The 31/12/2015

Message du Chef de l’Etat à la Nation à l’occasion de la fin d’année 2015 et du Nouvel An 2016

Yaoundé, the 10/02/2015

Discours du Chef de l'Etat S.E.M Paul Biya à la Jeunesse Camerounaise à l'occasion de la fête du 11 février 2015

About Cameroon


The history of Cameroon dates back to times well before the expeditions of western navigators and traders and the colonial conquests. As attested by numerous objects in carved and polished stone found practically all over the territory, the country has been inhabited since prehistoric times.

Some remarkable events and dates constitute important milestones in the history of the country, which since ancient times has been the recipient of different migration flows.


The origin of the name Cameroon

Le pays doit son nom à un navigateur portugais, Fernando Pô, arrivé en 1472 sur l’île qui aujourd’hui porte son nom. En accostant sur le fleuve Wouri, Fernando Pô fut émerveillé par la quantité de crevettes qu’il y avait dans ce fleuve. Aussi dénomma-t-il le fleuve Rio dos Camaroes qui signifie Rivière des Crevettes. Le mot Camaroes connut des traductions successives, les Allemands le traduisant par Kamerun et les Français par Cameroun. Ce nom fut utilisé pour désigner au départ rien que la ville de Douala, avant d’être étendu à tout le pays.


From the colonial period to independence

The colonial history of the country draws strongly on its trade exchanges with Europe. In fact, after the end of the 15th century, Portuguese navigators and traders sailed along the Cameroonian coast in search of slaves that were kept on the island of Sao Tomé until they were shipped to America.

In 1841, the first Protestant missionaries, Joseph Merrick and Alfred Saker, arrived in Cameroon, specifically in Douala. The Douala chiefs, particularly the chiefs Akwa and Bell, had already signed, on 10 June 1840, an agreement banning the slave trade with the British government.

A protectorate treaty was signed on 12 July 1884 between Chief Akwa of Douala and the German government, and the Germans settled a short time later in Douala, where they started businesses and guaranteed that there would be peace, but from Douala the Germans occupied all the territory in spite of the resistance of very many tribes. Two people represent this resistance against the Germans: Rudolphe Douala Manga Bell, who was hanged in Douala on 7 August 1913, and Martin Paul Samba, shot in Ebolowa.

With the start of the First World War, Germany - defeated by France and Great Britain - lost Cameroon. The country was then placed under mandates by the League of Nations, and administered by France and Great Britain, which took over the eastern section and the western section of the country respectively. With the start of the Second World War and the Creation of the UN Tutelage Council, Cameroon passed from the status of territory under mandates to that of territory under tutelage.

Representation institutions (Representative Assembly of Cameroon [ARCAM], Territorial Assembly of Cameroon [ATCAM], and Legislative Assembly of Cameroon [ALCAM]) are created in the section of the country under French administration. The members of ALCAM are elected by universal suffrage. Their first session, as held on 10 May 1957, was when the anthem, the flag and the motto of Cameroon were adopted. This section of the country was internally autonomous from 1 January 1959 to 1 January 1960, the latter date being when independence was proclaimed and the State of Cameroon was created.


Symbols of the State of Cameroon

Paix - Travail - Patrie
National Anthem:
O Cameroun, berceau de nos ancêtres
The National Anthem lyrics:
O Cameroun berceau de nos ancêtres,
va debout et jaloux de ta liberté,
comme un soleil ton drapeau fier doit être,
un symbole ardent de foi et d'unité,

Que tous tes enfants du Nord et Sud,
De l'Est a l'Ouest soient tout amour,
Te servir que ce soit leur seul but,
pour remplir leur devoir toujours;

Chère Patrie, Terre chérie,
Tu es notre seul et vrai bonheur,
Notre joie, notre vie,
A toi l'amour et le grand honneur.

Chère Patrie, Terre chérie,
Tu es notre seul et vrai bonheur,
Notre joie, notre vie,
En toi l'amour et le grand honneur


Translation of the National Anthem lyrics:

O Cameroon, Thou Cradle of our Fathers,
Holy Shrine where in our midst they now repose,
Their tears and blood and sweat thy soil did water,
On thy hills and valleys once their tillage rose.
Dear Fatherland, thy worth no tongue can tell!
How can we ever pay thy due?
Thy welfare we will win in toil and love and peace,
Will be to thy name ever true!
Land of Promise, land of Glory!
Thou, of life and joy, our only store!
Thine be honour, thine devotion,
And deep endearment, for evermore.
From Shari, from where the Mungo meanders
From along the banks of lowly Boumba Stream,
Muster thy sons in union close around thee,
Mighty as the Buea Mountain be their team;
Instil in them the love of gentle ways,
Regret for errors of the past;
Foster, for Mother Africa, a loyalty
That true shall remain to the last.

Land of Promise, land of Glory!
Thou, of life and joy, our only store!
Thine be honour, thine devotion,
And deep endearment, for evermore.


Some constitutional milestones of Cameroon

 The Constitution of the young Republic of Cameroon was adopted by referendum on 21 January 1960.

On 5 May 1960, Ahmadou Ahidjo was elected President of the Republic.

On 11 February 1961, part of the territory under British administration chose, by referendum, to join the Republic of Cameroon, and the other part decided to remain merged with Nigeria.

Cameroon became thus a federal state with two federated states (the federated State of Western Cameroon (Anglophone) and the federated State of eastern Cameroon (francophone), a duality of legal systems (with the French system in the French speaking area, and Common Law in the English speaking area).

As a result of the referendum held on 20 May 1972, Cameroon became a single unit, with the elimination of federal institutions. The country stopped being called the Federal Republic of Cameroon and became the United Republic of Cameroon. In 1982, in view of the consolidation of national unity, the term “United” was dropped and the country’s name became Republic of Cameroon, which is as it stands today.

On 6 November 1982, after Ahmadou Ahidjo’s resignation, Paul BIYA, who had been the Prime Minister since 1975, became the President of the Republic, a position to which he was confirmed by early elections on 4 January 1984.

As a result of the 24 March 1984 UNC conference held in Bamenda, from which the Cameroon’s People Democratic Movement emerged, there started the period for renovation and important efforts to modernize political life which led, in 1990, to the adoption of a number of laws, called laws of freedoms, which included the law on political parties and the law on freedom of association. Several political parties appeared then to enrich the political scene in Cameroon.