Interesting Facts

  • Cameroon was the first African country to reach the quarter final stage in a Soccer World Cup, in 1990.
  • The name ‘Cameroon’ originally comes from the Portuguese, Rio de Camarões. Translated, this means ‘River of Prawns’.
  • Some 250 ethnic groups speaking about 270 languages and dialects make it a remarkably diverse country
  • Cameroon, as it is today, came into being in 1961 when two territories (a British and a French territory) were combined and English and French are still official languages.
  • Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, has been in power since 1992.

Key Market Alerts

  • The Cameroonian economy is largely cash based. Debit or credit cards will typically only be accepted at international hotels and some restaurants and grocery shops.
  • Malaria is endemic in Douala.
  • Early termination clauses are not standard in Cameroon, and would need to be negotiated into the lease.
  • Rather than monthly, rentals in Cameroon are paid quarterly or biannually.
  • Real Estate Agents’ commissions typically is payable by the tenant.

An Overview of Cameroon

Cameroon is showing promising levels of economic growth. Cameroon’s economy is heavily dependent on its commodity exports and natural resource endowments. The country’s major exports are crude oil and petroleum products, timber, cocoa, aluminium, coffee, and cotton.

Cameroon is relatively small – the 24th largest country in Africa and the 54th largest country in the world. Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, is located in Centre Province; while, Douala, is located in the Littoral Province.

Living in Douala

While Yaoundé is Cameroon’s capital city, Douala is the country’s commercial capital and the destination for most expatriates. Douala is considered amongst the most expensive cities in Africa, for expatriates. Douala is not considered a particularly easy location to move to with expatriates citing housing availability and culture shock as particularly challenging. Speaking French is an advantage as French and dialectics of French are widely spoken in Douala.

In terms of transport, there are considerable infrastructure challenges in navigating around the city. For this, and safety reasons, it is recommended that expatriates make use of company cars and drivers while in Douala.

Housing in Douala

Limited availability and quality of housing are significant challenges facing expatriates in Douala. It can take as long as 3 months to find and secure a suitable home in. Homes in Douala are typically free standing houses or apartments, Apartments are usually recommended, for security reasons.

Popular suburbs of Douala for expatriates include Bonanjo, Bonamoussadi, Bonapriso, Bonaberi, Akwa Residential, and Bali.

Schooling in Douala

The academic year in Cameroon runs from September to June, at which time, end of year examinations are always written. The supply of international schools in Douala is limited.

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