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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.



Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria

Geographic coordinates

6 00 N, 12 00 E

Map references



total: 475,440 sq km
land: 472,710 sq km
water: 2,730 sq km
country comparison to the world: 55

Area - comparative

slightly larger than California; about four times the size of Pennsylvania

Land boundaries

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


402 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12nm
contiguous zone: 24nm


varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north


diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north


mean elevation: 667 m
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Fako on Mont Cameroun 4,045 m

Natural resources

petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower

Land use

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

290 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

population concentrated in the west and north, with the interior of the country sparsely populated

Natural hazards

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

waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation and overgrazing result in erosion, desertification, and reduced quality of pastureland; poaching; overfishing; overhunting

Environment - international agreements

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

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


25,640,965 (July 2018 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: 53


noun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian

Ethnic groups

Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%


24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)


Roman Catholic 38.4%, Protestant 26.3%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 20.9%, animist 5.6%, other 1%, non-believer 3.2% (2005 est.)

Demographic profile

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

0-14 years: 42.15%(male 5,445,142 /female 5,362,166)
15-24 years: 19.6%(male 2,524,031 /female 2,502,072)
25-54 years: 31.03%(male 4,001,963 /female 3,954,258)
55-64 years: 3.99%(male 499,101 /female 524,288)
65 years and over: 3.23%(male 384,845 /female 443,099) (2018 est.)
population pyramid:

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Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 85.9 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 80 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 17 (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 18.6 years (2018 est.)
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.7 years
country comparison to the world: 208

Population growth rate

2.54% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20

Birth rate

35 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21

Death rate

9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49

Net migration rate

-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103

Population distribution

population concentrated in the west and north, with the interior of the country sparsely populated


urban population: 57% of total population(2019)
rate of urbanization: 3.63% annual rate of change(2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.822 million YAOUNDE (capital), 3.536 million Douala, (2019)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.7 years (2011 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate

529 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18

Infant mortality rate

total: 49.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 53.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.2 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 29

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 59.4 years (2018 est.)
male: 58 years
female: 60.9 years
country comparison to the world: 210

Total fertility rate

4.58 children born/woman (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24

Contraceptive prevalence rate

34.4% (2014)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 94.8% of population
rural: 52.7% of population
total: 75.6% of population
unimproved: urban: 5.2% of population
rural: 47.3% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

4.7% (2016)

Physicians density

0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density

1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 61.8% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 26.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 45.8% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 38.2% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 73.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 54.2% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

3.6% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

540,000 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

HIV/AIDS - deaths

18,000 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2019)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2019)
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever (2019)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2019)
animal contact diseases: rabies (2019)
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis (2019)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

11.4% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 135

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

14.8% (2014)
country comparison to the world: 45

Education expenditures

3.1% of GDP (2017)
country comparison to the world: 133


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 75%
male: 81.2%
female: 68.9% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years
male: 14 years
female: 12 years (2016)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 6.3%
male: 5.8%
female: 6.8% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159


Country name

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

presidential republic


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

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)


1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday

State Unification Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)


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 (2017)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt


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


20 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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

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 30 September 2013 (next to be held 9 February 2020)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 63, SDF 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 148, SDF 18, UNDP 5, UDC 4, UPC 3, other 2; composition - men 74, women 26, percent of women 26%
National Assembly - composition - men 124, women 56, percent of women 31.3%; note - total Parliament percent of women 29.3%

Judicial branch

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

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]
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]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

Ambassador Essomba ETOUNDI (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

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

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)

lion; national colors: green, red, yellow

National anthem

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 - overview

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)

$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)

$34.99 billion (2017 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

3.5% (2017 est.)
4.6% (2016 est.)
5.7% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$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

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

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

agriculture: 16.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 26.5% (2017 est.)
services: 56.8% (2017 est.)

Agriculture - products

coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, cassava (manioc, tapioca); livestock; timber


petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair

Industrial production growth rate

3.3% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94

Labor force

9.912 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.3% (2014 est.)
30% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57

Population below poverty line

30% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 37.5%
highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

46.5 (2014 est.)
44.6 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 30


revenues: 5.363 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 6.556 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

15.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143

Public debt

36.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.6% (2017 est.)
0.9% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31

Central bank discount rate

4.25% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 89

Commercial bank prime lending rate

13% (31 December 2017 est.)
12.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61

Stock of narrow money

$4.857 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.86 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107

Stock of broad money

$4.857 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.86 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111

Stock of domestic credit

$6.154 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.714 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125

Market value of publicly traded shares

$230 million (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116

Current account balance

-$932 million (2017 est.)
-$1.034 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141


$4.732 billion (2017 est.)
$4.561 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110

Exports - partners

Netherlands 15.6%, France 12.6%, China 11.7%, Belgium 6.8%, Italy 6.3%, Algeria 4.8%, Malaysia 4.4% (2017)

Exports - commodities

crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton


$4.812 billion (2017 est.)
$4.827 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Imports - commodities

machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food

Imports - partners

China 19%, France 10.3%, Thailand 7.9%, Nigeria 4.1% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.235 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107

Debt - external

$9.375 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.364 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115

Exchange rates

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.)


Electricity access

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

8.108 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109

Electricity - consumption

6.411 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Electricity - imports

55 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105

Electricity - installed generating capacity

1.558 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122

Electricity - from fossil fuels

52% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

47% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44

Electricity - from other renewable sources

1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150

Crude oil - production

69,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47

Crude oil - exports

96,370 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35

Crude oil - imports

36,480 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59

Crude oil - proved reserves

200 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55

Refined petroleum products - production

39,080 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82

Refined petroleum products - consumption

45,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109

Refined petroleum products - exports

8,545 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84

Refined petroleum products - imports

14,090 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Natural gas - production

910.4 million cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69

Natural gas - consumption

906.1 million cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103

Natural gas - proved reserves

135.1 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

7.672 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 699,055
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 19,706,027
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 79 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59

Telephone system

general assessment: equipment is old and outdated, and connections with many parts of the country are unreliable; 3G service and LTE service both developing given growing competition, along with a fast-developing mobile broadband sector (2018)
domestic: only about 3 per 100 persons for fixed-line subscriptions; mobile-cellular usage has increased sharply, reaching a subscribership base of over 79 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)

Broadcast media

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


Internet users

total: 6,090,201
percent of population: 25% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 42,117
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Military and Security

Military expenditures

1.25% of GDP (2018)
1.31% of GDP (2017)
1.32% of GDP (2016)
1.25% of GDP (2015)
1.25% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 99

Military and security forces

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 service age and obligation

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)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 267,208 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

TJ (2016)


33 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 112

Airports - with paved runways

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

total: 22 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
under 914 m: 8 (2013)


53 km gas, 5 km liquid petroleum gas, 1107 km oil, 35 km water (2013)


total: 987 km (2014)
narrow gauge: 987 km1.000-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


total: 77,589 km (2016)
paved: 5,133 km (2016)
unpaved: 72,456 km (2016)
country comparison to the world: 64


(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

total: 19
by type: general cargo 4, other 15 (2018)
country comparison to the world: 139

Ports and terminals

oil terminal(s): Limboh Terminal
river port(s): Douala (Wouri)
Garoua (Benoue)


Terrorist groups - foreign based

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

Disputes - international

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

refugees (country of origin): 292,862 (Central African Republic), 109,340 (Nigeria) (2019)
IDPs: 806,977 (2019) (includes far north, northwest, and southwest)

Flag of Cameroon

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