COCAN 20-21



Cameroon, a condensed version of Africa

The country owes its name to the Portuguese explorers led by Fernando Po who, in search of the sea route to India, landed in Douala in 1472. The Portuguese navigators were only passing through. It was the Germans who settled in the territory on a permanent basis, opening a trading post in 1868 and subsequently signed a treaty with King Bell representing the indigenous peoples of the coast and Gustav Nachtigal. The latter administrator of the colony then set up the capital in Buea at the foot of Mount Cameroon in the southwest.

After the defeat of Germany at the end of the First World War, the League of Nations (League) placed its former colony under the dual trusteeship of France and Great Britain in 1922. The end of the Second World War in 1945 and the replacement of the League of Nations by the United Nations Organization (UNO) brought down the Franco-British trusteeship in its turn. Thus split into two linguistic entities, the eastern and western parts of the territory gained independence on 1st January 1960 and the other on 1st October 1961.

Cameroon is a free country and constitutionally opts for French and English as its official languages. It is the only example of bilingualism resulting from the presence of the three foreign entities that colonized it (Germany, France, Great Britain).
The first Head of State who led Cameroon to independence in 1960 was Mr. Ahmadou Ahidjo, a Muslim Fulani. His constitutional successor, Mr. Paul Biya is a Catholic Christian who has been leading the nation since November 6, 1982.

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