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Republic of the Congo vs. Cameroon

Introduction

Republic of the CongoCameroon
BackgroundUpon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.
French Cameroon became independent in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon. The following year the southern portion of neighboring British Cameroon voted to merge with the new country to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, a new constitution replaced the federation with a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon. The country has generally enjoyed stability, which has enabled the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of President Paul BIYA.

Geography

Republic of the CongoCameroon
LocationCentral Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates1 00 S, 15 00 E
6 00 N, 12 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km
total: 475,440 sq km
land: 472,710 sq km
water: 2,730 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Montana
slightly larger than California
Land boundariestotal: 5,008 km
border countries (5): Angola 231 km, Cameroon 494 km, Central African Republic 487 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Gabon 2,567 km
total: 5,018 km
border countries (6): Central African Republic 901 km, Chad 1,116 km, Republic of the Congo 494 km, Equatorial Guinea 183 km, Gabon 349 km, Nigeria 1,975 km
Coastline169 km
402 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climatetropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
Terraincoastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 430 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
mean elevation: 667 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Fako on Mont Cameroun 4,045 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 31.1%
arable land 1.6%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 29.3%
forest: 65.6%
other: 3.3% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 20.6%
arable land 13.1%; permanent crops 3.3%; permanent pasture 4.2%
forest: 41.7%
other: 37.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land20 sq km (2012)
290 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsseasonal flooding
volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
volcanism: Mt. Cameroon (4,095 m), which last erupted in 2000, is the most frequently active volcano in West Africa; lakes in Oku volcanic field have released fatal levels of gas on occasion, killing some 1,700 people in 1986
Environment - current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteabout 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa because of its central location on the continent and its position at the west-south juncture of the Gulf of Guinea; throughout the country there are areas of thermal springs and indications of current or prior volcanic activity; Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in Sub-Saharan west Africa, is an active volcano
Population distributionthe population is primarily located in the south, in and around the capital of Brazzaville
population concentrated in the west and north, with the interior of the country sparsely populated

Demographics

Republic of the CongoCameroon
Population4,954,674
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)
24,994,885
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 41.67% (male 1,041,761/female 1,022,763)
15-24 years: 17.1% (male 424,521/female 422,755)
25-54 years: 33.89% (male 843,856/female 835,041)
55-64 years: 4.29% (male 106,776/female 105,573)
65 years and over: 3.06% (male 66,962/female 84,666) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 42.39% (male 5,337,879/female 5,257,026)
15-24 years: 19.56% (male 2,456,061/female 2,432,500)
25-54 years: 30.87% (male 3,880,906/female 3,835,107)
55-64 years: 3.98% (male 485,059/female 509,649)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 372,415/female 428,283) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.7 years
male: 19.5 years
female: 19.8 years (2017 est.)
total: 18.5 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.7 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate2.11% (2017 est.)
2.56% (2017 est.)
Birth rate34.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
35.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
9.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate-3.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 54.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 59.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 51 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 47.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 59.8 years
male: 58.6 years
female: 61.1 years (2017 est.)
total population: 59 years
male: 57.6 years
female: 60.4 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate4.59 children born/woman (2017 est.)
4.64 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate3.1% (2016 est.)
3.8% (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
noun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian
Ethnic groupsKongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS91,000 (2016 est.)
560,000 (2016 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 33.1%, Awakening Churches/Christian Revival 22.3%, Protestant 19.9%, Salutiste 2.2%, Muslim 1.6%, Kimbanguiste 1.5%, other 8.1%, none 11.3% (2010 est.)
Roman Catholic 38.4%, Protestant 26.3%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 20.9%, animist 5.6%, other 1%, non-believer 3.2% (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,800 (2016 est.)
29,000 (2016 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.3%
male: 86.4%
female: 72.9% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 75%
male: 81.2%
female: 68.9% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria and dengue fever
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2012)
total: 12 years
male: 13 years
female: 11 years (2015)
Education expenditures6.2% of GDP (2010)
3% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 66.2% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.02% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 55.5% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.4% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 95.8% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 76.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4.2% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 94.8% of population
rural: 52.7% of population
total: 75.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 5.2% of population
rural: 47.3% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 20% of population
rural: 5.6% of population
total: 15% of population
unimproved:
urban: 80% of population
rural: 94.4% of population
total: 85% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 61.8% of population
rural: 26.8% of population
total: 45.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 38.2% of population
rural: 73.2% of population
total: 54.2% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationBRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.888 million; Pointe-Noire 969,000 (2015)
YAOUNDE (capital) 3.066 million; Douala 2.943 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate442 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
596 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight12.3% (2015)
14.8% (2014)
Health expenditures5.2% of GDP (2014)
4.1% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.11 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate9.6% (2016)
11.4% (2016)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 252,171
percentage: 25% (2005 est.)
total number: 1,396,281
percentage: 31% (2006 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.8 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011/12 est.)
19.7 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate30.1% (2014/15)
34.4% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 84.5
youth dependency ratio: 78.3
elderly dependency ratio: 6.2
potential support ratio: 16.1 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 85.9
youth dependency ratio: 80
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9
potential support ratio: 17 (2015 est.)

Government

Republic of the CongoCameroon
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: Congo
former: French Congo, Middle Congo, People's Republic of the Congo, Congo/Brazzaville
etymology: named for the Congo River, which makes up much of the country's eastern border; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning ""hunters""
"
conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon
conventional short form: Cameroon
local long form: Republique du Cameroun/Republic of Cameroon
local short form: Cameroun/Cameroon
former: French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon
etymology: in the 15th century, Portuguese explorers named the area near the mouth of the Wouri River the Rio dos Camaroes (River of Prawns) after the abundant shrimp in the water; over time the designation became Cameroon in English; this is the only instance where a country is named after a crustacean
Government typepresidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Yaounde
geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions12 departments (departments, singular - department); Bouenza, Brazzaville, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire, Pool, Sangha
10 regions (regions, singular - region); Adamaoua, Centre, East (Est), Far North (Extreme-Nord), Littoral, North (Nord), North-West (Nord-Ouest), West (Ouest), South (Sud), South-West (Sud-Ouest)
Independence15 August 1960 (from France)
1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holidayIndependence Day, 15 August (1960)
State Unification Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest approved by referendum 25 October 2015
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; passage of presidential proposals requires Supreme Court review followed by approval in a referendum; such proposals may also be submitted directly to Parliament, in which case passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote of both houses in joint session; proposals by Parliament require three-fourths majority vote of both houses in joint session; constitutional articles including those affecting the country’s territory, republican form of government, and secularity of the state are not amendable (2017)
history: several previous; latest effective 18 January 1996
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; amendment drafts require approval of at least one-third of the membership in either house of Parliament; passage requires absolute majority vote of the Parliament membership; passage of drafts requested by the president for a second reading in Parliament requires two-thirds majority vote of its membership; the president can opt to submit drafts to a referendum, in which case passage requires a simple majority; constitutional articles on Cameroon’s unity and territorial integrity and its democratic principles cannot be amended; amended 2008 (2017)
Legal systemmixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
20 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister (vacant); Prime Minister Clement MOUAMBA (since 23 April 2016) resigned on 18 August 2017; note - a constitutional referendum held in 2015 approved the change of the head of government from the president to the prime minister
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 additional terms); election last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (PCT) 60.4%, Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS (MCDDI) 15.1%, Jean-Marie MOKOKO (independent) 13.9%, Pascal Tsaty MABIALA (UPADS) 4.4%, other 6.2%
chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
head of government: Prime Minister Philemon YANG (since 30 June 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 9 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Paul BIYA reelected president; percent of vote - Paul BIYA (CPDM) 78.0%, John FRU NDI (SDF) 10.7%, Garga Haman ADJI 3.2%, other 8.1%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate (72 seats; members indirectly elected by regional councils by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-half of membership renewed every 3 years) and the National Assembly (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 12 October 2014 for expiry of half the seats (next to be held in 2020); National Assembly - last held on 16 and 30 July 2017 (next to be held in July 2022)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RMP 33, FDU 23, UPADS 2, other 7, independent 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 89, MCDDI 7, UPADS 7, RDPS 5, MAR 4, RC 3, MUST 2, UPDP 2, CPR 1, PRL 1, PUR 1, UFD 1, UR 1, independent 12, vacant 3
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (100 seats; 70 members indirectly elected by regional councils and 30 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the 100-member Senate was formed at the time of the April 2013 election
elections: Senate last held on 14 April 2013 (next to be held in 2018); National Assembly last held on 30 September 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 56, SDF 14; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 148, SDF 18, UNDP 5, UDC 4, UPC 3, other 2
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); note - a High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by Parliament and serve until age 65; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president of the republic - 3 directly by the president and 6 nominated by Parliament; members appointed for renewable 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: Court of Audit and Budgetary Discipline; courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cameroon (consists of 9 titular and 6 surrogate judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and audit chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 11 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the advice of the Higher Judicial Council of Cameroon, a body chaired by the president and includes the minister of justice, selected magistrates, and representatives of the National Assembly; judge term NA; Constitutional Council members appointed by the president for single 9-year terms
subordinate courts: Parliamentary Court of Justice (jurisdiction limited to cases involving the president and prime minister); appellate and first instance courts; circuit and magistrate's courts
Political parties and leadersAction Movement for Renewal or MAR [Roland BOUITI-VIAUDO]
Citizen's Rally or RC [Claude Alphonse NSILOU]
Congolese Labour Party or PCT [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO]
Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS]
Movement for Unity, Solidarity, and Work or MUST [Claudine MUNARI]
Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Pascal Tsaty MABIALA]
Party for the Unity of the Republic or PUR
Patriotic Union for Democracy and Progress or UPDP [Auguste-Celestin GONGARD NKOUA]
Prospects and Realities Club or CPR
Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Bernard BATCHI]
Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP
Republican and Liberal Party or PRL [Bonaventure MIZIDY]
Union for the Republic or UR
Union of Democratic Forces or UDF
Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR
many smaller parties
Alliance for Democracy and Development
Cameroon People's Democratic Movement or CPDM [Paul BIYA]
Cameroon People's Party or CPP [Edith Kah WALLA]
Cameroon Renaissance Movement or MRC [Maurice KAMTO]
Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]
Movement for the Defense of the Republic or MDR [Dakole DAISSALA]
Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO]
National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA]
Progressive Movement or MP [Jean-Jacques EKINDI]
Social Democratic Front or SDF [John FRU NDI]
Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Provisionary Management Bureau]
Political pressure groups and leadersCongolese Trade Union Confereration or CSC
General Union of Congolese Pupils and Students or UGEEC
Revolutionary Union of Congolese Women or URFC
Congolese Socialist Youth Union or UJSC
Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa or REDHAC [Maximilliene Ngo MBE]
Tribunal 53 Articles [Patrice NGANANG]
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, C, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI (since 31 July 2001)
chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
chief of mission: Ambassador Essomba ETOUNDI (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; current temporary address - 3400 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mary DASCHBACH (since January 2015)
embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville
mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 06 612-2000
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Matthew SMITH (since 7 September 2017)
embassy: Avenue Rosa Parks, Yaounde
mailing address: P.O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 22220 1500; Consular: [237] 22220 1603
FAX: [237] 22220 1500 Ext. 4531; Consular FAX: [237] 22220 1752
branch office(s): Douala
Flag descriptiondivided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is red; green symbolizes agriculture and forests, yellow the friendship and nobility of the people, red is unexplained but has been associated with the struggle for independence
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
"three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow, with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band; the vertical tricolor recalls the flag of France; red symbolizes unity, yellow the sun, happiness, and the savannahs in the north, and green hope and the forests in the south; the star is referred to as the ""star of unity""
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
"
National anthem"name: ""La Congolaise"" (The Congolese)
lyrics/music: Jacques TONDRA and Georges KIBANGHI/Jean ROYER and Joseph SPADILIERE
note: originally adopted 1959, restored 1991
"
"name: ""O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancetres"" (O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers)
lyrics/music: Rene Djam AFAME, Samuel Minkio BAMBA, Moise Nyatte NKO'O [French], Benard Nsokika FONLON [English]/Rene Djam AFAME
note: adopted 1957; Cameroon's anthem, also known as ""Chant de Ralliement"" (The Rallying Song), has been used unofficially since 1948 and officially adopted in 1957; the anthem has French and English versions whose lyrics differ
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)lion, elephant; national colors: green, yellow, red
lion; national colors: green, red, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Republic of the Congo
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Cameroon
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

Republic of the CongoCameroon
Economy - overviewThe economy is a mixture of subsistence farming and hunting, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue.

Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF, including the recently concluded Article IV consultations. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The recent drop in oil prices has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending. However, the government increased infrastructure spending for the September 2015 All-Africa Games and the March 2016 presidential election, which put further pressure on the budget. The fiscal deficit exceeded 18% of GDP in 2015, but had subsided to about 11% of GDP by 2017. Substantial macroeconomic imbalances continued in 2016 following sustained low oil prices.
Cameroon’s market-based, diversified economy features oil and gas, timber, aluminum, agriculture, mining and the service sector. Oil remains Cameroon’s main export commodity, and despite falling global oil prices, still accounts for nearly 40% of exports. Cameroon’s economy suffers from factors that often impact underdeveloped countries, such as stagnant per capita income, a relatively inequitable distribution of income, a top-heavy civil service, endemic corruption, continuing inefficiencies of a large parastatal system in key sectors, and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise.

Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. The IMF continues to press for economic reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. The Government of Cameroon provides subsidies for electricity, food, and fuel that have strained the federal budget and diverted funds from education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects, as low oil prices have led to lower revenues.

Cameroon devotes significant resources to several large infrastructure projects currently under construction, including a deep seaport in Kribi and the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project. Cameroon’s energy sector continues to diversify, recently opening a natural gas-powered electricity generating plant. Cameroon continues to seek foreign investment to improve its inadequate infrastructure, create jobs, and improve its economic footprint, but its unfavorable business environment remains a significant deterrent to foreign investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$29.16 billion (2017 est.)
$30.26 billion (2016 est.)
$31.13 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$81.55 billion (2017 est.)
$78.44 billion (2016 est.)
$74.94 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate-3.6% (2017 est.)
-2.8% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
4% (2017 est.)
4.7% (2016 est.)
5.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$6,700 (2017 est.)
$7,100 (2016 est.)
$7,500 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$3,400 (2017 est.)
$3,300 (2016 est.)
$3,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 8.9%
industry: 50.8%
services: 40.3% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 23.1%
industry: 28%
services: 48.9% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line46.5% (2011 est.)
30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
lowest 10%: 37.5%
highest 10%: 35.4% (2014 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)-0.4% (2017 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
0.7% (2017 est.)
0.9% (2016 est.)
Labor force2.055 million (2016 est.)
9.912 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 35.4%
industry: 20.6%
services: 44% (2005 est.)
agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate36% (2014 est.)
4.3% (2014 est.)
30% (2001 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $2.516 billion
expenditures: $3.336 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: $5.154 billion
expenditures: $6.964 billion (2017 est.)
Industriespetroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate2% (2017 est.)
4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productscassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, cassava (manioc, tapioca); livestock; timber
Exports$5.238 billion (2017 est.)
$4.116 billion (2016 est.)
$5.158 billion (2017 est.)
$4.561 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports - partnersChina 39.8%, Italy 10.2%, Australia 7%, Gabon 6.6%, Angola 6%, Singapore 4.2% (2016)
Netherlands 21%, India 11.3%, Italy 11%, China 8%, Spain 6.7%, France 5.9% (2016)
Imports$3.519 billion (2017 est.)
$3.498 billion (2016 est.)
$5.334 billion (2017 est.)
$4.784 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiescapital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports - partnersSouth Korea 18.2%, France 12.8%, China 12.2%, Norway 11.2%, Belgium 6.9% (2016)
China 17.8%, Nigeria 12%, France 11%, Thailand 4.6%, Togo 4.5% (2016)
Debt - external$5.197 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.721 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.238 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.364 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesCooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
579.8 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
605.3 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
1 July - 30 June
Public debt92.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
83.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
32.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
30.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$813.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$727.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.357 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.243 billion (2017 est.)
-$5.514 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.095 billion (2017 est.)
-$1.065 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$7.799 billion (2016 est.)
$30.65 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$230 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate14% (31 December 2017 est.)
14% (31 December 2016 est.)
13% (31 December 2017 est.)
12.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.703 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.901 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.427 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.714 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.955 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.456 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.374 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.86 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.581 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.037 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.102 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.33 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues32.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
16.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-10.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
-5.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 54.8%
government consumption: 12.8%
investment in fixed capital: 46.5%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 58.2%
imports of goods and services: -72.4% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 71.3%
government consumption: 12.2%
investment in fixed capital: 20.3%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 19.5%
imports of goods and services: -23.8% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving13.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
-26.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
-2.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
16.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
16.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

Republic of the CongoCameroon
Electricity - production1.676 billion kWh (2015 est.)
6.61 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption900.5 million kWh (2015 est.)
5.702 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports22 million kWh (2015 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports18 million kWh (2015 est.)
1.414 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Oil - production308,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
93,200 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
39,120 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - exports254,400 bbl/day (2014 est.)
64,290 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - proved reserves1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2017 es)
200 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reserves90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
135.1 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - production1.5 billion cu m (2015 est.)
680 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption2.6 billion cu m (2015 est.)
1.08 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports39 million cu m (2012 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity545,000 kW (2015 est.)
1.545 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels61.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
52.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants38.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
46.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production16,530 bbl/day (2014 est.)
54,740 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption18,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
42,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports6,058 bbl/day (2014 est.)
17,560 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports6,821 bbl/day (2014 est.)
3,320 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy6.5 million Mt (2013 est.)
6.5 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 2,600,000
electrification - total population: 42%
electrification - urban areas: 62%
electrification - rural areas: 5% (2013)
population without electricity: 10,100,000
electrification - total population: 55%
electrification - urban areas: 88%
electrification - rural areas: 17% (2013)

Telecommunications

Republic of the CongoCameroon
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 17,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,051,073
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 5.216 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (July 2016 est.)
total: 16,331,852
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 67 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable with services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order
domestic: fixed-line infrastructure inadequate, providing less than 1 connection per 100 persons; in the absence of an adequate fixed-line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged to 110 per 100 persons
international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: system includes cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter; Camtel, the monopoly provider of fixed-line service, provides connections for only about 4 per 100 persons; equipment is old and outdated, and connections with many parts of the country are unreliable
domestic: mobile-cellular usage, in part a reflection of the poor condition and general inadequacy of the fixed-line network, has increased sharply, reaching a subscribership base of over 65 per 100 persons
international: country code - 237; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2016)
Internet country code.cg
.cm
Internet userstotal: 362,000
percent of population: 7.6% (July 2016 est.)
total: 6,090,201
percent of population: 25.0% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast media1 state-owned TV and 3 state-owned radio stations; several privately owned TV and radio stations; satellite TV service is available; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available (2007)
government maintains tight control over broadcast media; state-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), broadcasting on both a TV and radio network, was the only officially recognized and fully licensed broadcaster until August 2007, when the government finally issued licenses to 2 private TV broadcasters and 1 private radio broadcaster; about 70 privately owned, unlicensed radio stations operating but are subject to closure at any time; foreign news services required to partner with state-owned national station (2007)

Transportation

Republic of the CongoCameroon
Railwaystotal: 510 km
narrow gauge: 510 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
total: 987 km
narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge
note: railway connections generally efficient but limited; rail lines connect major cities of Douala, Yaounde, Ngaoundere, and Garoua; passenger and freight service provided by CAMRAIL (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 17,000 km
paved: 1,212 km
unpaved: 15,788 km (2006)
total: 51,350 km
paved: 4,108 km
unpaved: 47,242 km
note: there are 28,857 km of national roads (2011)
Waterways1,120 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui Rivers above Brazzaville; there are many ferries across the river to Kinshasa; the Congo south of Brazzaville-Kinshasa to the coast is not navigable because of rapids, necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
(major rivers in the south, such as the Wouri and the Sanaga, are largely non-navigable; in the north, the Benue, which connects through Nigeria to the Niger River, is navigable in the rainy season only to the port of Garoua) (2010)
Pipelinesgas 232 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 982 km (2013)
gas 53 km; liquid petroleum gas 5 km; oil 1,107 km; water 35 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo); Impfondo (Oubangi); Ouesso (Sangha); Oyo (Alima)
oil terminal(s): Djeno
river port(s): Douala (Wouri); Garoua (Benoue)
oil terminal(s): Limboh Terminal
Merchant marinetotal: 33
by type: general cargo 18, oil tanker 1, other 14 (2017)
total: 19
by type: general cargo 4, other 15 (2017)
Airports27 (2013)
33 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2017)
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 22
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 3
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 12
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 657,926
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,987,493 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 267,208
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixTN (2016)
TJ (2016)

Military

Republic of the CongoCameroon
Military branchesCongolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise); Gendarmerie; Special Presidential Security Guard (GSSP) (2013)
Cameroon Armed Forces (Forces Armees Camerounaises, FAC): Army (L'Armee de Terre), Navy (Marine Nationale Republique, MNR, includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC), Rapid Intervention Brigade, Fire Fighter Corps, Gendarmerie (2015)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in the Armed Forces (2012)
18-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years; periodic government calls for volunteers (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP7.17% of GDP (2016)
4.97% of GDP (2014)
2.61% of GDP (2013)
1.6% of GDP (2016)
1.25% of GDP (2015)
1.25% of GDP (2014)
1.33% of GDP (2013)
1.34% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

Republic of the CongoCameroon
Disputes - internationalthe location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is undefined except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
Joint Border Commission with Nigeria reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately ceded sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a full phase-out of Nigerian control and patriation of residents in 2008; Cameroon and Nigeria agreed on maritime delimitation in March 2008; sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 9,202 (Rwanda) (2016); 49,974 (Central African Republic); 12,280 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2017)
IDPs: 33,000 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 247,777 (Central African Republic); 90,728 (Nigeria) (2017)
IDPs: 335,016 (2017)

Source: CIA Factbook