Cameroon District Council 52
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The Republic of Cameroon is a west African country bordered by Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south, and Nigeria to the west. The country’s coast, on the Bight of Bonny, is part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Due to its geological and cultural diversity, it is called “Africa in miniature.” Cameroon has beaches, deserts, mountains, savannas, and rainforests. Mount Cameroon is the highest point. Douala, Yaounde, and Garoua are the largest cities. The country has 200 different languages. Native music includes makossa and bikutsi, among others. Cameroon’s football team is also successful. Official languages are English and French.
The Sao civilizations were early inhabitants around Lake Chad as were the Baka in the southeastern rainforest. Explorers from Portugal reached the area in the 15th century and named it Rio dos Camaroes, or the River of Shrimp. In the 19th century, Fulamo soldiers founded the Adamawa Emirate. Other groups founded chiefdoms as well. In 1884, the country became a German colony.
The territory was divided between France and Britain after World War I as mandates by the League of Nations. The Union des Populations de Cameroun party pushed for independence until the French outlawed it in the 1950s. It fought the French and other forces until 1971. In 1960, part of Cameroon became independent as the Republic of Cameroon. Its president was Ahmadou Ahidjo. In 1961, a part of British Cameroons united with it to become the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, it took the name the United Republic of Cameroon and in 1984, the Republic of Cameroon.
Cameroon has high social and political stability compared to other African nations. Its industries include agriculture, railways, roads, as well as timber and oil industries. Many Cameroonians do live in poverty as subsistence farmers. The president, Paul Biya and his party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, control the country. There is increasing alienation of English speaking parts of Cameroon from the rest of the county. Some leaders in these areas have called for separation or decentralization from remainder of Cameroon.