Cameroon. As expected, Paul Biya was re-elected by a good margin in the October presidential election. He received 78% of the vote, while 22 counter-candidates were allowed to share the remaining 22%. The best of them was the successful Social Democratic leader John Fru Ndi, who received 11%. Visit ABBREVIATIONFINDER for the acronym of CMR that stands for the country of Cameroon.
According to Countryaah official site, the 78-year-old Biya has led Cameroon since 1982 and was now elected for another seven years. His country is regularly ranked as one of the world’s most corrupt, and corruption is considered one of the factors behind Biya’s long holding of power. He is accused of playing out the many ethnic groups against each other and, with the help of corruption, splitting the social elite and the political opposition. The divided opposition has created some stability that favored the president on election days.
A domestic investigation in February showed that corruption cost the state equivalent to at least SEK 25 billion between 1998 and 2004. Only illegal logging was said to deprive the Treasury of almost SEK 1.5 billion each year.
According to a law passed in 1996, all senior civil servants are required to publicly report their financial assets, but the law is said to have never been applied.
CAMEROON. – The residents, just over 4 million in 1961, in 1973 were estimated by the UN at 6.167.000; but the increase in recent years is among the smallest in Africa. The population density is low, 13 residents per km 2, and only in a few districts of the West and Littoral provinces do we exceed 100 and 200 residents per km 2, exceptional values for Africa; other discrete densities can be found in the district of Yaoundé, in the Benué valley and in the far north, that is, in the most favorable regions, in terms of climate and soil, for settlement and agriculture. The distribution of the cities clearly indicates the colonial origin of the urban fact: the largest city, the economic capital, is Douala (1957: just over 100,000 residents; 1970: 250,000), while the capital Yaoundé increased only after independence its importance and the number of residents tripled (1960: 55,000; 1970: 178,000). The other cities of over 50,000 residents, Nkongsamba, Kumba, Bafoussam, are located along the penetration routes from Douala to the north.
The development plans have begun to give positive results, thanks also to foreign aid, especially French, but the per capita income remains low (180 dollars per capita in 1973). Over 80% of the active population is employed in agriculture; just over half of the territory is covered by forests and woods, while crops and pastures occupy just over 34%.
Food crops include cassava, sorghum, millet and legumes, while rice appears to be in sharp decline; cocoa always stands out among those for export, grown in the coastal region and for whose production, in significant increase, Cameroon is the fifth in the world; on the rise are also coffee, grown in the West, South-East and around Yaoundé, palm, grown in the South (for both Cameroon is among the top ten in the world), peanuts and bananas, grown respectively in the North and South; Of lesser importance appear cotton, sesame, tobacco, tea, pineapple and sugar cane. There is a good production of rubber and wood, including precious ones. A significant resource is represented by farming and fishing, recently started in Douala on an industrial basis by an American company.
Cassiterite is mined, but production halved after independence; gold, of which about 400 kg a year were mined up to the 1950s, has almost completely disappeared; bauxite and iron, of which large reserves appear to be established (Adamaua, Kribi), still produce scarce productions, such as silver and titanium. The search for oil along the coast has not given very concrete results and the exploitation of natural gas has only recently begun.
The still lacking energy production hinders the development of the industries which remain modest and concentrated in Douala, Edéa, Yaoundé and Maroua. These are small factories connected with agriculture (pasta factories, sugar factories, breweries, canneries, oil mills, cotton gin, sawmills) and mechanical (mopeds). The two most important (French group Péchiney) in Edéa produce aluminum, working with imported minerals; recent is the start of the textile, chemical (refineries and soap factories) and cement industries.
The road network (56,673 km, 2000 asphalted) is good only in the South; the railway one (925 km) will be considerably enhanced with the completion of the Transcamerunese, which uniting Douala with Chad will be an important development axis. Douala is the main port (1973: 2,058,000 t), followed by Bonabéri, Bota-Victoria, Tiko, Kribi and Garoua (Benué river); international airports are located in Douala and Yaoundé.
The trade balance has a positive trend and in 1973 it reached a surplus of over 15 million dollars; it mainly trades with France (44%), with the other EEC countries, with the United States. The population is mostly animist (Catholics: 1.5 million; Protestants: 1 million); Umbrian languages are French and English; the level of education is good and since 1962 a university has been operating in Yaoundé, which in 1966 was associated with the Higher School of Agriculture and the Higher Normal School, for the training of teachers.