable oil reserve / production help the country to be one of the economic "success story" in the CEMAC region.

Still, it has to struggle with hindrances, which have plagued the economic development of many third world countries; such as inflated civil service, "corruption" and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise (due to the business "aggressiveness" of some local entrepreneurs.)

If one takes time to scout for dynamic and reliable local business partner(s) one is sure to enter the most successful Central Africa's market - the doorway to a consumer base of 60,000,000 in the CEMAC region - where double digit return on vested money is possible.

There are business opportunities in almost any economic sector; particularly in agribusiness, telecommunication, transport, oil industry. Etc.


1- D&B Export Guide To Cameroon
Digital Delivery In PDF by D&B
2- Kingdom of Mount Cameroon
Studies In The History of Cameroon 1500-1960
by Edwin Ardener
3- Man No Be God
Bushdoctor In Cameroon / by Dieter Lemke
4- Swedish Ventures In Cameroon
Trade & Travel, People & Politics 1833-1923
by Shirley Ardener
5- Memoirs of A Mbororo
The Life of Ndudi Umaru - Fulani Nomad of Cameroon / by Henru Bocquene
6- English In Cameroon
Contribution To Sociology of Language
by Hans-Georg Wolf
7- Men Own The Fields
Women Own The Crops - Gender And Power In the Cameroon Grassfields / by Miriam Goheen
8- Middlemen Of The Cameroon Rivers
The Duala And Their Hinterland
by Ralph Derrick
9- Weaving / Tissage In Cameroon
by Venice Lamb
10- Planning In Contemporary Africa
The State, Town Planning And Society In Cameroon / by Ambe J. Njoh
11- The African Economy Dilemma
by Ekema J. Manga
12- Case Of Self-Help
Water Supply In Cameroon / by Ambe J. Njoh
13- African Witchcraft And Otherness
A Philosophical And Theological Critique Of Intersubjective Relations
by Elias Kifon Bongmba
14- More News On Cameroon
by Yahoo!

Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum



US$ 8.666 billion (2000); 9 billion (2002); 9.800 billion (2004);) 9.950 billion (2006);
GNP-growth rate: 4.4% (2000); 5.5% (2002); 4.9% (2004); 4.9% (2006); 3.2% (2007 est.)
GNP-per capita: US$ 577 (2000); 600 (2002); 580 (2004); 585 (2006);

Click here for the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GNP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 44.3%

  2. industry: 15.9%
  3. services: 39.8% (2007)

Exports: US$ 2.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000); 1.9 billion f.o.b. (2002) ; 3.9 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Imports: US$ 1.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000); 1.7 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.); 3.7 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Commodities: machines and electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food

For currency equivalence click here



A valid passport and a visa (valid for a minimum of 6 months after intended period of stay) are required for most nationalities. A yellow fever vaccination certificate should be presented on arrival to Cameroon.

Once on spot, one should always carry passport and / or identity card when out for errand or sightseeing; to produce them for inspection at the numerous military checkpoints set by government police and army forces throughout the country to tackle security / safety situation which is presently a big concern for Cameroon's authorities.

Contact following addresses or links for more
Ministry of Tourism
P.O. Box 266, Yaoundé
Tel: +(237) 223353
Fax: +(237) 221295
Cameroon High Commission 84 Holland Park, London, W11 3SB
Tel: +(44) 171 7270771
Fax: +(44) 171 7929353
Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
170 Clemow Avenue, Ottawa,
Ontario K1S 2B4
Tel: +(1) 613 2361522
Fax: +(1) 613 2363885
Click here
Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
2349 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008
Tel: +(1) 202 2658790/4
Fax: +(1) 202 3873826


The national air carrier is "Cameroon Airlines" which has regular daily Europe /Africa schedules. They are also many other international air carriers with regular service to and from Douala the Capital City Yaoundé.

Cameroon has many harbors: Bonaberi, Douala, Garoua, Kribi, Tiko. The most important and active being the port of Douala.

These ports run important transshipping operations towards the landlocked Central Africa countries: Chad, Central African Republic. Kribi is the terminal for Chad's crude oil pipeline (under construction to be operational on 2003).


The Prime Minister Office website is here. Below are also listed other contacts for investors
International Chamber of Commerce
Representing Business in Cameroon
Rue Pasteur P.O Box. 4011
DOUALA Cameroon
Tel: +(237) 42-6855
Fax: +(237) 42-5596
Click here
American Business Association
c/o Pecten Cameroon Company
BICIC Building Bonanjo
P.O. Box 2273
Douala, Cameroon
Tel: +(237) 43-2712 / 16
Fax: +(237) 43-2723
Telex 5626 KN
Ministry of Industrial and Commercial Development
Yaounde, Cameroon
Tel: +(237) 22-25-12
Fax: +(237) 22-27-04
Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines
P.O. Box 4011
Douala, Cameroon
Tel: +(237) 42-28-88 / 42-36-90
Telex 5616 KN


Top hotels are available in Cameroon's main cities of Yaoundé and Douala. The "Sawa Group" had many hotels equipped to international standards in several cities. Below listed are some hotels in Douala and Yaoundé:

Mansel Hotel
P.O. Box 2060, Yaounde
Tel: +(237) 21 0007/ 21 3897
Fax: +(237 20 6373
Telex: 8881 KN
Hilton Yaounde
Boulevard du 20 Mai, Yaounde, Cameroon
Tel: +(237) 23 3646
Fax: +(237) 22 3210
Telex: 88960 KN
Click here
Hotel SAWA****
P.O.Box 2345 Douala
Tel: +(237) 42 08 66/43 02 14/ 42 05 25
Fax: +(237) 42 38 71
Telex 5532 / 5693 KN
Click here
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