|Official Country Name:||Republic of Cameroon|
|Region (Map name):||Africa|
|Language(s):||African language groups, English, French|
Background & General Characteristics
Officially independent since January 1, 1960, the Republic of Cameroon was constituted from the merging of the former French and British Cameroons in 1961. It borders Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, and Gabon. With 402 km of coastline and 4,591 km of borders, Cameroon's area is about 475,440 square kilometers. Its capital is Yaounde. The climate varies from tropical to semiarid. With a 2001 estimated population of 15,803,220 growing at the rate of 2.41 percent, Cameroon had an estimated literacy rate of 63.4 percent in 1995.
The national press developed considerably in the 1990s, and at the beginning of the twenty-first century there were several daily newspapers, including Mutations and Ciel d'Afrique (African Sky), born in 2000. Africa New Destiny is a daily international general information magazine. Published from Monday to Friday, the bilingual Cameroon Tribune was started in January 2000. In two years it went from 7,000 to 25,000 copies and from 25 to 32 pages.
The main weeklies are Le Patriote (The Patriot) and Le Messager (The Messenger), which started in 1979. Other weeklies include L'analyste (The Analyst), Le Temps (The Times), Le Triomphe (The Triumph), Voix d'Afrique (African Voices), Les Nouvelles d'Afrique (African News), the French-English Catholic publication L'effort Camerounais , centered in Douala, and L'informe (The Informer). Bi-weeklies include L'aurore (The Dawn) and Dikalo . Tri-weeklies include La Détente (Relaxation), Le Jeune Detective (The Young Detective), and La Nouvelle Expression (The New Expression), published since 1992. There is also the Herald , published in English.
There are several monthly publications such as Mensuel Panafricain d'Analyses Politiques (The Political Analytical Panafrican Monthly), L'anecdote (The Anecdote), the Dschang News , dedicated to the Dschang urban community, and Mefoe Ya Nlam , which distributes information in French to the Southern province. Other topical publications include Patrimoine (Patrimony), about culture and debates, and La Plume sur le Rocher (The Feather on the Rock), a Catholic publication.
In 2002, Le Francophone , a bimonthly, was started by l'Alliance Panafricaine pour Promotion de la Fran-cophonie. (The Panafrican Alliance for French Language Promotion). Two other bimonthlies are Le Gri-gri International (The International Amulet), a panafrican satirical publication, and Le Serment (The Oath).
Outside publications that are read in Cameroon include Le rendez-vous de l'Afrique (African Rendez-Vous), Toute l'actualité de l'Afrique (Current African Events) and Governance Alert on Cameroon Human Rights. There is also a French quarterly Impact Tribune . Other important publications include Polemedia , Le Journal de l'Agence Intergouvernementale de la Fran-cophonie , L'écluse (The Lock) and L'action (Action).
Cameroonian news agencies in 2002 included the YFIA Francophone News Agency, the Agence de Presse, and the IEPF (L'Institut de l'Energie Périodique Franco-phone). Also active were AJIC (l'Association des Journalistes Indépendants du Cameroun), and the CJSC (Club des Journalistes Solidaires du Cameroun), founded in 2000. Every year on May third, Cameroonians celebrate World Press Freedom Day in an effort led by UNESCO to promote freedom and independence of the press.
In 1998, there were eleven AM radio stations, eight FM stations, three short wave radio stations and one television station. Four years later, under Cameroon Radio Television alone there are ten regional radio stations and one national, three FM urban commercial channels, and one television station with thirty-two diffusion centers. There are also some international stations such as Radio Africa No. 1, Afro Caribbean Music, and Radio France Internationale. In 1997, there were 2.27 million radio sets and 450,000 TV sets in Cameroon.
Electronic News Media
In 2000, there was only one Internet provider and 20,000 users. However, as of 2002 there were 11 cyber-papers and many magazines online. Some of these include Le Patriote , Afrik'Netpress , a bilingual daily, La Nouvelle Expression, for investigation and analysis, Tam Tam, and The Cameroon Tribune a French-English paper. Sujet Tabou (Taboo Subject), an evangelistic journal, and L'action , a democratic site on politics, economics and sports give topical information. The Internet is growing in popularity as a source of international media. International sites such as the BBC, L'équipe.fr, CNN, and Le Monde have the largest Cameroonian readership.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). World Factbook 2001 . Directorate of Intelligence, 2002. Available from www.cia.gov/ .
Ciel d'Afrique . Available from www.cieldafrique.fr.st/ .