Independence Year : 1960
Population : 15085000
Life Expectancy : 54.8
Capital : 1804
GNP : 9174.00
GNP Old : 8596.00
Local Name : Cameroun/Cameroon
Government Form : Republic
Location : Central West Africa bordering the Bight of Biafra (part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean)
Terrain : Northern plains, central and western highlands, southern and coastal tropical forests. Highest peak: Mt. Cameroon (13,353 ft.).
Climate : Northern plains, the Sahel region--semiarid and hot (7-month dry season);
Ethnic Group : About 250
Religions : Christian 53%, Muslim 22%, indigenous African 25%.
Official Website : www.prc.cm/
Genral Information - Cameroon
The name Cameroon is derived from the Portuguese word, Camaroes, meaning shrimps. A Portuguese sailor Ferdanando Poo in 1472 arrived at the River Wouri in Douala and discovered so many shrimps in the river that he decided to call it Rio Dos Camaroes (River of shrimps, in Portuguese)... It was from this word that the territory derived is name which is now spelt in various forms: Spanish spelt it Cameroes; Germans, Kamerun; English, Cameroon; and French, Cameroun.
The territory was colonized by the Germans in1884 and after the end of the 1914-1918 war, Cameroon was mandated by the Ligue of Nations to the French and British governments. France took the greater sector, formally known as East Cameroon, while Britain took responsibility over former West Cameroon known then as "Cameroon under British Administration".
On january 01st 1960 the French Sector became independent under the new name of Cameroon Republic. Following agitation for independence by the Southern Cameroons - before the name was changed to West Cameroon - a plebiscite was held in that sector of Cameroon on February 11th 1961 under the United Nations supervision. The result of the plebiscite which was overwhelming for reunification (233,571 against 97,741) gave Southern Cameroons automatic independence and unification, which was achieved on October 01st 1961. Thus after the reunification of both sectors, the Federal Republic of Cameroon was born.
After a May 20,1972 referendum, Cameroon became a United Republic and by a Presidential Decree of 1984 it became the Republic of Cameroon.
(Source: Cameroon Embassy in the Netherlands)