Cameroon gained independence on 1 January 1960 from UN trusteeship that was administered by the French. Since then the country has been relatively stable and has developed a good industrial infrastructure. The capital city is Yaounde and their legal system is based on French civil law and common law. The religious makeup consists of 40% indigenous beliefs, 40% Christian and 20% Muslim. The main ethnic component is 31% Cameroon Highlanders, 19% Equatorial Bantu, 11% Kirdi, 10% Fulani, 8% Northwestern Bantu, 7% Eastern Nigritic.

Early archaeological evidence suggest that humans have lived there for at least 50,000 years. In more recent times, the important kingdom of Sao was thought to have been established in the 5th century AD. In the 18th century, Islam became a powerful force through conquest, immigration and commerce, and the Fulani were the most significant bearers of this faith.

The currency is the Communaute Financiere Africaine francs.


Cameroon is a west African country bordering the Bight of Biafra (Atlantic Ocean) to the southwest, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the DRC to the south, the Central African Republic  and Chad to the east, and Nigeria to the northwest. The total surface area is 183,568 square miles, roughly similar to the size of California. Arable land is 12,5%, and the climate is tropical along the coast and semiarid and hot to the north.

There is volcanic activity and poisonous gas release especially from the Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes, and Mount Cameroon which is the highest mountain in Sub-Saharan east Africa. There are numerous thermal springs located throughout the country.

Natural resources include oil, bauxite, iron ore, timber and hydro power. The main agricultural products are cocoa-beans, coffee and cotton.


The total population is 17,4 million people who are commonly known as Cameroonians. The labor force is about 6,7 million people, the unemployment rate is estimated at 30% and it is thought that 48% of the population live below the poverty line. The adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is 6,9% and an average of 4 children are born per woman.