Background: The former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon were united” in 1961, forming the current country. The situation in the country was relatively stable; this created favorable conditions for the development of agriculture, the construction of roads and railways, and the development of the oil industry. Despite increasing demands for democratic reforms, political power remains in the hands of the ethnic oligarchy. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Cameroon History.
Location: West Africa, on the coast of the Gulf of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria.
Geographic coordinates: 6° 00′ N. latitude, 12° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 475,440 km2; land surface area: 469,440 km2; water surface area: 6,000 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger state: California.
Land borders: total length: 4,591 km; with neighboring states: with the Central African Republic 797 km, with Chad 1,094 km, with the Republic of the Congo 523 km, with Equatorial Guinea 189 km, with Gabon 298 km, with Nigeria 1,690 km.
Coastline: 402 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 50 nautical miles;
Climate: varies by landscape, from tropical on the coast to hot semi-arid in the north.
Relief: varied; coastal lowland in the southwest, uneven plateau in the central region, mountains in the west), plains in the north.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Faco 4,095 m.
Natural resources: oil, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 13%; cultivated land: 2%; pastures: 4%; forests and plantations: 78%; others: 3% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 210 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: volcanic activity, which has recently led to the release of toxic gases into the atmosphere.
Current environmental issues: spread of water-borne diseases; deforestation; overgrazing by livestock; desertification; poaching; uncontrolled fishing.
International environmental conventions: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994; signed but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 15,803,220; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in age structure and sex ratios (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 42.37% (male 3,385,898; female 3,310,504); 15 to 64 years old: 54.28% (male 4,305,354; female 4,271,958); over 65: 3.35% (male 244,419; female 285,087) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.41% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 36.12 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 11.99 deaths/1000 people (2001 est.).
Migration: no data.
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.02 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.01 male/female; over 65: 0.86 male/female; for the general population: 1.01 male/female (2001 oct.);
Child mortality: 69.83 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 54.59 years; men: 53.76 years; women: 55.44 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 4.8 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 7.73% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 540,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 52,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Cameroonian; adjective: Cameroonian.
Ethnic groups: Cameroonian Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, Other African 13%, Non-Africans less than 1%.
Believers: adherents of local beliefs 40%, Christians 40%, Muslims 20%.
Language(s): 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 63.4%; men: 75%; women: 52.1% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon;
conventional short form: Cameroon; former: Eastern Cameroon.
State structure: unitary republic; multi-party presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990); note: power is concentrated primarily in the hands of the president.
Administrative division: 10 provinces: Ada-maua, Littoral, Nord, Nord-West, Center, West, Sud, Sud-West, Extrem-Nord, Est.
Independence: January 1, 1960 (until 1960 – French tutelage under UN mandate.
National holiday: Republic Day, May 20 (since 1972).
Constitution: approved by referendum on May 20, 1972; officially adopted June 2, 1972, revised January 1996
Legal system: based on the French civil law system, with common law elements; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 20 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
head of government: Prime Minister Peter Mafany MUSONGE (since 19 September 1996);
Government: cabinet of ministers appointed by the president; elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; elections last held 12 October 1997 (next to be held in October 2004); the prime minister is appointed by the president; election results: President Paul BIYA re-elected; percentage of votes – Paul BIYA 92.6%; note – supporters of the opposition candidates boycotted the elections, which makes comparison of the number of votes rather meaningless.
Legislature: unicameral National Assembly (180 members elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term; note – the president has the right to shorten or extend the term of the National Assembly); elections: last held 17 May 1997 (next to be held in 2002); election results: distribution of votes by parties – no data; party allocation: RDCP 109, SDF 43, UNDP 13, UDC 5, UPC-K 1, MDR 1, MLJC 1; note – the results of the elections for 7 deputies were overturned by the Supreme Court, the repeat elections on August 3, 1997 gave these 7 seats to RDCP candidates; note: the constitution provides for the existence of an upper house of the legislature, the Senate, but it has not yet been created.
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; judges are appointed by the president; High Court (9 judges and 6 deputies elected by the National Assembly).
Political parties and leaders: Cameroon Democratic Union (UDC) (Adamou NDAM NJOYA); Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (RDCP) (Paul BIYA); Movement for the Defense of the Republic (MDR) (Dakole DAISSALA); Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon (MLDC) (leader – NA); Cameroon Youth Movement (MLJC) (Marcel YONDO); National Union for Democracy and Progress (UNDP) (Maigari BELLO BOUBA, Chairman); Social Democratic Front (SDF) (John FRU NDI); The Union of Cameroonian Peoples has two factions: UPC-N (Ndeh NTUMAZAH) and UPC-K (Augustin Frederick KODOG).
Political influence groups and their leaders: Cameroon Anglophone Movement (CAM) (Vishe FAI, General Secretary); South Cameroon National Council (Henry FOSSUNG).
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, C, CCC, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-19, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Jerome MENDOUGA; office: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 265-8790; fax: [\] (202) 387-3826.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador John M. YATES; embassy: Rue Nachtigal, Yaounde; mailing address: W. R. 817, Yaounde; forwarding address: American Embassy, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520; phone:  23-40-14, 22-25-89, 23-05-12, 22-17-94; fax:  23-07-53.
Description of the flag: three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red and yellow, with a yellow five-pointed star in the center of the red band; The colors of the Ethiopian flag, which are popular throughout Africa, are used.