Major problems facing Cameroon today

Paul BiyaThe People's Republic of Cameroon is a Central African country bordering the Republic of Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east, the Republic of Nigeria to the West, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the south. Cameroon also borders the Bight of Biafra located between Equatorial Guinea and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Republic of Cameroon has a total land area of about 475,442sq.km (about 0.57% of which is covered by water) and a total population of about 22.6 million people with the population growth rate hovering around 2.04%. About 60% of the total of Cameroon live in urban areas in major cities and towns such as Yaounde the Capital of Cameroon.

Yaounde the capital contains about 2 million people. Douala another major city (infact the largest city in Cameroon today) contains about 2.5 million people.

Cameroon just like its neighboring countries, is a culturally rich country with a beautiful blend of several cultures and racial groups living peacefully together. The several ethnic groups living in Cameroon today include the Cameroonian Highlanders (the most dominant ethnic group make up about 31% of the total population), the Equatorial Bantus (who make up about 19% of the total population), Kirdi (about 11% of the total population), Fulanis (about 10% of the total population), The Northwestern Bantus (form about 8% of the total population), Eastern Nigritics (about 7% of the total population), etc. Christianity and Indigenous believes reign supreme in Cameroon today with about 40% of the total population being Christians and 40% being Traditional African believers. Muslims make about 20% of the total population. Although English and French remain the two official languages used in Cameroon today, there are at least 24 major African languages spoken in Cameroon today.

Cameroun just like its neighboring countries is blessed with abundance of natural resources such as petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower, etc.

However, despite the abundance of natural resources in Cameroon today, Cameroon has an unemployment rate between 40-50% with about 50 to 55% of the total population living below poverty line. In other words, the majority of the Cameroonian populace live on less than $1.25 a day making Cameroon one of the poorest countries in the world today.

Cameroun has a literacy rate of about 68% which implies about 68% of the total population above age 15 can read and write which is far better than in countries like Burkina Faso and Burundi where the literacy rate is in the 30s. However, this literacy rate of 68% falls below average in Africa today. Quality education is something very hard to come by in Cameroon today.  In other words, poor education remains a major problem in Cameroon today.

Cameroon has an adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of about 5.3% with about 30,000 HIV/AIDS deaths a year. There were at least 37,000 HIV/Aids deaths recorded in 2009. Besides HIV/AIDS, deadly diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, sleeping sickness, typhoid fever, etc. also continue to claim several lives in this part of the world.

volcanic activities with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun remain one of the environmental issues facing Cameroon today.

Deforestation or the rampant cutting down of trees, overgrazing, desertification (or the turning of fertile lands into desert/non-farming lands) , poaching, over-fishing, etc. continue to threaten wildlife and agriculture in Cameroon today.

Poor sanitation is a major problem in Cameroon today. Lack of good drinking water and water for domestic purposes is another major problem facing Cameroon today. A greater portion of the Cameroonian populace including those living in urban areas lack access to good drinking water and water for domestic purposes.

Just like in most other African countries today, Corruption levels remain at all time high in Cameroon today all thanks to poor leadership and mismanagement.