With over 200 unique people groups, Cameroon is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse nations in Africa. Divided into British and French zones by a League of Nations Mandate after World War I, the nation continues to have two separate regions: the English speaking region in the southwest and northwest provinces and the French speaking region in the remaining 8 provinces. After gaining its independence, the south joined the Federal Republic of Cameroon and the north joined Nigeria before reuniting as one nation in 1965. Cameroon is governed under the constitution of 1972 and has been a multiparty state since 1992. Political parties are based on specific ethnic groups or regions.
Offshore oil deposits have made Cameroon one of the most prosperous nations in tropical Africa, and the petroleum business leads all other industries. This triangular-shaped nation is one of the world’s leading cocoa producers, and petroleum is a major source of the national income. Cattle-raising is the main occupation in the north, and 70% of the population work in agriculture. Mt. Cameroon, the most frequently active volcano and the highest elevation in West Africa, last erupted in 2000.
Like many African nations, Cameroon is divided into an Islamic north and Christian/animist south. The nation is a secular state that guarantees religious freedom, but tension continues to exist between the north and the south. Cameroon has one of the highest corruption rates in the world, but a few significant leaders that have converted to Christianity are slowly changing this. Discipleship and Godly leaders are desperately needed within the community to help believers grow in their faith. Muslims, the northern peoples, and people in the Mandara Mountains are among the less reached people in Cameroon. The media is playing an important role in reaching people through private radio and TV broadcasting, which were legalized in 2000.