The constitution divides Cameroon into 10 regions, each region is headed by a presidentially appointed governor. The regions are subdivided into 58 divisions.
Cameroon currency is the CFA franc
Cameroons legal system is largely based in French civil law with common law influences.
Its foreign policy closely follows that of its main ally, France. The country relies heavily on France for its defense; although military spending is high in comparison to other sectors of government.
Compared to other African countries, Cameroon enjoys high political and social stability. This has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, railways, and large petroleum and timber industries.
Nevertheless, large numbers of Cameroonians live in poverty as subsistence farmers.
Soils and climate on the coast encourage commercial cultivation of bananas, cocoa, palm oils, rubber, and tea.
Inland on the South Cameroon Plateau, cash crops include coffee, sugar, and tobacco.
In the north, natural conditions favor crops such as cotton, ground nuts, and rice
Livestock are raised throughout the country. Fishing employs about 5,000 people and provides 20,000 tons of seafood each year.
Urban centers are particularly reliant on peasant agriculture for their foodstuffs.
FELIPE & DANIELA
Cameroon’s official name is Republic of Cameroon with a population of 20,129,878
The country’s capital is Yaoundé
Cameroon is located in west Central Africa and is called “Africa in miniature” for its geological and cultural diversity. It exhibits all major climates and vegetation of the continent.
Natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas.
French and English are the official languages
Cameroon is the world’s 53rd largest country (somewhat larger than the U.S. state of California).
Sao civilization and Baka hunter-gatherers were among the first and longest continuous inhabitants.
Portuguese explorers reached the coast in the 15th century in 1472 and named the area Rio dos Camarões for the abundance of mud lobster in the Wouri River (the name from which Cameroon derives).
Fulani soldiers founded the Adamawa Empire in the North in the 19th century.
Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 (Colony of Kamerun).
After World War I in 1919, the territory was divided between France and Britain.
In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent as the Republic of Cameroun
The southern part of British Cameroon merged with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.
The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984.
Traditional sports include canoe racing and wrestling and running
Cameroon is one of the few tropical countries to have competed in the winter Olympics.
The country’s main sport is soccer, the Cameroon national soccer team has been one of the most successful in Africa since its strong showing in the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Cameroon has won 4 African Cup of Nations titles and the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics.
The predominant faith in Cameroon is Christianity, practiced by about 2/3 of the population, while Islam is a significant minority faith, followed by about 1/5 of the population.
Muslims are most concentrated in the North while Christians are concentrated primarily in the southern and western regions, but both religions can be found throughout the country.
People widely believe in witchcraft and the government outlaws such practices. Suspected witches are often subject to mob violence.
Native traditional religions are practiced in rural areas throughout the country but rarely are practiced publicly in cities, in part because many indigenous religious groups are intrinsically local in character.
Education & Health
The educational system is a mixture of British and French precedents with most instruction in English or French.
Cameroon has one of the highest school attendance rates in Africa.
Girls attend school less regularly than boys do because of cultural attitudes, domestic duties, early marriage and pregnancy, and sexual harassment.
Primary school lasts 6 to 7 years while secondary school lasts 7 years.
The quality of health care is generally low. Outside the major cities, facilities are often dirty and poorly equipped.
Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 54.71 years, among the lowest in the world.
Traditional healers remain a popular alternative to Western medicine.
MIGUEL & ADRIANA
In the rainforest and the Grassfields, “poto poto” (earthen plaster on a wooden frame) and mud brick rectangular buildings roofed in palm thatch or corrugated iron are common.
Traditional Grassfields architecture was constructed of bamboo. Square or rectangular buildings with sliding doors were topped by conical thatched roofs. The doorposts of royalty had elaborate carvings.
Traditional architecture in the North includes round mud buildings crowned in thatch. Walled compounds usually include a separate granary.
Throughout the nation, structures built of concrete bricks, corrugated iron roofs, and iron grillwork have replaced other forms of housing.
The Ovus (Get this information from Ms. Allison)
Much of daily life occurs in public areas such as the courtyards of polygynous compounds. Privacy is often suspect, especially among people with a strong belief in malevolent and occult powers.
Women are responsible for feeding their families by growing staple food crops and processing dairy products while men clear the land and provide meat, oil, and salt to the family. They also grow cash crops and herd livestock.
Men generally have a higher social status than women.
Greetings, use of proper names, and use of praise names are important parts of daily etiquette in many regions of Cameroon. At meetings, each person should be greeted by name or with a handshake.
Serving and graciously receiving food is an important symbol of hospitality and trust throughout the country.
CARMEN & GENESIS
Cameroon is divided into five major geographic zones distinguished by dominant physical, climatic, and vegetative features.
The coastal plain extends 15 to 150 km inland from the Gulf of Guinea and has an average elevation of 90m. Exceedingly hot and humid with a short dry season, this belt is densely forested and includes some of the wettest places on earth, part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests.
The South Cameroon Plateau rises from the coastal plain to an average elevation of 650m. Equatorial rainforest dominates this region, although its alternation between wet and dry seasons makes it less humid than in the coast. This area is part of the Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests eco-region.
An irregular chain of mountains, hills, and plateaus known as the Cameroon range extends from Mount Cameroon on the coast - Cameroon’s highest point at 4,095m - almost to Lake Chad at Cameroon’s northern border. This region has a mild climate, particularly on the Western High Plateau, although rainfall is high. Its soils are among Cameroon’s most fertile, especially around volcanic Mount Cameroon. Volcanism here has created crater lakes. On August 21, 1986 one of these lakes, Lake Nyos, belched carbon dioxide and killed between 1,700 and 2,000 people. This area has been delineated by the World Wildlife Fund as the Cameroonian Highlands forests eco-region.
The southern plateau rises northward to the grassy, rugged Adamawa Plateau. This feature stretches from the western mountain area and forms a barrier between the country’s north and south. Its average temperature ranges from 22°C to 25°C with high rainfall between April and October.
The northern lowland region extends from the edge of the Adamawa to Lake Chad. Its characteristic vegetation is savanna scrub and grass. This is an arid region with sparse rainfall and high median temperatures.
Savanna is an enormous plain between moisture equator forests and tropical deserts. The seasons in Africa's savanna are two: wet and dry.
In the dry season there is strong evaporation and the tree leaves fall off, and grass and bushes wither. Because of that, the savanna looks like wheaten. It often flares up in flame spreading to enormous areas.
In the wet season grass grows up, and trees and bushes get green and everything is so nice.
If you have a walk in a savanna you can see many animals - zebras, giraffes, elephants. You can also see beasts lying down on the ground. The king of the animals – the lion also lives in the savanna as well as the biggest bird in the world – the ostrich.
The national flag of Cameroon was adopted in its present form on May 20th, 1975 after Cameroon became a unitary state. It is a vertical tricolor of green, red and yellow, defaced with a five-pointed star in its center.
The color scheme uses the traditional Pan-African colors (Cameroon becoming the second state to do so), and the tricolor design is adapted from the flag of France. The center stripe is thought to stand for unity: red is the color of unity, and the star is referred to as "the star of unity". The yellow stands for the sun, and also the savannas in the northern part of the country, while the green is for the forests in the southern part of Cameroon.
The coat of arms of Cameroon consists of a shield with a banner above and below it. Behind the shield are two crossed fasces. The shield has the same color pattern as the flag of Cameroon, and in the center is a map of the nation. The scales of justice are superimposed on top of the map of the nation.
The banner at the bottom gives the name of the nation in French and English. The top banner contains the national motto: Paix, Travail, Patrie. Or peace, work, fatherland in English. The fasces are a symbol of the republic's authority, and the scales of justice represent justice.
JOAN & EMILIA
Cameroonian food is fused with French cuisine, English and even German flavors and African traditions.
Cameroonian food is reputed to be very spicy; spiced with salt, red pepper, and one of the most used seasoning, the Maggi brand.
Fried banana and fries are very common
The food is very rich but somewhat greasy, mainly because dishes are mainly prepared from palm oil.
Bush meat, a long staple for rural Cameroonians, is today a delicacy in the country’s urban centers. The commercial bush meat trade has now surpassed deforestation as the main threat to wildlife in Cameroon.
Snacks are popular, especially in larger towns where they may be bought from street vendors.
Breakfast consists of leftovers of bread and fruit with coffee or tea. Generally breakfast consists of various foods made from wheat flour: donuts, banana bread, bean cakes, and many more.
It varies by region, but a large, one-course evening meal is common throughout the country.
Meals consist of a cooked cereal or root staple accompanied by a sauce or stew. In the southern areas, the major staples are root crops such as cassava and cocoyams, and plantains; in the moist savanna and Grassfields, maize and plantains, and in the north, sorghum and millet. Rice and pasta have become popular.
Vegetables such as greens, okra, and squashes are common. Hot peppers, onions, ginger, and tomatoes are popular condiments. Uncooked fruits such as bananas, mangoes, papayas, oranges, and avocados are popular snacks and desserts; they are not considered part of meals.
Meat and fish are popular but expensive additions.
At the visit of an honored guest, a wedding, or a funeral, a chicken, goat, sheep, or steer is served to guests at these special occasions.
Water, palm wine, and millet beer are the traditional mealtime drinks, although, beer, soda, and wine have gained popularity.
Silverware is common, but food is traditionally manipulated with the right hand.
In many regions, men and guests eat before women and children.