Cameroon Profile Essay

890 words - 4 pages

Cameroon became a German colony in 1884. At the end First World War, under League of Nations mandates, eastern Cameroon was awarded to France while the southern and northern Cameroons was awarded to Britain. In 1960, French Cameroons gained its independence and Ahmadou Ahidjo was appointed to the presidency. In February 1961 the southern populations of British administered Cameroons voted to join the newly independent Republic of Cameroon. In 1966 Ahmadou Ahidjo made Cameroon a one-party state, in retaliation to a major rebellion, and through constitutional restructuring; concentrated power in presidential hands. Due to his failing health president Ahidjo resigned giving power to his prime ...view middle of the document...

Cameroon has for decades relied on agriculture and timber for export earnings, in the southernmost regions, there are extensive amounts of cocoa and rubber plantations. Petroleum has also been exported since the 70s. The major industries are crude oil, timber, cocoa coffee aluminum and rubber. Cameroons main trading partners are France, Italy Nigeria, Spain Germany and the United States.
Cameroon’s economy is one of the best primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa yet it faces many serious problems underdeveloped countries are facing, such as stagnant per capita income, inequitable distribution of income, a top-heavy civil service regime, and endemic corruption. Cameroon has a GDP per capita of $2,300. With a soaring 30% unemployment rate and 48% of the population is below the poverty line. 70% of the labor force is in agriculture, 13% in industry with 17% in the service sector. The gap between the rich and the poor is high. There is virtually no middle class. While the government has taken part on numerous IMF and World Bank programs engineered to attract investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks, Corruption has for the most part led those efforts to fail.

Although Cameroon is rich in natural resources, it became heavily indebted in the 1980s. It was eligible for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) in October 2000 which led to significant debt relief. Corruption played a large part in the acquiring of debts. it is at an all-time high in Cameroon. With a corruption index of 2.2 in 2010, the country ranking among the most corrupt nations in the world, although an anti-corruption institution was recently created; it remains powerless in enforcing the laws, and prosecuting corrupt officials....

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