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Africa :: Cameroon Print
Page last updated on October 06, 2020
  • Introduction :: Cameroon
  • Background field listing
    Much of the area of present-day Cameroon was ruled by powerful chiefdoms before becoming a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the UK as League of Nations mandates. French Cameroon became independent in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon. The following year the southern portion of neighboring British Cameroon voted to merge with the new country to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, a new constitution replaced the federation with a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon. The country has generally enjoyed stability, which has enabled the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of President Paul BIYA.
  • Geography :: Cameroon
  • Location field listing
    Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    6 00 N, 12 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 475,440 sq km
    land: 472,710 sq km
    water: 2,730 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly larger than California; about four times the size of Pennsylvania
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 5,018 km
    border countries (6): Central African Republic 901 km, Chad 1116 km, Republic of the Congo 494 km, Equatorial Guinea 183 km, Gabon 349 km, Nigeria 1975 km
    Coastline field listing
    402 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    Climate field listing
    varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
    Terrain field listing
    diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 667 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Fako on Mont Cameroun 4,045 m
    Natural resources field listing
    petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 20.6% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 13.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 3.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 4.2% (2011 est.)
    forest: 41.7% (2011 est.)
    other: 37.7% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    290 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    population concentrated in the west and north, with the interior of the country sparsely populated as shown in this population distribution map
    Natural hazards field listing

    volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes

    volcanism: Mt. Cameroon (4,095 m), which last erupted in 2000, is the most frequently active volcano in West Africa; lakes in Oku volcanic field have released fatal levels of gas on occasion, killing some 1,700 people in 1986

    Environment - current issues field listing
    waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation and overgrazing result in erosion, desertification, and reduced quality of pastureland; poaching; overfishing; overhunting
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa because of its central location on the continent and its position at the west-south juncture of the Gulf of Guinea; 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 and Society :: Cameroon
  • Population field listing
    27,744,989 (July 2020 est.)

    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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

    country comparison to the world: 51
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Cameroonian(s)
    adjective: Cameroonian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Bamileke-Bamu 24.3%, Beti/Bassa, Mbam 21.6%, Biu-Mandara 14.6%, Arab-Choa/Hausa/Kanuri 11%, Adamawa-Ubangi, 9.8%, Grassfields 7.7%, Kako, Meka/Pygmy 3.3%, Cotier/Ngoe/Oroko 2.7%, Southwestern Bantu 0.7%, foreign/other ethnic group 4.5% (2018 est.)
    Languages field listing
    24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 38.3%, Protestant 25.5%, other Christian 6.9%, Muslim 24.4%, animist 2.2%, other 0.5%, none 2.2% (2018 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Cameroon has a large youth population, with more than 60% of the populace under the age of 25. Fertility is falling but remains at a high level, especially among poor, rural, and uneducated women, in part because of inadequate access to contraception. Life expectancy remains low at about 55 years due to the prevalence of HIV and AIDs and an elevated maternal mortality rate, which has remained high since 1990. Cameroon, particularly the northern region, is vulnerable to food insecurity largely because of government mismanagement, corruption, high production costs, inadequate infrastructure, and natural disasters. Despite economic growth in some regions, poverty is on the rise, and is most prevalent in rural areas, which are especially affected by a shortage of jobs, declining incomes, poor school and health care infrastructure, and a lack of clean water and sanitation. Underinvestment in social safety nets and ineffective public financial management also contribute to Cameroon’s high rate of poverty.

    International migration has been driven by unemployment (including fewer government jobs), poverty, the search for educational opportunities, and corruption. The US and Europe are preferred destinations, but, with tighter immigration restrictions in these countries, young Cameroonians are increasingly turning to neighboring states, such as Gabon and Nigeria, South Africa, other parts of Africa, and the Near and Far East. Cameroon’s limited resources make it dependent on UN support to host more than 320,000 refugees and asylum seekers as of September 2017. These refugees and asylum seekers are primarily from the Central African Republic and more recently Nigeria.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 42.34% (male 5,927,640/female 5,820,226)
    15-24 years: 20.04% (male 2,782,376/female 2,776,873)
    25-54 years: 30.64% (male 4,191,151/female 4,309,483)
    55-64 years: 3.87% (male 520,771/female 552,801)
    65 years and over: 3.11% (male 403,420/female 460,248) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 81.1
    youth dependency ratio: 76.2
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.9
    potential support ratio: 20.3 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 18.5 years
    male: 18.2 years
    female: 18.8 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.78% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Birth rate field listing
    36.3 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Death rate field listing
    8.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Net migration rate field listing
    -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Population distribution field listing
    population concentrated in the west and north, with the interior of the country sparsely populated as shown in this population distribution map
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 57.6% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 3.63% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    3.922 million YAOUNDE (capital), 3.663 million Douala (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    19.7 years (2011 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    529 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 51.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 56.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 46.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 62.3 years
    male: 60.6 years
    female: 64 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Total fertility rate field listing
    4.66 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    34.4% (2014)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 94% of population
    rural: 54.6% of population
    total: 76.5% of population
    unimproved: urban: 6% of population
    rural: 45.3% of population
    total: 23.5% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    4.7% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 83.3% of population
    rural: 25.6% of population
    total: 57.7% of population
    unimproved: urban: 16.7% of population
    rural: 74.4% of population
    total: 42.3% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    3.6% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    540,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    18,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    11.4% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    14.8% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Education expenditures field listing
    3.1% of GDP (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 77.1%
    male: 82.6%
    female: 71.6% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 13 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 12 years (2016)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 6.3%
    male: 5.8%
    female: 6.8% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
  • Government :: Cameroon
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon
    conventional short form: Cameroon
    local long form: Republique du Cameroun/Republic of Cameroon
    local short form: Cameroun/Cameroon
    former: Kamerun, French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon
    etymology: in the 15th century, Portuguese explorers named the area near the mouth of the Wouri River the Rio dos Camaroes (River of Prawns) after the abundant shrimp in the water; over time the designation became Cameroon in English; this is the only instance where a country is named after a crustacean
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Yaounde
    geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: founded as a German colonial settlement of Jaunde in 1888 and named after the local Yaunde (Ewondo) people
    Administrative divisions field listing
    10 regions (regions, singular - region); Adamaoua, Centre, East (Est), Far North (Extreme-Nord), Littoral, North (Nord), North-West (Nord-Ouest), West (Ouest), South (Sud), South-West (Sud-Ouest)
    Independence field listing
    1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
    National holiday field listing
    State Unification Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest effective 18 January 1996
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; amendment drafts require approval of at least one third of the membership in either house of Parliament; passage requires absolute majority vote of the Parliament membership; passage of drafts requested by the president for a second reading in Parliament requires two-thirds majority vote of its membership; the president can opt to submit drafts to a referendum, in which case passage requires a simple majority; constitutional articles on Cameroon’s unity and territorial integrity and its democratic principles cannot be amended; amended 2008
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Cameroon
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    20 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
    head of government: Prime Minister Joseph Dion NGUTE (since 4 January 2019); Deputy Prime Minister Amadou ALI (since 2014)
    cabinet: Cabinet proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 7 October 2018 (next to be held in October 2025); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Paul BIYA reelected president; percent of vote - Paul BIYA (CPDM) 71.3%, Maurice KAMTO (MRC) 14.2%, Cabral LIBII (Univers) 6.3%, other 8.2%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
    Senate or Senat (100 seats; 70 members indirectly elected by regional councils and 30 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
    National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections: Senate - last held on 25 March 2018 (next to be held in 2023)
    National Assembly - last held on 9 February 2020 (current term extended by President); note - the constitutional court has ordered a partial rerun of elections in the English speaking areas; date to be determined
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDPM 81.1%, SDF 8.6%, UNDP 5.8%, UDC 1.16%, other 2.8%; seats by party - CPDM 63, SDF 7
    National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 139, UNDP 7, SDF 5, PCRN 5, UDC 4, FSNC 3, MDR 2, Union of Socialist Movements 2; 13 vacant; composition - NA
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Cameroon (consists of 9 titular and 6 surrogate judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and audit chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 11 members)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the advice of the Higher Judicial Council of Cameroon, a body chaired by the president and includes the minister of justice, selected magistrates, and representatives of the National Assembly; judge term NA; Constitutional Council members appointed by the president for single 9-year terms
    subordinate courts: Parliamentary Court of Justice (jurisdiction limited to cases involving the president and prime minister); appellate and first instance courts; circuit and magistrates' courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Alliance for Democracy and Development
    Cameroon People's Democratic Movement or CPDM [Paul BIYA]
    Cameroon People's Party or CPP [Edith Kah WALLA]
    Cameroon Renaissance Movement or MRC [Maurice KAMTO]
    Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]
    Cameroonian Party for National Reconciliation or PCRN [Cabral LIBII]
    Front for the National Salvation of Cameroon or FSNC [Issa Tchiroma BAKARY]
    Movement for the Defense of the Republic or MDR [Dakole DAISSALA]
    Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO]
    National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA]
    Progressive Movement or MP [Jean-Jacques EKINDI]
    Social Democratic Front or SDF [John FRU NDI]
    Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Provisionary Management Bureau]
    Union of Socialist Movements
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador Henri ETOUNDI ESSOMBA (since 27 June 2016)
    chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
    FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Peter Henry BARLERIN (since 20 December 2017)
    telephone: [237] 22220 1500; Consular: [237] 22220 1603
    embassy: Avenue Rosa Parks, Yaounde
    mailing address: P.O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
    FAX: [237] 22220 1500 Ext. 4531; Consular FAX: [237] 22220 1752
    branch office(s): Douala
    Flag description field listing
    three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow, with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band; the vertical tricolor recalls the flag of France; red symbolizes unity, yellow the sun, happiness, and the savannahs in the north, and green hope and the forests in the south; the star is referred to as the "star of unity"

    note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

    National symbol(s) field listing
    lion; national colors: green, red, yellow
    National anthem field listing
    name: "O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancetres" (O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers)
    lyrics/music: Rene Djam AFAME, Samuel Minkio BAMBA, Moise Nyatte NKO'O [French], Benard Nsokika FONLON [English]/Rene Djam AFAME

    note: adopted 1957; Cameroon's anthem, also known as "Chant de Ralliement" (The Rallying Song), has been used unofficially since 1948 and officially adopted in 1957; the anthem has French and English versions whose lyrics differ

  • Economy :: Cameroon
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Cameroon’s market-based, diversified economy features oil and gas, timber, aluminum, agriculture, mining and the service sector. Oil remains Cameroon’s main export commodity, and despite falling global oil prices, still accounts for nearly 40% of exports. Cameroon’s economy suffers from factors that often impact underdeveloped countries, such as stagnant per capita income, a relatively inequitable distribution of income, a top-heavy civil service, endemic corruption, continuing inefficiencies of a large parastatal system in key sectors, 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. The IMF continues to press for economic reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. The Government of Cameroon provides subsidies for electricity, food, and fuel that have strained the federal budget and diverted funds from education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects, as low oil prices have led to lower revenues.

    Cameroon devotes significant resources to several large infrastructure projects currently under construction, including a deep seaport in Kribi and the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project. Cameroon’s energy sector continues to diversify, recently opening a natural gas-powered electricity generating plant. Cameroon continues to seek foreign investment to improve its inadequate infrastructure, create jobs, and improve its economic footprint, but its unfavorable business environment remains a significant deterrent to foreign investment.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $89.54 billion (2017 est.)
    $86.47 billion (2016 est.)
    $82.63 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 88
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $34.99 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    3.5% (2017 est.)
    4.6% (2016 est.)
    5.7% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $3,700 (2017 est.)
    $3,700 (2016 est.)
    $3,600 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 182
    Gross national saving field listing
    25.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    25.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    23.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 66.3% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 11.8% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 21.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.3% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 21.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -20.9% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 16.7% (2017 est.)
    industry: 26.5% (2017 est.)
    services: 56.8% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, cassava (manioc, tapioca); livestock; timber
    Industries field listing
    petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    3.3% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Labor force field listing
    9.912 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 70%
    industry: 13%
    services: 17% (2001 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    4.3% (2014 est.)
    30% (2001 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Population below poverty line field listing
    30% (2001 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 37.5%
    highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 5.363 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 6.556 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    15.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -3.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Public debt field listing
    36.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 July - 30 June
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    0.6% (2017 est.)
    0.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Current account balance field listing
    -$932 million (2017 est.)
    -$1.034 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Exports field listing
    $4.732 billion (2017 est.)
    $4.561 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Exports - partners field listing
    Netherlands 15.6%, France 12.6%, China 11.7%, Belgium 6.8%, Italy 6.3%, Algeria 4.8%, Malaysia 4.4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
    Imports field listing
    $4.812 billion (2017 est.)
    $4.827 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 19%, France 10.3%, Thailand 7.9%, Nigeria 4.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $3.235 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Debt - external field listing
    $9.375 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.364 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Exchange rates field listing
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    605.3 (2017 est.)
    593.01 (2016 est.)
    593.01 (2015 est.)
    591.45 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Cameroon
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 9 million (2017)
    electrification - total population: 60.1% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 91.9% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 21.3% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    8.108 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    6.411 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Electricity - imports field listing
    55 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    1.558 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    52% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    47% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Crude oil - production field listing
    69,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    96,370 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    36,480 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    200 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    39,080 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    45,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    8,545 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    14,090 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Natural gas - production field listing
    910.4 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    906.1 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    135.1 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    7.672 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
  • Communications :: Cameroon
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 902,253
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 18,455,836
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 70 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: 3G service and LTE service both developing given growing competition, along with a fast-developing mobile broadband sector; govt. supportive of launching programs who's aim is to improve connections nationally; about 95% of electronic transactions carried out through M-commerce services (2020)
    domestic: only about 3 per 100 persons for fixed-line subscriptions; mobile-cellular usage has increased sharply, reaching a subscribership base of over 70 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 237; landing points for the SAT-3/WASC, SAIL, ACE, NCSCS, Ceiba-2, and WACS fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe, South America, and West Africa; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    government maintains tight control over broadcast media; state-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), broadcasting on both a TV and radio network, was the only officially recognized and fully licensed broadcaster until August 2007, when the government finally issued licenses to 2 private TV broadcasters and 1 private radio broadcaster; about 70 privately owned, unlicensed radio stations operating but are subject to closure at any time; foreign news services required to partner with state-owned national station (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 6,089,200
    percent of population: 23.2% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 17,987
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
  • Military and Security :: Cameroon
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Cameroon Armed Forces (Forces Armees Camerounaises, FAC): Army (L'Armee de Terre), Navy (Marine Nationale Republique, MNR, includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC), Gendarmerie, Presidential Guard (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.1% of GDP (2019)
    1.1% of GDP (2018)
    1.3% of GDP (2017)
    1.3% of GDP (2016)
    1.3% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    size assessments for the Cameroon Armed Forces (FAC) vary widely; approximately 40,000 active duty troops; (25,000 Army, including the Presidential Guard; 2,000 Navy; 1,000 Air Force; 12,000 Gendarmerie) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the FAC inventory includes a mix of mostly older or second-hand Chinese, Russian, and Western equipment, with a limited quantity of more modern weapons; since 2010, the top suppliers to the FAC are China, Russia, Spain, and the US (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    750 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); MNJTF (approximately 2,000-2,500 troops committed; note - the national MNJTF troop contingents are deployed within their own country territories, although cross‐border operations occur occasionally) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years; periodic government calls for volunteers (2012)
    Military - note field listing
    the FAC is largely focused on the threat from the terror group Boko Haram along its frontiers with Nigeria and Chad (Far North region) and an insurgency from armed Anglophone separatist groups in the North-West and South-West regions (as of Feb 2020, this internal conflict has left an estimated 3,000 civilians dead and over 700,000 people displaced since fighting started in 2016); in addition, the FAC has occasionally deployed units to the border region with the Central African Republic to counter intrusions from armed militias and bandits (2020)
  • Transportation :: Cameroon
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 265,136 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 70,000 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    TJ (2016)
    Airports field listing
    33 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 11 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 22 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
    under 914 m: 8 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    53 km gas, 5 km liquid petroleum gas, 1107 km oil, 35 km water (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 987 km (2014)
    narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

    note: railway connections generally efficient but limited; rail lines connect major cities of Douala, Yaounde, Ngaoundere, and Garoua; passenger and freight service provided by CAMRAIL

    country comparison to the world: 89
    Roadways field listing
    total: 77,589 km (2016)
    paved: 5,133 km (2016)
    unpaved: 72,456 km (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Waterways field listing
    (major rivers in the south, such as the Wouri and the Sanaga, are largely non-navigable; in the north, the Benue, which connects through Nigeria to the Niger River, is navigable in the rainy season only to the port of Garoua) (2010)
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 29
    by type: general cargo 9, other 20 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Ports and terminals field listing
    oil terminal(s): Limboh Terminal
    river port(s): Douala (Wouri)
    Garoua (Benoue)
  • Terrorism :: Cameroon
  • Terrorist groups - foreign based field listing
    Boko Haram: aim(s): establish an Islamic caliphate across Africa
    area(s) of operation: conducts attacks, suicide bombings, targeted killings, kidnappings, and raids for supplies, especially in the Far North Region along Cameroon's border with Nigeria; perpetrates multiple and indiscriminate killings against civilians – Muslim and Christian alike – but also against government officials and security forces
    note: violently opposes any political or social activity associated with Western society, including voting, attending secular schools, and wearing Western dress (2019)
    Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)-West Africa: aim(s): implement ISIS's strict interpretation of Sharia; replace the Nigerian Government with an Islamic state
    area(s) of operation: based primarily in Northeast Nigeria along the border with Niger, with its largest presence in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region; targets primarily regional military installations (2019)
  • Transnational Issues :: Cameroon
  • Disputes - international field listing

    Joint Border Commission with Nigeria reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately ceded sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a full phase-out of Nigerian control and patriation of residents in 2008; Cameroon and Nigeria agreed on maritime delimitation in March 2008; sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 302,566 (Central African Republic), 116,237 (Nigeria) (2020)
    IDPs: 976,773 (2020) (includes far north, northwest, and southwest)