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Map of Cameroon showing the location of Yaoundé
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Yaoundé (Africa)
Coordinates: 3°52′N11°31′E / 3.867°N 11.517°E / 3.867; 11.517 Coordinates: 3°52′N11°31′E / 3.867°N 11.517°E / 3.867; 11.517
CountryFlag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon
Region Centre
Department Mfoundi
  Total180 km2 (70 sq mi)
726 m (2,382 ft)
 (2015 Projection) [1]
  Density15,000/km2 (40,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (CEST)

Yaoundé ( UK: /jɑːˈʊnd,-ˈn-/ ; [2] US: /ˌjɑːʊnˈd/ , French pronunciation:  [ja.unde] ) is the capital of Cameroon and, with a population of more than 2.8 million, the second-largest city in the country after the port city Douala. It lies in the Centre Region of the nation at an elevation of about 750 metres (2,500 ft) above sea level.



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Yaoundé Lake

The earliest inhabitants of Cameroon were likely the Bakas (pygmies). They still inhabit the forests of the south and east provinces. Bantu speakers originating in the Cameroonian highlands were among the first groups to move out before other invaders. During the late 1770s and early 1800s, the Fulani—a pastoral Islamic people of the western Sahel—conquered most of what is now northern Cameroon, subjugating or displacing its largely non-Muslim inhabitants.

The outpost of Epsumb or Jeundo was founded between the Nyong and Sanaga rivers at the northern edge of the area's forests in 1887, [3] 1888, [4] [5] or February 1889 by the German explorers Lt. Richard Kund and Hans Tappenbeck by the agreement of the chiefs of Ela Esono. [7] From December 1889 to May 1895, it was occupied by the German botanist Georg August Zenker as an agricultural research station named Jaunde after the local Yaunde or Ewondo people. [8] His settlement served as a base for the area's rubber and ivory trade, purchasing these from the natives in exchange for imported clothing and iron. [5] It was also known in English as Yaunde Station. Major Dominik's establishment of a military garrison at the site in 1895 permitted a Pallotine mission and religious school at nearby Mvolyé (now a suburb). [5]

During World War I, Jaunde was occupied by Belgian troops from the Congo. After Imperial Germany's defeat in that war, France held eastern Cameroon as a mandate of the League of Nations and Yaoundé was chosen to become the capital of the colony in 1922. [9] Douala long remained the more important settlement, but Yaoundé saw rapid growth after 1957 due to the cocoa crisis and unrest along the coast. It continued as the seat of government for the Republic of Cameroon upon its independence.


Most of Yaoundé's economy is centred on the administrative structure of the civil service and the diplomatic services. Owing to these high-profile central structures, Yaounde has a higher standard of living and security than the rest of Cameroon.

Major industries in Yaoundé include tobacco, dairy products, beer, clay, glass goods and timber. It is also a regional distribution centre for coffee, cocoa, copra, sugar cane and rubber.

Local residents engage in urban agriculture. The city is estimated to have "50,000 pigs and over a million chickens." [10]

In 2010, under Mayor Jean Claude Adjessa Melingui, Yaoundé began a flood reduction project, the Yaoundé City Sanitation Master Plan, to deal with "severe floods [that] disrupted the city 15 to 20 times a year, affecting as many as 100,000 people at a time." After four years, the frequency of flooding had been reduced from fifteen to three times a year, and cases of water-borne diseases such as typhoid and malaria were reduced by almost half. Although Melingui died in 2013, local officials are continuing his efforts to transform the city. Ongoing improvements to sanitation infrastructure are being carried out under a "$152 million plan, largely financed by loans, primarily from the African Development Bank and the French Development Agency", slated for completion in 2017. [10]

A roundabout near the Place du 20 Mai Cameroon-Yaounde01.jpg
A roundabout near the Place du 20 Mai

Despite the security issues and humanitarian crises that have plagued the central African nation, its economy remains stable. In fact, there is diversification of its productive economic activities, with the services sector contributing about half of the total domestic production. [11] However, like many African countries, Cameroon has long suffered from corruption, which dominates almost all the sectors, particularly in the capital city. Oil, gas and mining revenues are rarely reported, which implies massive graft. [12] In addition, there is weak protection of real and intellectual property, and the judicial system is vulnerable to political manipulation.

According to Yaoundé City Council data, over 130 floods struck the city between 1980 and 2014, causing massive loss of life and economic damage. However, there has been a reduction of flooding in the city since the establishment of a sanitation master plan to address the issue. [13] Another measure was to relocate people living along the drainage routes and in low-lying flood zones.


The city centre houses government offices, some hotels, and the central market. The Bastos district, with most homes owned by Cameroonians, is home to foreign embassies and the expatriate European, American and other continental communities (drawn mainly from the diplomatic corps). The presidential palace and compound are in the Etoudi district.

Also found in Yaoundé are:

There is a small zoo in the Mvog-Betsi neighbourhood. Yaoundé has a small assortment of Pubs, nightclubs and restaurants.

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Reunification Monument and Statue

A distance outside Yaoundé is the NGO Ape Action Africa, which rescues and rehabilitates Great Apes threatened with extinction by the illegal bushmeat and deforestation trades.


Places of worship

Our Lady of Victories Cathedral, Yaounde Yaounde Cathedrale.jpg
Our Lady of Victories Cathedral, Yaoundé

The places of worship in the city are predominantly Christian churches: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Yaoundé (Catholic Church), Christian Missionary Fellowship International and Associated Churches (Pentecostal), Evangelical Church of Cameroon (World Communion of Reformed Churches), Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (World Communion of Reformed Churches), Union of Baptist Churches in Cameroon (Baptist World Alliance), Full Gospel Mission Cameroon (Assemblies of God). [14] There are also Muslim mosques.


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Flooded road in March 2020

Yaoundé features a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw), with constant temperatures throughout the year. However, primarily due to the altitude, temperatures are not quite as hot as one would expect for a city located near the equator. Yaoundé features a lengthy wet season, covering a ten-month span between March and November. However, there is a noticeable decrease in precipitation within the wet season, seen during the months of July and August, almost giving the city the appearance of having two separate rainy seasons. It's primarily due to the relative lull in precipitation during these two months that Yaoundé features a tropical wet and dry climate, as opposed to a tropical monsoon climate.

Climate data for Yaoundé
Record high °C (°F)33
Average high °C (°F)29.6
Daily mean °C (°F)24.6
Average low °C (°F)19.6
Record low °C (°F)14
Average precipitation mm (inches)19.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)341214171411122023113144
Average relative humidity (%)79.579.581.
Mean monthly sunshine hours 172.0179.0169.9164.5166.2126.096.186.2102.4130.2167.1181.41,741
Source 1: World Meteorological Organization [15] NOAA (sun 1961–1990) [16]
Source 2: BBC Weather [17]


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Buses in Yaoundé

Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport is a major civilian hub, while nearby Yaoundé Airport is used by the military. Train lines run west to the port city of Douala and north to N'Gaoundéré. Many bus companies operate from the city; particularly in the Nsam and Mvan districts. [18] Frequent buses run on the road between Yaoundé and Douala, which has witnessed several fatal accidents. Travel time by road between Douala and Yaounde is approximately 3 hours. Traffic in the city can be heavy during weekdays, but is very light during the weekends. Yaoundé has made significant progress in infrastructure, especially road construction.


Cameroon is a bilingual country, where English and French are both official languages; therefore in the city there is a coexistence of French educational system schools, where the degree giving access to university is the Baccalaureate, and all the education is in French, and the English educational system schools, where the degree giving access to university is the GCE Advanced level.

There are three American schools in Cameroon, the American School of Yaounde (ASOY) and Rain Forest International School (RFIS), and the American School of Douala (ASD). There is also one Turkish School, The Amity College/School.

Yaoundé is the site of several universities: the University of Yaoundé II (on a campus outside of town), the Protestant University of Central Africa (UPAC) and the Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC). Several of the nation's professional schools are also located in Yaounde (Higher Teacher's training college, École Militaire InterArmes du Cameroun) as well as various schools for Engineers (Polytech), Doctors (CUSS), Nurses and Diplomats.


The largest hospital is the Central Hospital of Yaoundé (Hôpital Central de Yaoundé) with 650 beds. [19] Yaoundé General Hospital (Hôpital Général de Yaoundé - HGY) had 302 beds when it was built in 1985. [20] Other hospitals are the Yaoundé Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital (Hôpital Gynéco-Obstétrique et Pédiatrique de Yaoundé - HGOPY) and the University Hospital Center of Yaoundé (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Yaoundé - CHU).


Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium during a match Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo 2014 (4).jpg
Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium during a match

The national football team plays some of its home matches in the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium and the football clubs Canon Yaoundé, Impôts FC and Tonnerre Yaoundé are all based in the city. The Grand Prix Chantal Biya, a men's road bicycle racing event on the UCI Africa Tour, starts and finishes in Yaoundé.

Yaoundé is also the base for the National Institute of Youth and Sport (INJS); this school trains government workers who will be in charge of sport all across the country during their career.

Joel Embiid, center for the Philadelphia 76ers, and Luc Mbah a Moute, a forward for the Los Angeles Clippers are from Yaoundé, as are Samuel Umtiti, a footballer for the national team of France and FC Barcelona, Breel Embolo, a footballer for Borussia Mönchengladbach and Vincent Aboubakar, a footballer for Porto.

Notable residents

Related Research Articles

Transport in Cameroon

This article provides a breakdown of the transportation options available in Cameroon. The options available to citizens and tourists include railways, roadways, waterways, pipelines, and airlines. These avenues of transportation are used by citizens for personal transportation, by businesses for transporting goods, and by tourists for both accessing the country and traveling while there.

East Region (Cameroon) region of Cameroon

The East Region occupies the southeastern portion of the Republic of Cameroon. It is bordered to the east by the Central African Republic, to the south by Congo, to the north by the Adamawa Region, and to the west by the Centre and South Regions. With 109,002 km² of territory, it is the largest region in the nation as well as the most sparsely populated. Historically, the peoples of the East have been settled in Cameroonian territory for longer than any other of the country's many ethnic groups, the first inhabitants being the Baka pygmies.

Centre Region (Cameroon) region of Cameroon

The Centre Region occupies 69,000 km² of the central plains of the Republic of Cameroon. It is bordered to the north by the Adamawa Region, to the south by the South Region, to the east by the East Region, and to the West by the Littoral and West Regions. It is the second largest of Cameroon's regions in land area. Major ethnic groups include the Bassa, Ewondo, and Vute.

Bamenda Place in Northwest, Cameroon

Bamenda, also known as Abakwa and Mankon Town, is a city in northwestern Cameroon and capital of the Northwest Region. The city has a population of about 2 million people and is located 366 kilometres (227 mi) north-west of the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé. Bamenda is known for its cool climate and scenic hilly location.

Education in Cameroon

Cameroon is a Central African nation on the Gulf of Guinea. Bantu speakers were among the first groups to settle Cameroon, followed by the Muslim Fulani until German domination in 1884. After World War I, the French took over 80% of the area, and the British 20%. After World War II, self-government was granted, and in 1972, a unitary republic was formed out of East and West Cameroon. Until 1976 there were two separate education systems, French and English, which did not merge seamlessly. English is now considered the primary language of instruction. Local languages are generally not taught as there are too many, and choosing between them would raise further issues.

Ngaoundéré Place in Adamawa, Cameroon

Ngaoundéré, or N'Gaoundéré, is the capital of the Adamawa Region of Cameroon. It had a population of 152,700 at the 2005 census. According to the film Les Mairuuwas – Maitre de l'eau produced by the University of Tromsø, the population has rapidly risen to 1,000,000 owing to mass immigration from the Central African Republic and the perceived danger from Boko Haram in northern Cameroon.

Mbalmayo Place in Centre Province, Cameroon

Mbalmayo is a city in Cameroon's Centre Province. The town had 60,091 inhabitants in 2012. It is the capital of the Nyong-et-So'o Department. It is located at the banks of the Nyong river between Ebolowa and Yaoundé. It is an agricultural centre and has an important function as a centre of education. Site of the Mbalmayo National Forestry School.

Charles Atangana Paramount chief of the Ewondo and Bane ethnic groups

Charles Atangana, also known by his birth name, Ntsama, and his German name, Karl, was the paramount chief of the Ewondo and Bane ethnic groups during much of the colonial period in Cameroon. Although from an unremarkable background, Atangana's loyalty and friendship with colonial priests and administrators secured him successively more prominent posts in the colonial government. He proved himself an intelligent and diplomatic administrator and an eager collaborator, and he was eventually named paramount chief of two Beti-Pahuin subgroups, the Ewondo and Bane peoples. His loyalty and acquiescence to the German Empire was unquestioning, and he even accompanied the Germans on their escape from Africa in World War I.

Tourism in Cameroon

Tourism in Cameroon is a growing but relatively minor industry. Since the 1970s, the government of Cameroon has cultivated the industry by creating a ministry of tourism and by encouraging investment by airlines, hotels, and travel agencies. The government describes the country as "Africa in miniature", promoting its diversity of climate, culture, and geography. Cameroon's wildlife draws both safari-goers and big-game hunters, as Cameroon is home to many of Africa's iconic animals: cheetahs, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, hippopotami, and rhinoceroses. Impediments to further growth of the tourism sector include poor transport infrastructure and corrupt officials who may harass visitors for bribes.

Outline of Cameroon Overview of and topical guide to Cameroon

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Douala Largest city and economic capital of Cameroon

Douala is the largest city in Cameroon and its economic capital. It is also the capital of Cameroon's Littoral Region. Home to Central Africa's largest port and its major international airport, Douala International Airport (DLA), it is the commercial and economic capital of Cameroon and the entire CEMAC region comprising Gabon, Congo, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Cameroon. Consequently, it handles most of the country's major exports, such as oil, cocoa and coffee, timber, metals and fruits. As from 2018, the city and its surrounding area had an estimated population of 2,768,400. The city sits on the estuary of Wouri River and its climate is tropical.

Hans Tappenbeck 19th century German military officer

Hans Tappenbeck was a German officer and explorer of Africa.

Goddy Leye

Goddy Leye was a Cameroonian artist and intellectual.

Kamerun campaign Theatre of WWI that involved the British, French and Belgian invasion of the German colony of Kamerun from August 1914 to March 1916

The Kamerun campaign took place in the German colony of Kamerun in the African theatre of the First World War when the British, French and Belgians invaded the German colony from August 1914 to March 1916. Most of the campaign took place in Kamerun but skirmishes also broke out in British Nigeria. By the Spring of 1916, following Allied victories, the majority of German troops and the civil administration fled to the neighbouring neutral colony of Spanish Guinea. The campaign ended in a defeat for Germany and the partition of its former colony between France and Britain.

Pascal Kenfack is a painter and sculptor of international renown. Passionately committed to the revival of art living in Cameroon, he took action by creating a hybrid of a museum and a school in Yaoundé, already a workshop for learning and creation.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Douala, Cameroon.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Yaoundé, Cameroon.

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Françoise Foning

Françoise Foning was a Cameroonian businessperson and politician for the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM). She began a career in business at age 12, opening a restaurant before entering into the tourism, transportation, food, medical and education sectors. Foning became president of CPDM's women's division in 1992 and was appointed the party's leader in Douala and the national committee five years later. In 2002, she was elected deputy mayor of Douala II and began serving in the National Assembly that same year. Foning led the African Network and Cameroonian Businesswomen and consulted The World Bank, the African Development Bank along with several international agencies. She was founding president of the Association of Cameroonian Businesswomen and the NGO World Female Company Managers. A street in Douala was named in her memory.


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  3. Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi & al. African Families at the Turn of the 21st Century, p. 175. Praeger Publishers (Westport), 2006. ISBN   0275972747. Accessed 17 Apr 2014.
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  5. 1 2 3 JohnsonHans, Jennifer. PA34 Uncertain Honor: Modern Motherhood in an African Crisis, p. 34. University of Chicago Press (Chicago), 2006. ISBN   0226401812. Accessed 17 Apr 2014.
  6. Kund, Richard. Letter to the Foreign Office of April 4, 1889. Bundesarchiv R 1001/3268, Bl. 14f. (in German)
  7. „Ich bemerke nur, daß der Lieutenant Tappenbeck und ich eine Station in größeren Maßstabe auf dem Innerafrikanischen Plateau zwischen den Flüssen Yong u Zannaga an dem Platze angelegt haben, der auf der Karte mit dem Namen Epsumb bezeichnet ist. (3° 48' N.) Die Entfernung von der Küste beträgt 20 Tagesmärsche...“ [6]
  8. Kund and Tappenbeck had used the title "Jaunde" to refer to the area but not the settlement or site itself.
  9. Britannica, Yaoundé, britannica.com, USA, accessed on July 7, 2019
  10. 1 2 "Cameroon: Taming Waters for Health, Jobs in Yaounde". AllAfrica . December 1, 2014. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  11. "2016 Index of Economic Freedom". Heritage. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  12. "Corruption in Cameroon". Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 1999.
  13. Nfor, Monde Kingsley. "Cameroon's Cities Tackle Flood Risk". United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  14. J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, ‘‘Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices’’, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, p. 484-486
  15. "World Weather Information Service - Yaounde". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  16. "Yaounde Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  17. "Average Conditions Yaounde, Cameroon". BBC Weather. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  18. Ben West. Cameroon (3 ed.). Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN   978-1-84162-353-5.
  19. "Overview". Central Hospital of Yaoundé. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  20. Binder, Georges (1 March 2001). Montois Partners: Selected and Current Works. Images Publishing. p. 126. ISBN   978-1-86470-069-5.


  1. "Cameroon: Regions, Major Cities & Towns". Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information (in Luxembourgish). 1976-04-09. Retrieved 2020-10-09.