The World Factbook (1982)/Cameroon


World Factbook (1982) Cameroon.jpg
(See reference map VII)


475,400 km2; 4% cultivated, 18% grazing, 13% fallow, 50% forest, 15% other

Land boundaries: 4,554 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 50 nm

Coastline: 402 km


Population: 9,049,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.9%; this estimate does not take into account migration between Cameroon and Chad during recent years

Nationality: noun—Cameroonian(s); adjective—Cameroonian

Ethnic divisions: about 200 tribes of widely differing background; 31% Cameroon Highlanders, 19% Equatorial Bantu, 11% Kirdi, 10% Fulani, 8% Northwestern Bantu, 7% Eastern Nigritic, 13% other African, less than 1% non-African

Religion: about one-half animist, one-third Christian, one-sixth Muslim

Language: English and French official, 24 major African language groups

Literacy: South 40%, North 10%

Labor force: most of population engaged in subsistence agriculture and herding; 200,000 wage earners (maximum) including 22,000 government employees, 63,000 paid agricultural workers, 49,000 in manufacturing

Organized labor: under 45% of wage labor force


Official name: United Republic of Cameroon

Type: unitary republic; one-party presidential regime

Capital: Yaoundé

Political subdivisions: 7 provinces divided into 40 departments, 153 arrondissements, 31 districts

Legal system: based on French civil law system, with common law influence; new unitary constitution adopted 1972; judicial review in Supreme Court, when a question of constitutionality is referred to it by the President of the Republic; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: National Day, 20 May

Branches: executive (President), legislative (National Assembly), and judicial (Supreme Court)

Government leader: President Ahmadou AHIDJO

Suffrage: universal over age 21

Elections: parliamentary elections held 28 May 1978; presidential elections held April 1980

Political parties and leaders: single party, Cameroon National Union (UNC), instituted in 1966, President Ahmadou Ahidjo

Communists: no Communist Party or significant number of sympathizers

Other political or pressure groups: Cameroon People's Union (UPC), an illegal terrorist group now reduced to scattered acts of banditry with its factional leaders in exile

Member of: AFBD, EAMA, ECA, EIB (associate), FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, IPU, ISCON, ISO, ITU, Lake Chad Basin Commission, NAM, Niger River Commission, OAU, UDEAC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO


GDP: $5.6 billion (1980), about $675 per capita; real annual growth rate, 4.1% (1971-81)

Agriculture: commercial and food crops—cocoa, coffee, timber, cotton, rubber, bananas, peanuts, palm oil and palm kernels; root starches, livestock, millet, sorghum, and rice

Fishing: imports 7,024 metric tons, $2.2 million; exports 909 metric tons (largely shrimp), $3.5 million (1975)

Major industries: small aluminum plant, food processing and light consumer goods industries, sawmills

Electric power: 381,000 kW capacity (1980); 1.388 billion kWh produced (1980), 160 kWh per capita

Exports: $1,620 million (f.o.b., 1980); cocoa and coffee about 60%; other exports include timber, aluminum, cotton, natural rubber, bananas, peanuts, tobacco, and tea

Imports: $1,550 million (f.o.b., 1980); consumer goods, machinery, transport equipment, alumina for refining, petroleum products, food and beverages

Major trade partners: most trade with France, other EC countries, and the US

Budget: (1980) revenues $877.3 million, current expenditures $608.6 million, development expenditures $268.7 million

Monetary conversion rate: 225.8 Communaute Financiere Africaine francs=US$1 (1980)

Fiscal year: 1 JuIy-30 June


Railroads: 1,173 km total; 858 km meter gauge (1.00 m), 145 km 0.600-meter gauge

Highways: approximately 32,226 km total; including 2,682 km bituminous, 3,670 km gravel and earth, 11,004 km improved earth, 14,870 km unimproved

Inland waterways: 2,090 km; of decreasing importance

Ports: 1 major (Douala), 3 minor

Civil air: 4 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 60 total, 54 usable; 7 with permanent-surface runways; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 18 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: good system of open wire and radio relay; 26,000 telephones (0.3 per 100 popl.); 10 AM, 1 FM, and no TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,990,000; 1,001,000 fit for military service; about 85,000 reach military age (18) annually

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 30 June 1982, $78.9 million; 7.4% of central government budget