Cameroon is marked out with evidence of human presence from ages. The adventure had been revealing several thousand-years tribes preserving a powerful soul in their culture and treasures.
Vestiges of this human presence date from the Palaeolithic. The first civilisations established in the North: the Sao in the 5th century, followed by the Kanem and Bornou Empires that introduce Islam, then occupied by the Logone-Bimi and the Mandara kingdom.
Late, in the 16th century, people set together in the grassfields, creating the Bamikele group. In the 17th century, the Peul group established a sultanate in the North, and another one in the West called Bamoun. One century after, the Douala settled up at the mouth of Wouri river.
In search of a new land
Europe has always shown a great interest for the mysterious and promising land of Cameroon, before the colonization expeditions led in the 20th century. Fernando Po, a Portuguese captain, was the first European who reached Cameroon. Astonished by the Wouri, a river full of shrimps, the explorer called it ‘’Rio do Camaroes’’. Therefore, the successive mispronunciations of the name gave birth to the actual name of the country.
Then, Africa experienced an intensive arrival of Europeans, among which were traders, missionaries, British and German explorers. In 1884, Cameroon became a German protectorate.
French and British administrations
In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles shared the former German protectorate into two administrations rules by France and England. They were leading separately the development of their colonial economy, the creation of administrative structures, urbanization and the emergence of political movements and unions among different groups of people.
The way to Independence
In 1945, France consolidated its colonial system, that has led to a vast movement of protest around the country. In 1948, the Cameroon Union of Population (UPC) party was created and tried to come to power in 1955. It was claiming for both the independence and reunification of the country. In 1960, the territory under the French administration gained independence, and next year the English one was divided into two parts: the northern united with Nigeria and the southern joined the newly independent territory. In 1961, the Federal Republic of Cameroon was ruled by President Ahmadou Ahidjo.
As the political power has been strengthened, the political parties merged to create the Cameroon National Union (CNU). In 1972, the Federal State became the United Republic of Cameroon. In 1982, the President let the power to his Prime-Minister, M. Paul Biya who was re-elected in 1984 and 1988, and then promulgated a new constitution. In the 90’s, the country experienced the multiparty-system with unfortunate consequences. From 1992 to 1997, the former president party has won the elections in a violent atmosphere. But the recent improvements of the economy has calmed the tensions, and the last elections occurred in the ordinary course. Apart from those occasional problems, Cameroon is a beautiful country where people live in security and tourists are warmly welcomed.