Cameroon, which is home to more than 200 different linguistic groups, is known as “Africa in miniature” due to its diversity.
The Central African country has one of the highest literacy rates on the continent. Its progress, however, is hampered by persistent problems with corruption.
Created in 1961 by the unification of two former colonies, one British and one French, the modern state of Cameroon has also struggled to find peace and unity.
Internally, there are tensions over the two mainly English-speaking southern provinces. A secessionist movement, the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), emerged in the 1990s and has been banned.
More recently, the mainly-Muslim far north has been drawn into the regional Islamist insurgency of Boko Haram.
- Republic of Cameroon
- Capital: Yaounde
- Population 20 million
- Area 475,442 sq km (183,568 sq miles)
- Languages French, English, languages of Bantu, Semi-Bantu and Sudanic groups
- Major religions Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy 51 years (men), 54 years (women)
- Currency CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc