Cameroon is a lower-middle-income country with a population of 23.3 million people. Situated in Central Africa, it shares a border with Chad, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria. Two regions are Anglophone (the northwest and southwest regions that border Nigeria), while the rest of the country is Francophone. Cameroon is endowed with significant natural resources, including oil and gas, high-value timber species, minerals, and agricultural products such as coffee, cotton, cocoa, maize, and cassava.
Cameroon’s ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), has long dominated the country’s political landscape and currently occupies 148 of the 180 seats in the National Assembly and 81 of the 100 seats in the Senate, which was created in 2013. Presidential elections are scheduled for 2018. While Cameroon has enjoyed peace for many decades in spite of its highly diverse population, it now faces an increasingly challenging situation in its northern regions, where Boko Haram is waging a
As population growth outpaces poverty reduction, the number of poor increased between 2007 and 2014 by 12 percent to 8.1 million people. Poverty is increasingly concentrated in Cameroon’s northern regions with an estimated 56 percent of the poor living in the North and Far North regions alone. This poverty trend was observed even before
Despite having one of the most diversified economies in the CEMAC region, Cameroon’s economic activity slowed in 2016. Growth is expected to dip to 3.7 percent by the end of 2017, compared to 4.4 percent in 2016. This outcome is due to slower growth in oil production (+3 percent in 2016 against 37 percent in 2015) resulting from the maturity of the main oil fields, and to the avian flu epidemic that has damaged the local poultry industry, particularly in the West, which accounts for 80 percent of production. However, continued implementation of the Government’s ambitious infrastructure plan and interventions to boost the agriculture and forestry sectors have significantly contributed to sustained strong growth in public works and construction and services.
Inflation rose to 1.6 percent at the end of June 2016, largely based on the increased tax rate on alcohol (7.4 percent) and tobacco in the 2015 budget law, and the 4.9 percent increase in prices for services, restaurants, and hotels.
Cameroon suffers from weak governance, hindering its development and ability to attract investments. Cameroon ranks 130th out of 168 countries in the 2015 Transparency International corruption perceptions index and ranks 172nd out of 189 economies in the 2016 Doing Business Report.
Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017