Full name: Republic of Cameroon
Population: 20 million (UN, 2011)
Area: 475,442 sq km (183,568 sq miles)
Major languages: French, English, languages of Bantu, Semi-Bantu and Sudanic groups Major religions: Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs
Life expectancy: 51 years (men), 54 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc = 100 centimes
Main exports: Crude oil and petroleum products, timber, cocoa, aluminium, coffee, cotton
GNI per capita: US $1,180 (World Bank, 2010)
Located in central and western Africa, Cameroon is bordered by Nigeria to the west, Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic and the Republic of the Congo to the east, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to the south.
Yaounde is the capital city of Cameroon. French and English are the official languages.
With an area of 475, 650 sq km and a population of about 18.9 million, the country abounds in minerals, including bauxite, iron ore, rutile, tin, gold, gem diamonds, cobalt, nickel and natural gas, apart from water and forestry resources.
In the early 1980s, Cameroon was one of the most prosperous countries in Africa with double-digit economic growth. However, a serious economic crisis struck the country in the mid-1980s, leading to a decade-long recession.
In recent years, Cameroon has adopted many policies to boost economic development, which helped the country maintain growth in its gross domestic product (GDP). In 2008, the GDP of Cameroon reached 22.1 billion U.S. dollars, up 3.9 percent from the previous year, with per capita GDP standing at 1,171 dollars.
Now, agriculture and stock breeding are the economic pillars of the country, with tourism as a newly developed sector.
China and Cameroon established diplomatic ties on March 26, 1971, with the relationship between the two countries developing smoothly since then.