Cameroon Economy and Culture
The main trading partners are the countries of the European Union (in particular Spain, Italy and France). Cameroon imports goods mainly from Nigeria, France, China, Belgium, Equatorial Guinea and Germany. The volume of imports almost coincides with that of exports and the trade balance in 2006 was not very positive. § The best infrastructures still date back to the colonial period, even if a significant evolution of the road network took place at the end of the 20th century (in 2004 there were about 51,000 km of roads, of which only 4,313 were asphalted); the transport system is discreet along the coastal strip, but the northern regions still remain almost isolated from those of the south: adequate connections between the two parts of the country are lacking. The main road artery connects Douala to Garoua and continues to the border with Chad. The main railway axis from Douala goes as far as Ngaoundéré. Douala is a very active and well-equipped port, also serving Chad and the Central African Republic; other commercial outlets are those of Limbe and Kribi. Air connections, both internal and with the main African and world countries, use the airports of Douala, Yaoundé and Garoua; the country occupies the second continental place in terms of air freight services after South Africa.
According to thefreegeography, most of the Cameroon population lives in villages, the shape of which varies in relation to the environment and the different social organization. This takes on very original characteristics among the bamiléké, who are divided into communities (chefferies), each of which has its own head (fong), representative landlord. The communities have their own well-defined territories, in which houses are gathered, or small groups of houses, each in the center or alongside the intensely cultivated land. In Adamaoua the settlement is linked to the Fulbe, completely sedentary. They live in villages closed by mud walls, which however are influenced by those of the Paleosudanese, especially in the shape of huts. But the Fulbe also introduced, with Islam, an urbanism that developed around the sultanal centers and represented by fortified cities, such as Rey Bouba (one of the best preserved) and Ngaoundéré itself, in which the agglomeration develops around to the residence of the sovereign, the lamido. Typical are, in the upper Benue valley, the “howitzer” dwellings, which deserve this appellation for their circular plan, with an extremely elongated dome in height. On the whole, they recall the type of beehive house, but the buildings arise next to each other or joined by clay walls, within whose perimeter there are also granaries, inevitable elements. Further to the S, the huts take on intermediate shapes, with a square plan and a domed roof. In the case of the bamum and the bamikélé themselves, this type of dwelling can be accompanied by a portico of agile wooden columns. In the forest area, the huts are all quadrangular in plan and line up along the path that opens into the forest. Finally, the village of bagielli and babinga is extremely simple: it rises on the edge of small clearings, made up of canopies-shelters of branches arranged in an inclined plane. The most loved and practiced sport is football, a true and only common element; in fact, a good number of Cameroonian players play in European teams. In Cameroon, music occupies an important place; well-known and danceable genres are the makossa, between soul and jazz played by guitars and wind instruments and the bikoutsi, very unbridled. Traditional dishes are usually based on meat or fish, often grilled, accompanied by puree of rice, cassava, yam or corn and topped with sauces. Beer is particularly popular and consumed.