Country of the World Cameroon

About the country Cameroon, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: On the Gulf of Guinea at the bend below West Africa, Cameroon is covered with rain forest in the south and along the coast; the climate there is exceedingly humid. A central plateau rises to 4,500 ft., and the forested mountains of the west rise above 13,000 ft. at Mt. Cameroon. The northern region is primarily savanna, with its rivers draining inland to Lake Chad, rather than to the Atlantic. Inland weather varies considerably, but outside the southern region it is generally much drier than the coast.

Size: 183,398 sq. mi. (475,000 sq. km.).

Population: 6.7 million.

Who Rules: Ahmadou Ahidjo, leader of the nation's single party, the Cameroon National Union (UNC), has been president since independence. Since 1972, when a questionable plebiscite transformed the country from a federal to a unitary government, the country has had one legislative assembly.

Who REALLY Rules: The UNC maintains tight control through its political police. There are as many as 1,000 political prisoners. Government officials also hold top positions in business.

Europeans, including Greek and Lebanese shopkeepers as well as French and Germans, make up only 1/3 of 1% of the population, but take in about a sixth of the national income. The Ahidjo regime has close ties with France, which put it in power over the Union of Cameroonian Peoples (UPC), the party that led an anti-colonialist rebellion during the 1950s.

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