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HomeCountriesWest Africa › Cameroon

Cameroon Country AET Profile

About Cameroon

Education is free in state schools and compulsory between ages 6 and 12. Government funds are available to mission and private schools. Most secondary schools have been made bilingual, with instruction in both French and English. Working alongside the public schools are the missionary schools, which have been extremely important in the history of Cameroonian education. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 2.6% of GDP. Projected adult illiteracy rate for the year 2000 stands at 24.6% (males, 18.2%; females, 30.8%).

There are two universities in the capital, in addition to those in Dschang, Nhaoundere, Duala and Buea. At Yaoundé University (founded in 1962) and other equivalent institutions, there were more than 33,000 students and over 1,000 instructors in the mid-1990s. There are faculties of science, law and economics, and arts at Yaoundé, which maintains four regional campuses. Higher institutions attached to the university include the University Health Sciences Center, the Higher School of Sciences and Techniques of Information, the Institute of International Relations, the Advanced Teachers Training College, and the Polytechnic School. There is also a national school of public administration and an institute of business administration.

Agriculture was the main source of growth and foreign exchange until 1978 when oil production replaced it as the cornerstone of growth for the formal economy. In 2001, agriculture contributed 43% to GDP. Agricultural development and productivity declined from neglect during the oil boom years of the early 1980s. Agriculture was the principal occupation of 62% of the economically active population in 1999, although only about 15% of the land was arable. The most important cash crops are cocoa, coffee, cotton, bananas, rubber, palm oil and kernels, and peanuts. The main food crops are plantains, cassava, corn, millet, and sugarcane. Palm oil production has shown signs of strength, but the product is not marketed internationally. Cameroon bananas are sold internationally, and the sector was reorganized and privatized in 1987.

Institutions in Cameroon

Reports on Cameroon
Cameroon - Current Student Enrolment and Academic Staffing

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