Life in Cameroon

Life in Cameroon should be so much better than living in many of the impoverished nations that make up the continent of Africa. Albeit a one party state ruled tightly by its president, Cameroon has a decent agricultural economy buoyed by oil reserves and, as such, is a relatively wealthy country. However life in Cameroon is harsh for most of its citizens. Over 50% of children in Cameroon live below the poverty line and child mortality rates for the under fives are on the increase. 52,000 children in Cameroon die each year from malnutrition alone. Recent statistics indicate that overall 5.1% of Cameroon's population is infected with AIDS; that's 500,000 people accounting for one out of every twenty of the population, and 60% of those infected are female.

AIDS in the country has left 300,000 children orphaned and 45,000 of them infected themselves out of a child population of 9.142,000. Conditions in the north and north west of the country present the most challenges, with only 44% having access to safe water. As such, water related sicknesses amongst children in Cameroon are high. Organisations such as UNICEF have been carrying out campaigns in schools stressing the need to wash hands after using the toilet and before eating to prevent outbreaks of cholera which caused over 500 deaths in 2010 alone out of 7000 cases.

Cameroon itself is located in western central Africa having 249 miles of coast on the Gulf of Guinea /Atlantic Ocean coastline known as the Bight of Biatra. Its further bordered by Nigeria to its west, Chad to its north-east, the Central African Republic to its east and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo to its south. Cameroon has an estimated 250 ethnic groups with over 200 languages, although French and English are the official languages reflecting the recent colonial history of the country. In the west and north-west of the country where the land is mainly plateaus are tribes referred to as highlanders or grassfielders.

The north itself is home to the Muslim Fulani whilst in the south are Bantu speaking tribes including the Fang, Duala, Basa and Bakas. Historically after the defeat of the Germans in WWI, the area became effectively three areas; French Cameroun and the British Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons, which were administered separately. At the time of independence Northern Cameroons voted to be integrated into the newly independent Nigeria, whilst Southern Cameroons opted to be part of the newly emerging Republic of Cameroon. Today there is still a strong movement in the former Southern Cameroons to break away and form the independent Republic of Ambazonia. Indeed this was proclaimed in 1999 but has gained no recognition either within and outside of Cameroon.


Life in Cameroon

Life in Cameroon

Life in Cameroon

Life in Cameroon



Volunteer Work Cameroon

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Life in Cameroon
Life in Cameroon

Life in Cameroon

Cameroon families live in traditional mud and thatch homes common across the Sahel although the use of tin and cement is becoming more common particularly in the south. Outside of urban areas basic facilities like electricity are rare and in the north over half the population does not have access to proper medical facilities. The majority of these communities have a market place where on a daily, weekly or less often basis women sell their produce such as palm oil whilst men trade their livestock and bushmeat in a separate area. In the north of the country every village has its own mosque, however modestly constructed.

Life in Cameroon is dominated by men with both women and girls reduced pretty much to a role of servitude where violence against them is common place. Many girls are subjected to the practise of 'breast ironing'; an attempt to mutilate their breasts to prevent them developing in order to ward off advances by boys who associate the growth of breasts as a signal the girls are ready and available for intercourse.

70% of the population is involved in agriculture which is mainly located in the cities of Douala and Bonabéri whilst 13% are involved in industries such as timber, tobacco, printing and the production of clay and glass items whilst the richest in Cameroon are involved in the over inflated and widely regarded as corrupt and inefficient service sector. Around 5000 are engaged in the fishing industry. Oh and did we mention that the Cameroon national football team is a source of national pride having won four African Cup of Nations titles and the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics?

This video shows images of daily life in Cameroon and gives a good look and feel about what its like living in the country.

Human Development Index Cameroon

Human Development Index for Cameroon 1980 - Present

The HDI (Human Development Index) is based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country. Cameroon is in 150th place out of 186 countries and territories as of 2013.


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