Cameroon: Africa in Miniature
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Cameroon: Africa in Miniature

Cameroon, Africa is a country with a diversity of culture and climate with both desert and rainforest. It is referred to as Africa in miniature.

Cameroon is a country in west Africa on the Atlantic coast which is often referred to as Africa in Miniature. It has a huge diversity of climate from the beaches and rainforests to deserts and mountains. Cameroon is remarkably diverse in its cultural diversity as well. Although French and English are the official languages of Cameroon, there are over 200 linguistic groups in the country. The population is about evenly divided between urban and rural dwellers. There are fishermen and farmers as well as factory workers in Cameroon. There is also a thriving timber and oil industry as well.

History

The territory of the Cameroon region prior to 1884 was populated by various indigenous African ethnic groups and was organized into empires and kingdoms. It became a German colony in 1884 and was divided between France and England after WWI. In 1960 the northern French portion won it’s independence from France and in 1961 the southern British portion merged with it. It is now called the Republic of Cameroon. There is a great deal of tension between the French and English regions

Religion

Religious practice includes Christian Protestants and Catholics, Muslims, Pagan and Animists. Both polygamy and monogamy are practiced in Cameroon. There are a variety of native indigenous cultural religious practices which include witchcraft in some.

Sports

Cameroon’s national football team, The Indomitable Lions, have participated in the World Cup soccer tournaments on six occasions. They have also won four African Nations Cup tournaments in football and at the 2000 Olympics they took the gold medal in men’s football

Music

A unique African soul music style called Makossa developed out of Cameroon with a strong rhythm and horn section heavily influenced by jazz, latin and funk rhythms. Manu Dibango is known for Makossa style and Sam Fan Thomas is better known for a lighter style called Makassi. Michael Jackson used a Makossa chant in his song “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin”. Other artists using Makossa style are Eminem, Bloodhound Gang, Rihanna and Shakira.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Dja Faunal Reserve, one of the largest rainforests in Africa, was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The Dja River almost surrounds the park causing it to be fairly secluded and undisturbed. The reserve noted for it’s biodiversity contains five threatened species. Among it’s 107 species are a wide range of primates including lowland gorrillas and other mammals. Although population density is low in the region, living within the reserve is a population of pygmies. They are allowed traditional hunting methods and live a traditional lifestyle. There are thirteen other sites in Cameroon awaiting approval to be inscripted as a World Heritage Site.

Mount Cameroon Volcano

Each year there is a marathon called the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope in the capital city of the Southwest Region, Buea. This race was documented in a 2007 film called the Volcanic Sprint. The Mount Cameroon volcano last erupted in May of 2000. It’s native name Mongo ma Ndemi means Mountain of Greatness.

Politics

Prior to 2008 Cameroon was divided into provinces which were abolished in a controversial decree by President Biya and are now called regions. Each of the ten regions are governed by an appointed govenor charged with the task of carrying out the will of the President of Cameroon. President Biya, who has come under the inspection of vote watching group for suspected widespread fraud, has been the president of Cameroon since 1982. In 2008 he changed the constitution of Cameroon to remove term limits so he could continue in office indefinitely and provide him with immunity from prosecution after leaving office for any actions that he took during his time in office. He was ranked as the 19th worst dictator in the world in 2007 by Parade Magazine.

The Southern Cameroons are members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). They believe themselves to be colonized and occupied by The Republic of Cameroon and wish to have the region restored to the people of that region and gain independence from The Republic of Cameroon and become a sovereign nation

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/407

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameroon

http://whc.unesco.org/archive/advisory_body_evaluation/407.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Cameroon

http://www.fifa.com/

http://www.unpo.org/content/view/7915/145/

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Comments (16)

I knew nothing about this, prior to this article. thank you

Ranked #14 in Africa

Thanks for your comment Susan. I also knew very little about Cameroon prior to the World Cup. This provoked my curiosity about the African nations competing.

Nice to know interesting places like this one. I am out of votes, but I'll be back later. Re tweeted!

Although there seems to be some corruption, Cameroon seems like a more civilized region(s) than other countries in Africa. Great read and write on the history and general atmosphere of Cameroon.

great article, I have never been but may do so at some time!

Interesting share, Judith. I was expecting you're writing about James (Cameron) but of course it was about a place and I was wrong.

Ranked #14 in Africa

That's funny Deep Blue!!!!

Did you read about the tragedy of the Sundance Mining company's full board of directors crashing into the forest in Cameroon and perishing? 11 people gone in the tragedy and they still have not been able to recover the bodies.

Ranked #14 in Africa

NO! I have not seen that news. I will go to look it up now. That is horrible. Thank you for sharing the news.

Ranked #14 in Africa

This is very sad. They were traveling on a twin turboprop from Cameroon to the Republic of Congo. Crashed June 19th 2010. The mining company is Sundance Resources based in Perth, Australia. They apparantly had discovered some iron ore deposits in Mbalam, Cameroon that they were making plans to extract. It was all the top directors as you said Cashmere.

I thought you had read about the crash and so decided to write about the country. Its been in the news the last full week

Ranked #14 in Africa

I was staying with a friend for ten days with no television and no news- no not even a radio! I was kinda enjoying the change of pace and continued on that path for awhile but now I see that it doesn't work out too well for my writing. No I had written because of Cameroon's participation in the World Cup Soccer tournament. I guess it is time for me to revisit the real world!

Terrific write! Very interesting and informative work. It certainly had a very turbulant and colorful history to some degree with so many different countries/ cultures running it. Fab work voted up!

Great presentation of Cameroon.

NNCECDEM PADISON

these resources are in danger

Love it and am cameroonian and have quote this article,, thks
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