Cameroon sits on the Atlantic coast where Western and Central Africa meet. It was named by Portuguese explorers for the Rio dos Camarões (‘River of Prawns’). Cameroon’s geography includes the Mandara Mountains in the north-west, coastal plains, a densely forested plateau and savanna plains.
- Region: Africa
- Population: 25 million (2018)
- Area: 476,350 square kilometres
- Capital: Yaoundé
- Joined Commonwealth: 1960, following independence from Britain
- Commonwealth Youth Index: 45 out of 49 countries
Secretariat support for Cameroon
The Commonwealth sent a team to observe Cameroon’s presidential election in October 2018. The same month, Cameroon took part in Commonwealth Election Professionals (CEP) Initiative training. Participants learned about planning and financing elections, new electoral technologies, new media and gender equality.
Countering violent extremism
The Secretariat is supporting Cameroon to tackle extremist views with early help for young people at risk. The approach also focuses on the role of women and helps former offenders integrate back into communities.
The Secretariat funded a ‘No Hate Speech’ campaign in Cameroon’s schools. It also gave money to train young people in peacebuilding in local communities.
In November 2018, Cameroon hosted ‘Faith in the Commonwealth’ training. 25 young leaders learned about using critical thinking, tolerance, respect and understanding to bring people from different faiths and cultures together.
The Secretariat supported the development of Cameroon’s national e-commerce strategy.
Cameroon is a member of the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance – the Blue Charter Action Group on tackling marine plastic pollution.
Cameroon in the Commonwealth
In 2016, Cameroon’s Achaleke Christian Leke won the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year Award for his work as national co-ordinator of Local Youth Corner Cameroon, an organisation that promotes peace and counters violent extremism.
Cameroonian Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong was awarded a Commonwealth Innovation for Sustainable Development Award in June 2019. This was for starting the DigCit SDG project, which focuses on using social media and information technology responsibly.