Cameroon was formed in 1961 from former British and French colonies. Like many countries in Africa, it has had challenges in becoming a free and independent country. Harsh and corrupt rulers have slowed the process. However, the government has spent more on education, roads and health than many nearby countries. The country lies in Western Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. Its neighbors include Nigeria, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea.
Cameroon has desert plains in the north, mountains in the middle and rainforests in the south. Lake Nyos, which lies in an extinct volcano, released poisonous gases in 1986, killing many people.
- 20 million people live in Cameroon.
- The country has 183,568 square miles of land.
- French and English are the major languages. Other languages include Bantu and Semi-Bantu.
- Major religions include native beliefs, Islam, and Christianity.
- The life expectancy is 53 years.
- Colony: a place ruled by another country
- Harsh: unkind, fierce
- Corrupt: dishonest
Visit National Geographic to learn more about Cameroon.
Question: What are the main industries and exports in Cameroon?
Answer: People in Cameroon raise crops, such as coffee and cotton. They also raise cattle or harvest rubber from rubber trees. Oil processing has become a big business.