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Regions in Cameroon

Regions in Cameroon
1. Center Region
This was an ideal location for the capital of Cameroon due to its central location. Yaoundé is the capital city of Cameroon. Read more on Yaoundé>>>>>
      The Centre province is the greatest producer of cocoa and sugar (refineries are found in Mbandjok and koteng) in Cameroon. Food crops are also grown here e.g. bananas, plantains, Cassava, groundnuts, cocoyam, maize, rice and other food crops. This province is over 69 000 sq Km and has a population density of about 26 inhabitants per squared kilometer.
    This province also has a good route communication network and stands as a Carrefour with other neighboring provinces. Yaounde is the departure point for the new railway line that leads to Ngaoundere. This has facilitated movements up north and eased international trade with neighboring countries like Chad and Central Africa Republic.
2. South West Region
The capital of this province is Buea and this town has a marked presence of the Germans, the palace of the German governor, Von Puttkammer. This is also the first political capital of Cameroon. The town was later on governed by the British after 1914, making it one of the major English speaking parts of the country. It is an Anglophone province and still has traits of the British lifestyle in the day to day activities as well as constructions of the people in this area. Limbe is another big industrial town in this province, a picturesque coastal town with several tourist attractions. Read more on Limbe>>>
     The section of the country has enormous potentials for tourism and ecotourism. It issues out to the Atlantic Ocean making it have attractive sandy beaches; some developed as swimming and basking sites. This has also led to the creation of several hotels in the area. E.g. the ‘Seme New Beach’ at Idenao.
     The proximity this region shares with Doula, enables it to easily benefit from services offered by the Douala International Airport and the Douala sea port. Such services, combined with the presence of protected areas like the Korup National Park, make this area an ideal tourist destination.
     Besides tourism, this province is other rich economic potentials such as its vast agro industrial plantations, its fertile soils on which subsistence agriculture is practiced by the locals and above its riches in petroleum deposits that are being exploited at Limbe. There are large plantations of rubber, banana, cocoa, palm trees and tea that extend over several hectares. This is also an offshore petroleum refinery at Limbe, controlled by Sonara, transforming crude oil into several primary products that are exported out of the country.
       There is also a university here at Buea and several colleges that were created several decades ago by missionaries. This accounts in part for the high literacy rate in this area. It also explains why this province attracts lots of migrants from within and out of the country who come to study. Besides the pull factor of education, several migrants here were attracted by the job opportunities at the plantations at Moyuka, Tiko and Tole.
     This province also has a number of primary industries; most of them being branches of the CDC e.g. rubber and oil factories and the Tole tea factory.

3. West Region
    This is the breadbasket of Cameroon. Agriculture is greatly practiced in this region due to the fertile agricultural lands and favorable climate that prevails. Food exists here in abundance; thus much is exported to other parts of the country. Markets in towns like Bafoussam are often flooded with fruits and vegetables that at times perish without ever getting a ready market. Onions, green beans, pepper, mangoes, avocadoes, tomatoes just to mention a few are the order of the day at the daily and weekly markets in the towns and villages of this region. Cash crops like coffee, cocao and green beans are also heavily produced here; serving as a steady source of income to locals.
       The abundance in agricultural products partly suggests why this is the most densely populated province in the whole republic. It has a population density of about 199 inhabitants per square kilometer. The dominant ethic groups here are the ‘bamilekes’, who have created several chiefdoms and the Bamouns, founders of the Bamoun country under Sultan Njoya. These people are highly attached to their cultures in spite of the advent of modern technologies and the westernization of several areas.
     There is a university here at Dschang and Bandjoun, an ultramodern brewery industry at Bafoussam, a major dam for HEP purposes at Bamendjin and several small institutes and colleges. This province has gradually increased its literacy rate and has several intellectuals involved in different sectors in the country. It also has the richest and most prosperous businessmen in the country.
    This province is a great tourist destination due to its attractions like mountains, lakes, attractive landscape, handicraft centers, a rich cultural heritage e.g. the palace of Sultan Njoya at Foumban; traditional manifestations e.g. the Ngoun of the Bamouns and the funeral ceremonies of the Bamilekes; and above all the hospitality of its people.

4.The North West Region
   The capital of this English speaking province is Bamenda. This is another region with high relief and mountainous landscape. It is also a region of lowland savannah, making it to be generally referred to as the grass fields. It also has an extensive flood plain at Ndop.
    This region has fertile soils and a favorable climate that account for massive production in the agricultural sector.  Besides the west province, this is another breadbasket of the republic. Enormous quantities of food crops like maize, rice, beans, groundnut, vegetables, potatoes, cassava etc are produced here. Agro pastoral activities are also an important mainstay; mostly practiced by the ‘bororos’ on the hill slopes  in places like Ndop, Sabga, Kumbo, Babanki and Kom. Over the years this has been a cause of conflict between farmers and grazers.
     The Ndop flood plain is also one of the major wetlands in the republic. This has been beneficial to this province ever since the creation of the Upper Noun Development Authority (UNVDA) in this area. This authority greatly promoted rice production as well as other food crops like maize, soy beans, and cassava in this plain, through the transformation and development of wetlands to rice fields at the disposal of local farmers. It was a successful project during the early days of its creation since rice was a cash crop that boosted the economy of Ndop at the time. Over the years this structure has experienced crises and productivity dropped considerably, but with recent food crisis worldwide, there are plans to revitalize this authority.
      The North West province is also a great tourist destination. It has a number of lakes like the lake Oku, Awing, Nyos etc, each having a scientific and/or traditional myth underlying its origin and manifestations. The lake Nyos is well known in this region for its gas eruption that took away over a thousand lives. There are also a good number of attractive landscapes in this region; the descend from Sabga towards Ndop plain gives an opportunity for a good panoramic view of the terrain containing mountains with waterfalls and streams flowing from different angles. There are also hills having a continuous green vegetation cover, interrupted by neither shrub nor tree. These exist side by side others that are aligned in their valleys by gallery forests of acacia and other woody tree species. A well tarred road passes through this province linking major divisional headquarters. This makes visiting this province quite easy. Other tourist attractions here are handicraft industries like the Press Pot centre at Bamessing village, specialized in the fabrication of clay pots and decorative jars. This village is also renowned for its bags and baskets made of raffia fiber and branches. There are also handicraft centers in Bamenda and Kumbo. This province is also characterized by people of diverse cultures and languages, yet there are lots of similarities in their behavior and activities. Small streams and lakes in some areas have enabled the development of fishing in villages like Bambalang. People here are skilled fishermen. Other tourist attractions are the palaces of the different villages that have a rich cultural heritage of artifacts that have existed over ages e.g. the Afo Akom statue of Kom, several masquerade masks, animal skins, tusks and hooves as in the meseum of Babungo. The Bafut Palace is historical relic in this category. This village also has a large and well built botanical garden. There are also several structures in this province that were built by Germans during the colonial period such as the government primary school at Bamunka, the Camp site at Babessi amongst others.
     The literacy level has also increased with time thanks to the creation of several primary, secondary and high schools. There is a university of science and technology in as well as a Polytechnic in Bamenda. These attract students from all over the republic. This province also has a good health care system through its mission hospitals and health centers in places like Banso, Kom, Babungo, Baba and Bamenda. There are also private clinics and government hospitals through out this area.
    The most dominant religion here is Christianity, though there is a peaceful coexistence with other religions and practices like the Muslim religion and local traditional believes.
   There is much to discover in this province that contributes so much to the development of the country. Politically, this is the fief of the opposition party which originated from Bamenda under the chairmanship of Ni John Fru Ndi. Another great political figure who originates from here is John Ngu Foncha who made the decision of uniting Southern Cameroon to French Cameroon after the Foumban conference.

5.The South Region
  The headquarters of this province is Ebolowa. Although the south province is not yet totally taking advantage of its tourist resources, it has enormous potentials and attracts lots of visitors especially on its beaches along the coasts of the Atlantic. It has a small sea port at Kribi that has greatly boasted business in this area. The shores of Kribi also have excellent beach hotels and resorts that are regularly stormed in by visitors; this is so because of the multiple services and cuisine that is offered. Some visitors come from Douala which is only a few kilometers from Kribi; and thanks to the good road network between the two towns, movements have been rendered easy.
     The Chad-Cameroon pipeline also definitely ends in this province and is certainly a pool of petroleum tankers from other parts of the world. Other important economic boosters in this province are its forests, occupying over 677 000 hectares, with over 374 000 hectares under exploitation; cocoa, rubber and oil palms.
   Oil palm plantations exist between Kribi and Ebolowa; these are besieged from angle to angle by large expanses of the Equatorial forest that is being exploited by several multinational companies. Wood species like Sipo, Sapelli, Maobi and Mahogany are highly exploited species that are found here. Once logs have been cut, they are carried by large trucks to the sea port at Kribi or Douala for export to other countries.
       Rubber is highly cultivated in this province. It started as early as 1975 in the Ocean division along the Nyete River, a tributary of the Lobe between Kribi and Akom II. Today, this activity is under the control of HEVECAM, an agro industrial complex with over 15 000 hectares and a factory that transforms and treats rubber. This company produces over 25 000 tons of rubber, employing over 4000 people in its different departments. Food crops grown in this province include: Cassava, bananas and groundnuts.
   This province has made a lot of progress in developing its infrastructure, but many parts of it are still very enclave. The most important personality of this province is the president of the republic.   

6.East Region
   This province has a surface area of 114 721 Kilometers and has less than a million inhabitants. Its headquarters is Bertoua. This is an important agro pastoral zone for cattle, sheep and goats. The main food crops grown here are cassava, cocoyam, banana, sweet potatoes and groundnuts.
    This province is very enclave and suffers from a very bad communication network. It is however served from a train station from Belabo.  In spite of the poor road situation, this province has a number of forest exploitation companies e.g. Sfid, SEBC,EFC, Alpicam, Sifobel, Safor etc. This is due in part to the presence a large expanse of equatorial province here. Tobacco is also cultivated and processed here.
       The literacy level in this province is very low and the health care situation is even worse. It has only about 227 health units and only about 2000 beds. It is also an area where large parts of the population are not socially integrated. The Bakas pygmies are a good example of such a non integrated class of people. The dense and almost impenetrable forest is a home of these pygmies.
    The East province has a surface area of about 114 721 sq kilometers and a population density of 4 inhabitants per sq kilometer. This province is a great producer of timber and attracts a lot of multinational companies involved in forest exploitation. Some of the exploited wood is transported by trucks to the Belabo train station meanwhile the rest is transformed on the spot to planks. Forest exploitation has been responsible for several conflicts in this area between the locals and forest exploitation companies who at times fail to meet up with their promises made before carry out their activities. It also originates from the fact that these people see exploitation forests as taking away their cultural heritage.

7. Adamawa  
Its headquarters is Ngaoundere. This province can only be compared to the American Far West because of its abundant green pastures and ranches that make it a major grazing zone. It also has maize plantations set up by Maiscam around Ngaoundere, which stand out as a miniature Corn Belt as it is in the USA. This province spans over 64 792 sq kilometers and has a population of over 600 000 inhabitants; making it have a very low population density of about 9 inhabitants per sq kilometer. A greater part of the local population lives in towns like Meiganga, Tignere and Banyo. This province is a passage for travelers especially those using the Trans Cameroon railway line. This is has also helped to boast trade in this area between other northern provinces and neighboring countries like Chad, Nigeria and Central African Republic.

8. North Regions
Garoua is the headquarters of this province. It is also a home to migrants coming from Chad and the Far north especially during long periods of drought. This province has fertile soils around the Benue plain which is usually irrigated during dry periods. It also has a major hydroelectric dam (the Lagdo) south of Garoua. 
    Rural development is also highly promoted here thanks to the efforts of SODECOTON an agro industrial actor, which promotes the cultivation of cotton and food crops by providing inputs to farmers.
    Another important aspect in this province is tourism that is greatly favored by the presence of natural parks like those of Benue, Faro and Bouba Ndjida.

9. Far North Regions
This is the topmost extreme of Cameroon. It is in contact with the Lake Chad. Its population is over 2000 000 inhabitants and its headquarters is Maroua. This is the most populated province in Cameroon. It is largely occupied by the Bororo people also referred to as the Peuls. These people have well organized dynasties referred as lamidats, headed by a Lamido. Being Muslim inclined, these people chased out non Muslims from their community during the last decade. They refereed to them as the Kirdi (meaning pagan). They mostly sort refuge on the mountains in areas like Mandara, meanwhile others migrated into Nigeria. They are another important ethnic group in this province.
   This area also has a vast expanse of rice fields in its plains, cultivated under the patronage of Semry, an agro industrial actor. They have also created a large centre for pisciculture. Other food crops are equally cultivated here, such as maize, millet and sorghum. Pastoral activities are highly practiced in this area, with the rearing of cattle, sheep and goats. The harsh nature of the weather during the dry season renders this activity very difficult. This has led to land degradation in several parts of this province.



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Authors Mphoweh jude Nzembayie and Futonge Nzemabyie Kisito