Saturday, September 18, 2021

Cameroon | Introduction

AfricaCameroonCameroon | Introduction

Demographics

Cameroon’s population was 20,030,362 in 2011. The average life expectancy is 53.69 years (52.89 years for males and 54.52 years for females).

The population of Cameroon is nearly equally split between urban and rural inhabitants. The largest metropolitan areas, the western highlands, and the northeastern plain have the greatest population density. The biggest cities are Douala, Yaoundé, and Garoua. The Adamawa Plateau, the southeastern Bénoué depression, and the majority of the South Cameroon Plateau, on the other hand, are sparsely inhabited.

The fertility rate in Cameroon in 2004 was 5.0, according to the official website.

People seeking work are migrating from the overpopulated western highlands and the undeveloped north to the coastal plantation zone and metropolitan centers. Smaller migrations are taking place as people look for work in lumber mills and plantations in the south and east. Although the national sex ratio is well balanced, these out-migrants are mostly male, resulting in imbalanced ratios in certain areas.

Marriage is practiced in both monogamous and polygamous forms, and the typical Cameroonian family is big and extended. Women care to the house in the north, while males herd cattle or work as farmers. Men supply meat and cultivate cash crops in the south, while women provide the family’s food. Cameroonian culture, like other civilizations, is male-dominated, and violence and discrimination against women are widespread.

Estimates place Cameroon’s population at between 230 and 282 distinct ethnic and linguistic groupings. The Adamawa Plateau divides them into northern and southern halves. The northern peoples include Sudanese tribes that reside in the central highlands and northern lowlands, as well as Fulani who live across northern Cameroon. Near Lake Chad, a small group of Shuwa Arabs reside. Southern Cameroon is home to Bantu and Semi-Bantu language speakers. Bantu-speaking tribes dwell along the coast and in the equatorial zones, whereas Semi-Bantu language speakers live in the Western grasslands. Approximately 5,000 Gyele and Baka Pygmy peoples reside in tiny roadside villages or wander the southeastern and coastal jungles. Nigerians are the most numerous foreign nationalities.

Religion

Cameroon has a high degree of religious variety and freedom. Christianity is the main religion, practiced by about two-thirds of the population, while Islam is a substantial minority faith, practiced by roughly one-fifth of the population. Furthermore, traditional religions are practiced by a large number of people. Muslims are more prevalent in the north, while Christians are more concentrated in the south and west, although both religions are practiced across the nation. Both groups are well-represented in large cities. Sunnis (including Wahhabis), Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, and non-denominational Muslims make up Cameroon’s Muslim population.

People in the North-West and South-West provinces are mostly Protestant, whereas the French-speaking areas of the south and west are predominantly Catholic. Southern ethnic groups mostly adhere to Christian or traditional African animist beliefs, or a hybrid of the two. The majority of people believe in witchcraft, and the government forbids such activities. Mob violence against suspected witches is common. Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist organization, has been reported to be active in North Cameroon.

The regionally prominent Fulani ethnic group is mainly Muslim in the northern areas, although the total population is pretty equally split between Muslims, Christians, and adherents of indigenous religious beliefs (called Kirdi (“pagan”) by the Fulani). The West Region’s Bamum ethnic group is mostly Muslim. Native traditional religions are practiced in rural areas across the country, but they are rarely practiced publicly in cities, in part because many indigenous religious groups are intrinsically local in nature.

Geography

Cameroon is the world’s 53rd-largest nation, with 475,442 square kilometers (183,569 square miles). It is somewhat bigger than Sweden and about the size of Papua New Guinea. The nation lies in Central and West Africa, on the Bight of Bonny, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Cameroon is located between latitudes 1° and 13° North and longitudes 8° and 17° East.

Cameroon is referred to in tourist literature as “Africa in miniature” because it has all of the continent’s main climates and flora, including the coast, desert, highlands, rainforest, and savanna. Nigeria and the Atlantic Ocean border the nation to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south.

Cameroon is split into five main geographic zones defined by significant physical, climatic, and vegetal characteristics. The coastal plain stretches inland from the Gulf of Guinea for 15 to 150 kilometers (9 to 93 miles) and has an average elevation of 90 meters (295 ft). This belt is heavily wooded and contains some of the wettest locations on Earth, as part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests. It is very hot and humid, with a short dry season.

The South Cameroon Plateau rises from the coastal plain to a height of 650 meters on average (2,133 ft).

This area is dominated by equatorial rainforest, which is less humid than the coast due to its alternating of rainy and dry seasons. This region is a component of the Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests ecoregion.

The Cameroon range is an uneven series of mountains, hills, and plateaus that stretches from Mount Cameroon on the coast—highest Cameroon’s point at 4,095 meters (13,435 feet)—almost to Lake Chad at Cameroon’s northern boundary at 13°05’N. Although rainfall is considerable, the climate in this area is moderate, especially on the Western High Plateau. Its soils are among the most productive in Cameroon, particularly near Mount Cameroon. Crater lakes have formed as a result of volcanism in this area. One of them, Lake Nyos, belched carbon dioxide on August 21, 1986, killing between 1,700 and 2,000 people. The World Wildlife Fund has designated this area as the Cameroonian Highlands forests ecoregion.

The southern plateau rises to the grassy, steep Adamawa Plateau in the north. This feature extends from the western mountain range and serves as a barrier between the country’s north and south. It has an average height of 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) with temperatures ranging from 22 °C (71.6 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F), with significant rains between April and October, peaking in July and August. The northern lowland area stretches from the Adamawa River’s border to Lake Chad, with an average elevation of 300 to 350 meters (984 to 1,148 ft). Its vegetation is characterized by savanna brush and grass. This is an arid area with little rain and high average temperatures.

Cameroon has four drainage patterns. The major rivers in the south include the Ntem, Nyong, Sanaga, and Wouri. These run straight into the Gulf of Guinea from the southwest or west. The Dja and Kadéï drain southeastward into the Congo River. The Bénoué River flows north and west across northern Cameroon before emptying into the Niger. The Logone empties into Lake Chad, which Cameroon shares with three neighboring nations.