flag of Cameroon


The former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon merged in 1961 to form the present country. Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite a slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of an ethnic oligarchy headed by President Paul BIYA.

Official name: Republic of Cameroon
Capital: name: Yaounde
geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Government type: republic; multiparty presidential regime
Population: 18,060,382
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Languages: 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Official Currency: XAF
Currency code: XAF
Area: total: 475,440 sq km
land: 469,440 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
Climate: varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north



Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates: 6 00 N, 12 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 475,440 sq km
land: 469,440 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than California
Land boundaries: total: 4,591 km
border countries: Central African Republic 797 km, Chad 1,094 km, Republic of the Congo 523 km, Equatorial Guinea 189 km, Gabon 298 km, Nigeria 1,690 km
Coastline: 402 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate: varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
Terrain: diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Fako 4,095 m (on Mt. Cameroon)
Natural resources: petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 12.54%
permanent crops: 2.52%
other: 84.94% (2005)
Irrigated land: 260 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
Environment - current issues: waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing
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; 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



YAOUNDE 3 83 N, 11 51 E, 2493 feet (760 meters) above sea level.


  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
24 25 24 24 24 22 22 22 21 22 23 23
Avg. Max Temperature
29 29 29 28 28 26 25 25 25 26 27 28
Avg. Min Temperature
20 21 20 20 21 20 19 19 19 19 19 20
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 1 2 2 3 1 3 5 4 2 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

DOUALA 4 0 N, 9 73 E, 29 feet (9 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
27 28 27 27 27 26 25 24 25 25 26 27
Avg. Max Temperature
32 33 33 32 32 30 28 27 29 30 31 32
Avg. Min Temperature
24 24 24 23 23 23 22 22 22 22 23 23
Avg. Rain Days
1 1 3 4 7 8 12 14 12 9 3 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

MAROUA-SALAK 10 45 N, 14 25 E, 1384 feet (422 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
25 27 32 33 32 29 27 26 26 29 27 25
Avg. Max Temperature
32 34 38 39 37 34 31 30 31 35 34 32
Avg. Min Temperature
18 20 24 26 26 24 22 22 22 22 20 18
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 0 0 1 4 3 4 2 0 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

GAROUA 9 33 N, 13 38 E, 800 feet (244 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
25 28 32 32 30 27 26 25 26 27 27 26
Avg. Max Temperature
34 36 39 39 35 32 31 30 31 33 35 34
Avg. Min Temperature
18 20 25 26 25 23 23 22 22 23 19 17
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 0 1 3 4 5 6 4 2 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NGAOUNDERE 7 35 N, 13 56 E, 3622 feet (1104 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
21 22 24 23 22 21 21 21 21 21 20 20
Avg. Max Temperature
30 31 32 30 28 27 26 26 27 28 29 29
Avg. Min Temperature
11 12 16 18 18 17 17 17 17 16 12 10
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 0 3 5 5 11 10 6 2 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

KRIBI 2 95 N, 9 90 E, 52 feet (16 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
28 28 28 28 29 27 26 25 26 26 27 28
Avg. Max Temperature
31 31 32 32 33 30 29 29 29 29 31 31
Avg. Min Temperature
24 24 24 24 24 23 22 22 23 23 23 23
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 0 1 0 1 2 4 8 4 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TIKO 4 8 N, 9 36 E, 170 feet (52 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
27 27 27 27 27 26 24 24 24 26 26 NA
Avg. Max Temperature
31 32 32 31 31 30 26 27 26 31 30 NA
Avg. Min Temperature
23 23 23 23 23 22 22 22 23 22 24 NA
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 0 7 2 1 13 19 3 1 0 NA
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 NA



Cameroon's estimated 250 ethnic groups form five large regional-cultural groups: western highlanders (or grassfielders), including the Bamileke, Bamoun, and many smaller entities in the northwest (est. 38% of population); coastal tropical forest peoples, including the Bassa, Douala, and many smaller entities in the Southwest (12%); southern tropical forest peoples, including the Ewondo, Bulu, and Fang (all Beti subgroups), Maka and Pygmies (officially called Bakas) (18%); predominantly Islamic peoples of the northern semi-arid regions (the Sahel) and central highlands, including the Fulani, also known as Peuhl in French (14%); and the 'Kirdi', non-Islamic or recently Islamic peoples of the northern desert and central highlands (18%).

The people concentrated in the southwest and northwest provinces--around Buea and Bamenda--use standard English and 'pidgin,' as well as their local languages. In the three northern provinces--Adamaoua, North, and Far North--French and Fulfulde, the language of the Fulani, are widely spoken. Elsewhere, French is the principal language, although pidgin and some local languages such as Ewondo, the dialect of a Beti clan from the Yaounde area, also are widely spoken. Although Yaounde is Cameroon's capital, Douala is the largest city, main seaport, and main industrial and commercial center.

The western highlands are the most fertile in Cameroon and have a relatively healthy environment in higher altitudes. This region is densely populated and has intensive agriculture, commerce, cohesive communities, and historical emigration pressures. From here, Bantu migrations into eastern, southern, and central Africa are believed to have originated about 2,000 years ago. Bamileke people from this area have in recent years migrated to towns elsewhere in Cameroon, such as the coastal provinces, where they form much of the business community. About 20,000 non-Africans, including more than 6,000 French and 2,400 U. S. citizens, reside in Cameroon.


Population: 18,060,382
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 41.3% (male 3,763,332/female 3,695,053)
15-64 years: 55.5% (male 5,029,658/female 4,994,786)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 266,616/female 310,937) (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.241% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 35.07 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 12.66 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.018 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.007 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.857 male(s)/female
total population: 1.007 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 65.84 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 70.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 60.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 52.86 years
male: 52.15 years
female: 53.59 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.49 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 6.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 560,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 49,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified among birds in this country or surrounding region; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2007)
Nationality: 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%
Religions: indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
Languages: 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.9%
male: 77%
female: 59.8% (2001 est.)


The earliest inhabitants of Cameroon were probably the Bakas (Pygmies). They still inhabit the forests of the south and east provinces. Bantu speakers originating in the Cameroonian highlands were among the first groups to move out before other invaders. During the late 1770s and early 1800s, the Fulani, a pastoral Islamic people of the western Sahel, conquered most of what is now northern Cameroon, subjugating or displacing its largely non-Muslim inhabitants.

Although the Portuguese arrived on Cameroon's coast in the 1500s, malaria prevented significant European settlement and conquest of the interior until the late 1870s, when large supplies of the malaria suppressant, quinine, became available. The early European presence in Cameroon was primarily devoted to coastal trade and the acquisition of slaves. The northern part of Cameroon was an important part of the Muslim slave trade network. The slave trade was largely suppressed by the mid-19th century. Christian missions established a presence in the late 19th century and continue to play a role in Cameroonian life.

Beginning in 1884, all of present-day Cameroon and parts of several of its neighbors became the German colony of Kamerun, with a capital first at Buea and later at Yaounde. After World War I, this colony was partitioned between Britain and France under a June 28, 1919 League of Nations mandate. France gained the larger geographical share, transferred outlying regions to neighboring French colonies, and ruled the rest from Yaounde. Britain's territory--a strip bordering Nigeria from the sea to Lake Chad, with an equal population--was ruled from Lagos.

In 1955, the outlawed Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC), based largely among the Bamileke and Bassa ethnic groups, began an armed struggle for independence in French Cameroon. This rebellion continued, with diminishing intensity, even after independence. Estimates of death from this conflict vary from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.

French Cameroon achieved independence in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon. The following year the largely Muslim northern two-thirds of British Cameroon voted to join Nigeria; the largely Christian southern third voted to join with the Republic of Cameroon to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The formerly French and British regions each maintained substantial autonomy. Ahmadou Ahidjo, a French-educated Fulani, was chosen President of the federation in 1961. Ahidjo, relying on a pervasive internal security apparatus, outlawed all political parties but his own in 1966. He successfully suppressed the UPC rebellion, capturing the last important rebel leader in 1970. In 1972, a new constitution replaced the federation with a unitary state.

Ahidjo resigned as President in 1982 and was constitutionally succeeded by his Prime Minister, Paul Biya, a career official from the Bulu-Beti ethnic group. Ahidjo later regretted his choice of successors, but his supporters failed to overthrow Biya in a 1984 coup. Biya won single-candidate elections in 1984 and 1988 and flawed multiparty elections in 1992 and 1997. His Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) party holds a sizeable majority in the legislature following 2002 elections--149 deputies out of a total of 180. Elections for the National Assembly and for local governments are scheduled for July 22, 2007, but preparations are not yet complete.


The 1972 constitution as modified by 1996 reforms provides for a strong central government dominated by the executive. The president is empowered to name and dismiss cabinet members, judges, generals, provincial governors, prefects, sub-prefects, and heads of Cameroon's parastatal (about 100 state-controlled) firms, obligate or disburse expenditures, approve or veto regulations, declare states of emergency, and appropriate and spend profits of parastatal firms. The president is not required to consult the National Assembly.

The judiciary is subordinate to the executive branch's Ministry of Justice. The Supreme Court may review the constitutionality of a law only at the president's request.

The 180-member National Assembly meets in ordinary session three times a year (March-April, June-July, and November-December), and has seldom, until recently, made major changes in legislation proposed by the executive. Laws are adopted by majority vote of members present or, if the president demands a second reading, of a total membership.

Following government pledges to reform the strongly centralized 1972 constitution, the National Assembly adopted a number of amendments in December 1995, which were promulgated in a new constitution in January 1996. The amendments call for the establishment of a 100-member Senate as part of a bicameral legislature, the creation of regional councils, and the fixing of the presidential term to 7 years, renewable once. One-third of senators are to be appointed by the president, and the remaining two-thirds are to be chosen by indirect elections. As of September 2005, the government had not established the Senate or regional councils.

All local government officials are employees of the central government's Ministry of Territorial Administration, from which local governments also get most of their budgets.

While the president, the minister of justice, and the president's judicial advisers (the Supreme Court) top the judicial hierarchy, traditional rulers, courts, and councils also exercise functions of government. Traditional courts still play a major role in domestic, property, and probate law. Tribal laws and customs are honored in the formal court system when not in conflict with national law. Traditional rulers receive stipends from the national government.

The government adopted legislation in 1990 to authorize the formation of multiple political parties and ease restrictions on forming civil associations and private newspapers. Cameroon's first multiparty legislative and presidential elections were held in 1992 followed by municipal elections in 1996 and another round of legislative and presidential elections in 1997. Because the government refused to consider opposition demands for an independent election commission, the three major opposition parties boycotted the October 1997 presidential election, which Biya easily won. All of these elections were marred by severe irregularities. In December 2000, the National Assembly passed legislation creating the National Elections Observatory (NEO), an election watchdog body. NEO played an active role in supervising the conduct of local and legislative elections in June 2002, which demonstrated some progress but were still hampered by irregularities. The NEO also supervised the conduct of the presidential election in October 2004 as did many diplomatic missions, including the US Embassy. NEO reported that it was satisfied with the conduct of the election but noted some irregularities and problems with voter registration. The US Embassy also noted these issues with the election, as well as reports of non-indelible ink, but concluded that the irregularities were not severe enough to impact the final result. The incumbent, Paul Biya, was re-elected with 70.92 per cent of the vote. Cameroon has a number of independent newspapers. Censorship was abolished in 1996, but the government sometimes seizes or suspends newspapers. Mutation, the only private daily newspaper in Cameroon, was seized on April 14, 2003 after the paper published articles on 'Life after Biya.' Occasionally the government arrests journalists.

Radio and television continue to be a virtual monopoly of the state-owned broadcaster, the Cameroon Radio-Television Corporation (CRTV), despite the effective liberalization of radio and television in 2000. Since the issuance of the decree authorizing the creation of private radio and television on April 3, 2000, not a single station has received a license from the government, though many have applied and are currently operating while their applications are pending. There are some 15 such private radio stations broadcasting in Yaounde, Douala, Bafoussam, Bamenda, and Limbe; their existence is tolerated by the government. Magic FM, a private radio station in Yaounde, and a Voice of America (VOA) affiliate, was shut down in 2003 after carrying controversial reports and critical commentaries on the regime, but was later reopened. There are a dozen community radio stations supported by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which are exempted from licenses and have no political content. Radio coverage extends to about 80% of the country, while television covers 60% of the territory. The sole private television station--TV Max--broadcasts only in the economic capital of Douala.

The Cameroonian Government's human rights record has been improving over the years but remains flawed. There continue to be reported abuses, including beatings of detainees, arbitrary arrests, and illegal searches. The judiciary is frequently corrupt, inefficient, and subject to political influence.

Principal Government Officials
President--Paul Biya
President of the National Assembly--Djibril Cavaye Yeguie
Prime Minister--Ephraim Inoni
Ambassador to the United States--Jerome Mendouga
Ambassador to the United Nations--Martin Belinga


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: French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon
Government type: republic; multiparty presidential regime
Capital: name: Yaounde
geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 10 provinces; Adamaoua, Centre, Est, Extreme-Nord, Littoral, Nord, Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Ouest
Independence: 1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: Republic Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
Constitution: 20 May 1972 approved by referendum, adopted 2 June 1972; revised January 1996
Legal system: based on French civil law system, with common law influence; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
head of government: Prime Minister Ephraim INONI (since 8 December 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from proposals submitted by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 11 October 2004 (next to be held by October 2011); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: President Paul BIYA reelected; percent of vote - Paul BIYA 70.9%, John FRU NDI 17.4%, Adamou Ndam NJOYA 4.5%, Garga Haman ADJI 3.7%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - the president can either lengthen or shorten the term of the legislature
elections: last held 23 June 2002 (next to be held in 22 July 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RDCP 133, SDF 21, UDC 5, other 21
note: the constitution calls for an upper chamber for the legislature, to be called a Senate, but it has yet to be established
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); High Court of Justice (consists of nine judges and six substitute judges, elected by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leaders: Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]; Cameroon People's Democratic Movement or RDCP [Paul BIYA]; Movement for the Defense of the Republic or MDR [Dakole DAISSALA]; Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO]; Movement for the Youth of Cameroon or MYC [Dieudonne TINA]; National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA]; Social Democratic Front or SDF [John FRU NDI]; Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Augustin Frederic KODOCK]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Southern Cameroon National Council [Ayamba Ette OTUN]; Human Rights Defense Group [Albert MUKONG, president]
Flag description: three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia



For a quarter-century following independence, Cameroon was one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. The drop in commodity prices for its principal exports--oil, cocoa, coffee, and cotton--in the mid-1980s, combined with an overvalued currency and economic mismanagement, led to a decade-long recession. Real per capita gross domestic product (GDP) fell by more than 60% from 1986 to 1994. The current account and fiscal deficits widened, and foreign debt grew.

The government embarked upon a series of economic reform programs supported by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) beginning in the late 1980s. Many of these measures have been painful; the government slashed civil service salaries by 65% in 1993. The CFA franc--the common currency of Cameroon and 13 other African states--was devalued by 50% in January 1994. The government failed to meet the conditions of the first four IMF programs.

In December 2000, the IMF approved a 3-year Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) program worth $133.7 million to reduce poverty and improve social services. The successful completion of the program will allow Cameroon to receive $2 billion in debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Pursuant to the initiative, the IMF is requiring the Cameroonian Government to enhance its macroeconomic planning and financial accountability; continue efforts to privatize the remaining non-financial parastatal enterprises; increase price competition in the banking sector; improve the judicial system; and implement good governance practices.

In late August 2003, the Board of Directors of both the IMF and World Bank approved Cameroon's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) with high marks. The paper integrated the main points of the Millennium Development Goal, which outlined Cameroon's priorities in alleviating poverty and undertaking strong macroeconomic commitments in the short and long term. By late summer 2004 Cameroon had met most of its PRGF targets. A lackluster performance in the fiscal arena, however, led the country off track and resulted in Cameroon not achieving the HIPC completion point. Negotiations are currently underway to create a new program so Cameroon can eventually qualify for HIPC debt forgiveness.

The privatization program has lagged because of legal and political obstacles; difficult negotiations with the government on issues such as sale price, financial disclosure, tax arrears, and overlapping debts; and in some cases, a lack of willing buyers.

The most noticeable recent problem involves the privatization of CamAir, the government-owned airline. In the response to a public request for proposals, a willing buyer which met the published criteria was in fact available, but the government decided it wanted to adopt a totally different approach, and selected another firm which did not meet the original specifications. This new proposal, if ultimately adopted, might well result in better service and more revenue, but the procedures for changing the requested proposals were anything but transparent.

France is Cameroon's main trading partner and source of private investment and foreign aid. Cameroon has a bilateral investment treaty with the United States. In addition to existing investment in the oil sector, U.S. investment in Cameroon, estimated at over $1 million, is progressively growing due primarily to both construction of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline and cobalt and nickel mining.



Economy - overview: Because of its modest oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious problems facing other underdeveloped countries, such as a top-heavy civil service 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. In June 2000, the government completed an IMF-sponsored, three-year structural adjustment program; however, the IMF is pressing for more reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. International oil and cocoa prices have a significant impact on the economy.
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $42.48 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $16.27 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,400 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 45.2%
industry: 16.1%
services: 38.7% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: 48% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 36.6% (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.4% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 6.394 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17%
Unemployment rate: 30% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $3.339 billion
expenditures: $3.157 billion; including capital expenditures of NA (2006 est.)
Industries: petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate: 4.2% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.924 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption: 3.649 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 82,300 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 24,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves: 90 million bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, root starches; livestock; timber
Exports: $4.318 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports - partners: Spain 20.9%, Italy 15.2%, France 11.4%, South Korea 7.6%, Netherlands 7.1%, US 5.6%, Belgium 4.2% (2006)
Imports: $3.083 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports - partners: France 23.5%, Nigeria 13.2%, China 7.2%, Belgium 6.2%, US 4.5%, Brazil 4.1% (2006)
Debt - external: $3.657 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: in January 2001, the Paris Club agreed to reduce Cameroon's debt of $1.3 billion by $900 million; debt relief now totals $1.26 billion
Currency: XAF
Currency code: XAF
Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June



Military branches: Cameroon Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC) (2006)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; the government makes periodic calls for volunteers (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 3,525,307
females age 18-49: 3,461,406 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 1,946,767
females age 18-49: 1,834,600 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 191,619
females age 18-49: 187,082 (2005 est.)







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