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History of Cameroon information


At the crossroads of West Africa and Central Africa, the territory of what is now Cameroon has seen human habitation since some time in the Middle Paleolithic, likely no later than 130,000 years ago. The earliest discovered archaeological evidence of humans dates from around 30,000 years ago at Shum Laka. The Bamenda highlands in western Cameroon near the border with Nigeria are the most likely origin for the Bantu peoples, whose language and culture came to dominate most of central and southern Africa between 1000 BCE and 1000 CE.

European traders arrived in the fifteenth century and Cameroon was the exonym given by the Portuguese to the Wouri river, which they called Rio dos Camarões—"river of shrimps" or "shrimp river", referring to the then-abundant Cameroon ghost shrimp.[1] Cameroon was a source of slaves for the slave trade. While the northern part of Cameroon was subject to influence from the Islamic kingdoms in the Chad basin and the Sahel, the south was largely ruled by small kings, chieftains, and fons.

Cameroon as a political entity emerged from the colonization of Africa by Europeans. From 1884, Cameroon was a German colony, German Kamerun, with its borders drawn through negotiations between the Germans, British, and French. After the First World War, the League of Nations mandated France to administer most of the territory, with the United Kingdom administering a small portion in the west. Following World War II, the League of Nations' successor, the United Nations, instituted a Trusteeship system, leaving France and Britain in control of their respective regions, French Cameroon and British Cameroon. In 1960, Cameroon became independent with part of British Cameroons voting to join former French Cameroon. Cameroon has had only two presidents since independence and while opposition parties were legalized in 1990 only one party has ever governed. Cameroon has maintained close relations with France and allied itself largely with Western political and economic interests throughout the Cold War and into the twenty-first century. This consistency gave Cameroon a reputation as one of the most stable countries in the region. In 2017, tensions between Anglophone Cameroonians in former British territory and the Francophone-dominated government led to an ongoing civil war known as the Anglophone Crisis in the west of the country, while Islamist insurgents Boko Haram continue to carry out military and terror attacks in the north of the country.

In January 2024, Cameroon launched the world's first routine malaria vaccine program, using the World Health Organization (WHO)-approved RTS,S vaccine developed by British drugmaker GSK. The initiative aims to save thousands of African children's lives annually. Despite some skepticism, health experts emphasize careful community outreach to combat vaccine hesitancy and stress the importance of using existing preventive measures alongside vaccines.[2]

  1. ^ Cameroon (adj.)
  2. ^ Prentice, Alessandra (2024-01-22). "Cameroon launches routine malaria shots in global milestone". Reuters. Retrieved 2024-02-05.

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History of Cameroon

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