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maanantai 4. heinäkuuta 2016

Cameroon, Cool Facts #124

<= 123. Mauritius                                                                                                             125. India => 

1. Cameroon's Name 

In 1472 Portuguese sailors arrived at the coast of Cameroon and noted the abundance of the ghost shrimp in the Wouri River. The Portuguese named the area then "Rio dos Camaroes" meaning "Shrimp River", which then became Cameroon in English. 

Fernao Pó was leading the expedition on behalf of King Afonso V of Portugal to the Gulf of Guinea. Pó is credited being the first European to discover the south western coast of Africa and before Pó's expedition Europeans thought that Africa was a large island. 

Ghost Shrimp
2. Africa in miniature

Cameroon is described as "Africa in miniature" in tourist guides. The reason for that is Cameroon's geographical and cultural diversity. It exhibits all the major climates and vegetation of the continent as the country is divided into five geographic zones according to the Köppen climate classification.

Geographical diversity: 


6 neighboring countries: Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo

Cultural diversity: 

- 22 million people (2013)
- 230-282 different folks and linguistic groups according to estimates
- French and English official languages
- Doesn't have any dominating language, which is understood by the majority of the people, which is quite unusual

Map of Cameroon

Köppen climate classification

3. Colonial Era of Cameroon 

The 1600-1800s
The British and Dutch established trading posts on the coast, through which they traded slaves to alcohol and guns with the local Duala people. The slave trade started to decline in the 1800s as the British abolished slavery. The Duala traded ivory and palm oil with the Europeans then. Cameroon didn't attract European settlements because of the hot and humid climate and other factors.

German Cameroon 1884-1916
Cameroon became the German protectorate of Kamerun in 1884 in the "Scramble for Africa". The Germans extended their influence to the inlands by building roads and railways. They also established plantations forcing the local people to work there by force. Germany lost all of its colonies during the First World War.

British Cameroons and French Cameroun 1916-1960
After the World War France got about 4/5 of Germany's colony of Kamerun and the British got the rest of it. The British ruled the British Cameroons from Nigeria. The UPC started demanding for the unification of the country after the Second World War.

Independence 1960
French Cameroun became independent in 1960 and the next year a referendum was arranged about the status of the British Cameroons. The Northern Cameroons remained part of Nigeria as Southern Cameroons decided to join the independent Cameroon, former French Cameroun. The Federal Republic of Cameroon was created after the unification, the present-day Cameroon.

Cameroon territory changes

4. Ambazonia

In 1982 Paul Biya became the successor of the first president Ahmadou Ahidjo. Biya changed the name of the country from United Republic of Cameroon to the Republic of Cameroon. This meant that the name which was taken in 1961, when French Cameroun and British Southern Cameroons united, had been replaced with the name that French Cameroun used alone before the unification.

After this decision Fon Gorji-Dinka and his SCNC from the former British Southern Cameroons declared their region as the independent Republic of Ambazonia. The economic crisis, drought and corruption among other reasons were also affecting the desire of the English-speaking Cameroon to become independent from the country led by Francophones.

No independent state has recognized Ambazonia's sovereignty. In 2005 Ambazonia joined the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. If Ambazonia was independent it would have a population of 6 million people and a territory slightly larger than the Netherlands.

Ambazonia territory (green area)

5. The Society of Cameroon 

- The state has become wealthier after profits from cash crop cultivation, forest resources and oil drilling in the Guinean Bay
- Corruption is a major problem and the wealth is accumulated in the cities of Douala and Yaounde accelerating the growth of slums
- Cameroon's democratic movement has started demanding the expulsion of French investor Vincent Bollore, who bought the whole railway network and the harbor of Douala, when they were privatized
- The tribes in the north are predominantly Muslim and in the south Christian

Vincent Bollore and president Paul Biya
Cameroon: religions and ethnicity info


c.500 The Sao culture arose around Lake Chad
c.700 -1387 Kanem Empire
1380-1893 Bornu Empire
1472 The Portuguese reached the coast naming it "Rio dos Camaroes" Shrimp River
1809-1903 Adamawa Emirate
1884 The German Empire claimed the territory as the colony of Kamerun
1919 After the World War I Kamerun was split into French Cameroun and British Cameroons
1960 French Cameroun gained independence under president Ahmadou Ahidjo
1961 The former British Southern Cameroons united with French Cameroon
1966 Cameroon National Union CNU became the only legal party 
1972 Cameroon became a republic
1982 Paul Biya became Ahidjo's successor
1984 Fon Gorji-Dinka's SCNC declared Ambazonia independent, but the independence declaration wasn't accepted
1990 Reintroduction to multi-party system
2014 Cameroon deployed troops to the Nigerian border after the Chibok schoolgirl kidnapping by Boko Haram in Nigeria 

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