Sectors of Cameroon


As the largest producer of cocoa, wood, rubber, banana, coffee, tea and cotton, Cameroon achieves 27% of its GDP through the primary sector, which boasts several strengths. Three-quarters of arable land is available for new crops while there is a shortage of agro-industries.

Banking, Finance & Insurances

African Banks are establishing themselves rapidly in Cameroon, an open and highly competitive market, where subsidiaries of multinational French, American and British banks already operate alongside local banks.

Less than 1% of Cameroonians have bought an insurance policy. The scope for growth is promising for group insurance, provided that Cameroonians adopt a culture of insurance.

Education & Training

Cameroon has 80 institutions of higher education, from which about 4,000 students graduate each year. 48% of Cameroonians are under 15 years of age, and the country has one of the highest regional enrolment rates (over 50%). French and English are both official languages.

Woodwork, furniture & crafts

Wood is one of the eight most important export goods in Cameroon. Due to many different ethnic groups living in Africa, different ways of producing crafts have developed. African masks became popular in the whole world. An example of a company selling craft is “African Home”. With the help of fair trade principles and a strong commitment to environmental awareness, craftspeople are able to sell their products at a fair price.


Rubber & Plastics 

After being greatly affected by shrinking demand in the international tyre industry in 2008, rubber exports fell in value, despite a slight rise in export volumes. However the sector has benefited from soaring prices in 2010. Export earnings grew by 76.6%, standing at 47.155 billion CFA F, with a volume of 38,292 tonnes exported, an increase of 1.3%. 

Transport & Related Services 

Essential to relieving traffic congestion in and around the economic capital of Cameroon, it is funded to the tune of 119 billion CFA F through French cooperation. The project includes a 2x2-lane road with a central island, a railway line, a railway line and circulation for pedestrians and cyclists. Additionally there are projects in order to extend the railway network. 

Energy & Raw material 

With a reservoir capacity of 7.5 billion m³, it will increase the production capacity of Edea and Song Loulou hydropower stations and allow for the building of others.  

Telecommunications Industry 

Communication costs amongst the highest in Africa, a mediocre rate of Internet access and low number of mobile users, and even fewer landline users…developing telecoms is obviously one of the objectives identified in the government’s “road maps”, the growth and Employment Strategy Paper” and “Cameroon, Vision 2035”. The Telecoms sector aims to achieve, by 2015, a minimum rate of Internet access of 10%, a mobile penetration rate of 50% and 30% for landlines, 

Travel, Tourism & Leisure 

Cameroon’s tourism potential is still significantly underexplored, despite the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to promote it, and its activity accounts for only 2.4% of GDP. Cameroon’s tourist industry is a victim of geography. It sits in a tough neighbourhood, bordered by some problematic countries. But this shouldn’t put you off, as Cameroon real­ly has just about everything a traveller could want. One of the most culturally diverse countries on the continent, its people include ancient tribal kingdoms, Muslim pastoralists and forest-dwelling pygmies. 

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.  

Art, Media, Design 

Mass media in Cameroon refers to all forms and means of communication which include printing, bookselling, press organs, publishing houses, distribution agencies, bill posting and audio-visual communication establishments (TV and radio).On the surface, an artistic approach to the situation in the African city may seem rather superficial, absurd even. But Marylin Douala-Bell gave it a shot und was surprised by just how intensely local people on the street engaged with the art works. "They begin to reflect on their own lives - asking questions about the artworks' materials, their shapes, and the discourse conducted by the artists. In that way, they are thinking and talking about very similar things." 

Information technology 

At the moment African countries just react to trends in the IT industry but should play an active part in their determination. A proactive rather than a reactive approach should be adopted in the development of IT in Africa. This means anticipating problems and designing strategies to resolve them before they occur. 

Business Services

Business service management (BSM) is an approach used to manage business-aligned IT services.With the influx of investors, services offered to companies became more varied and accessible being in the same time more densely. Because of the attractiveness of its economy in the early years after its independence, Cameroon has seen the development of foreign and domestic companies in several industries. Unlike other countries in the sub-region, Cameroon is the central African nation which has an embryonic industrial base and a pool of dynamic local entrepreneurs. 

Leather & shoes

The African leather industry is an important strategic sector for the economic and industrial development of many African countries. It has an abundant and renewable resource base in Africa’s large population of cows, sheep and goats. It is labour-intensive with the potential to be a major source of employment all along its supply chain. It has, however, major obstacles to overcome to realize this potential. The main problem lies in the collection and processing of its rich supply of hides and skins. The predominant practice is to keep animals for their meat and not for their hides and skins. Availability of hides and skins for processing is therefore determined by the rate of meat consumption. 

Textiles & Clothing

Textiles give African art its vibrant color. In African communities, authority is signified by the rich apparel and regalia worn and used by leaders. Art is used to confirm status; in West Africa, rulers present themselves magnificently robed, adorned with gold jewelry and holding beautifully crafted objects. Because the spirit forces, signified in the masquerades, also gain their power from the visual impact of maskers, color is used in costumes to attract attention.

Embroidered cloth (akunitan), woven cloth, printed textiles, and appliquéd textiles are all used imaginatively to dazzle the eye with hues, tones, and textures. Indigo resist ndop cloth from Cameroon, woven textiles (kente cloth), and printed cloth (adinkra mourning cloth, restrained in color and stamped with patterns expressing sorrow) from Ghana are all manufactured locally. However, imported printed cloths are also incorporated into costumes. Inventiveness, rather than cultural “purity” is the objective favored by the artists orchestrating visual spectacle.

Printing and Publishing 

Like many developing countries Cameroon's publishing sector is host to dominant transnational publishers. Edicef, 100% owned by international publishing company, Hachette is the leading player. Local publishers include Editions Cle, Patron Publishers, and Langaa. The Free Media Group publishes Cameroon's leading independent newspaper. Some of the key industry associations in book publishing include the National Book Development Council, African Book Development, Cameroon Publishers Association and the Anglophone Cameroon Writers association. 


Cameroon Health is one of the concerns of the country. The public health services of Cameroon are supervised by the Ministry of Public Health, Cameroon. The ministry is trying to improve the health infrastructure of Cameroon and the efforts have paid off in recent times as evident from the betterment of health conditions in Cameroon.  

The health care system of Cameroon has been allocated a fund of 5% of GDP of the country to improve the infrastructure and procure new equipments. The dearth of medical professionals is also a major problem of Cameroon health. However the government has formulated certain policies to overcome the impediments and provide better health services in Cameroon.  

The health care services in Cameroon are provided by the hospitals and clinics of Cameroon. The diseases prevalent in the country are various and serious patients need to be evacuated toanother country. Most of the diseases are water borne. HIV-AIDS is also quite a threat to the Cameroonians. 

Electrical & Electronic Equipment 

Cameroon has installed electric generation capacity of 817 megawatts (MW), of which 88% is hydroelectric and 12% is thermal. The country’s two main hydro stations, Edea and Song-Loulou, are located on the Sananga River , while the smaller Lagdo station is located near Garoua. Successful development of Cameroon ’s estimated 500,000 MW of hydroelectric potential could make the country a net electricity exporter in the future. Presently, however, Cameroon ’s heavy reliance on hydropower leaves its electricity sector extremely vulnerable to droughts. Cameroon relies on approximately 30 aging diesel power stations as back-up facilities, the largest of which are located in Garoua (20.0 MW), Douala (15.4 MW), and Yaounde (10.8 MW).  

AES-SONEL has managed generation and distribution of Cameroon’s electricity has since 2001 when US-based AES Corporation purchased a majority stake in the state-run Société Nationale d’Electricité de Cameroun (SONEL). AES-SONEL has undergone notable privatisation in 2001. Although AES-SONEL maintains a customer base of approximately 427,000, most of Cameroon ’s population does not have access to electricity. Those who have electricity are often subject to brownouts. AES-SONEL plans to invest US$500 million between 2003 and 2009 to improve the Cameroonian network, starting with the completion of a new 85-MW, oil-fired plant at Limbe in August 2004. The company has plans for additional hydroelectric plants, as well as Cameroon ’s first natural gas-fired plant at Kribi, to be operational by 2007. In October 2003, AES-SONEL and the government adopted a new electricity tariff structure to reduce electricity costs for residential customers.  

Cameroon is a member of the Energy Pool of Africa, which aspires to eventually connect the electricity grids of all members of the Central Africa Economic Community (CEEAC). AES-SONEL and France ’s Électricité de France (EDF) have conducted studies concerning a Chad-Cameroon interconnector project in the near future.  

In March 2004, AES-SONEL announced plans to increase Cameroon ’s energy supply through the extension of the Logbaba thermal station in Douala and the conversion of the heavy oil thermal station in Oyomabong, Yaounde . Construction has yet to begin on a proposed dam over the Lom and Pangar rivers. The Cameroonian government, in conjunction with AES-SONEL, expects completion of the dam by 2008. 

Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals 

An important company offering pharmaceuticals in Cameroon is Ranbaxy Cameroon with a wide coverage within Africa, including Gabon, Chad, Republic of Central Africa and Congo. Among its products are Ranferon, Brustan, Cifran, Oframax, Revital and Enhacin. 

Food & Related Products 

The African continent is home to people form hundreds of different tribes, ethnic and social groups. No wonder all this variety shows in African cuisine all the way through the ingredient used to the preparation and cooking techniques.   

Remote and inaccessible, Central Africa has remained quite true to its traditional food, as it did not have many external influences until the 19th century, not taking into account that peanuts, chili peppers, and cassava, their staple food, were introduced from the New World. Very likely those items were incorporated into the local cooking techniques.But food is not available in the amount which would be necessary to let nobody starve in the continent. Starvation is a big problem in Africa. Organizations like the World Food Programme are fighting against hunger in those areas.  

Vehicles & Transport Equipment  

Automotive manufacturing is increasing within the whole African continent.   

Cameroon’s economy is fueled by industry sectors such as automotive, construction, food processing, engineering and real estate. However, these sectors have small contribution to the national GDP. To sustain long-term growth, Cameroon has to focus on strengthening non-mineral sectors.  

Metalworking & Metallurgy  

"From Dust to Edge is the documentation of a long journey in the efforts of making a blade out of homemade steel. My interest in blades started with the legendary Japanese katana and as a result of wanting to learn more about how they were made I ended up becoming a bladesmith. I combined the traditional Japanese techniques and the current knowledge of the Western smith in this pictorial representation. The project will be divided in several sections. It is primarily a visual description through photographs."  

The Extraordinary Makers of Maroua  

On the outskirts of Maroua, the capital of the Extreme North of Cameroon, is a place quite unlike any other in the country. Here a community of les forgerons—blacksmiths, or metalworkers—practice their craft in the relative cool of a tree grove. Several dozen men with specialized skills are gathered here for a single purpose: to transform piles of scrap iron into finely finished tools, stoves, replacement parts and other useful implements for sale to the local population. Young apprentices learn the craft while operating bellows or shaping wood for tool handles. The production here is performed entirely by hand and on a scale which must be seen to be fully appreciated.  

Industry & Equipment 

Industry employs one-eighth of Cameroon's work-force and contributed 22 percent of its GDP in 1997. Cameroon has gradually developed a range of industrial ventures aimed mainly at domestic and regional markets. Many of these industries are based in the port city of Douala, the country's industrial capital, and have benefited from Cameroon's geographic position and its low energy prices. The development of petroleum reserves has been accompanied by the construction of light refineries. Cameroon has also developed the manufacture of several light consumer goods that tend to replace more expensive imports. These include batteries, pasta, palm oil, beverages, cigarettes, and textiles. The cement industry supplies the country's booming construction sector as well as some promising neighboring markets.   

Marketing, Advertising & the Media  

The media of Cameroon is controlled by the government.  

Cameroon's media includes print publications that are both public and privately owned; a public television station and privately-owned channels; radio stations that are public, privately-owned, and foreign, and the Internet.  

The landscape is no less dizzying in its diversity. Mt Cameroon (4095m) is the highest peak in West Africa and attracts plenty of trekking interest. A still-active volcano, it rises almost straight from the sea in a spectacular manner. Further north are the rolling grassfields of the Ring Road area, while the Mandara Mountains are a complete contrast again – dry and rocky, with isolated villages eking out a living. Fringing all of this are some of Africa’s oldest rainforests, and the excellent Parc National de   

Waza, with abundant mammal and birdlife, and large herds of elephants gathering at water holes in the dry season.  

If all this exhausts you, you can retire to some fine palm-fringed beaches and fantastic seafood, which should help to recharge your batteries. Throw in a cold beer or two, some lively home-grown makossa music and the Indomitable Lions of the national football team, and you’ll be revelling in your discovery.  

Glass & Constructions materials  

The availability of materials and a trained workforce makes construction affordable in Cameroon.  

François Bambou  

Building in Cameroon has more advantages compared to neighbouring countries. Cameroon hosts a number of facilities set up for the production of basic products like concrete, iron, stone for construction or decoration and timber for framing and other structures. Sand and stone is also available in all of the regions as well as the materials for the manufacture of bricks, cooked or uncooked. Cameroon is well positioned with an abundance of available materials combined with a well-trained workforce in all construction trades, from plumbers to engineers and architects.  

An investment in real estate is only possible on the condition that all necessary certificates are obtained including a building permit issued by the municipal authority. Obtaining these documents for a standard villa can be upwards of 500, 000 FCFA. This is under the provision that evidence of ownership by the land developer is provided as well as plans signed by a licensed architect in accordance with the master plan for urban development. Architectural services for a standard villa can also reach 500, 000 FCFA.  


In Yaoundé, a truck carrying 20 tons of sand, the basic material for any construction, costs on average 180, 000 FCFA. This price can vary slightly depending on the season or the variety of sand (fine, coarse, etc). The local cement market is fuelled mainly by Cimencam, a subsidiary of the French group, Lafarge. With its two factories in Douala and Figuil, whose crushers provide approximately 1.2 million tons per year, Cimencam sells a ton of cement for about 100, 000 FCFA. This price is monitored by the sellers of import cement.  


The price of concrete iron differs from city to city and with the amount required.  

These prices must reckon with speculators who often cause shortages, to the distaste of the Ministry of Commerce, in an attempt to increase prices.  


Aluminium sheets are often used as the coverage for buildings and are produced locally by Alucam, a subsidiary of Alcan. They cost approximately 3, 600 FCFA for a 2 meter plate and 5, 400 FCFA for 3 meters. The price can double if construction demands higher quality (a thicker sheet) or greater prestige (plate tiles or clay tiles). 


Cameroon produces timber from a variety of sources. Often used for the construction of roofs, the price of timber can be very reasonable, with 4m rafters selling for approximately 2000 FCFA on the most expensive of markets.  

As all these materials are produced in Cameroon the price remains affordable. These prices relate mainly to the cities of Yaoundé and Douala. For other locations, prices are higher given additional transport costs. This variation is similar to that seen in the prices of other materials.  

Finishing and Decorations  

Local production satisfies a large part of the market demand for finishing and decorative accessories like tiles, doors, windows, lamps and grids. Thousands of ebony manufacturers, who process the local solid wood provide a guarantee of sustainability. A modest manufacturer receives around 30, 000 FCFA for a wooden door. Any price can be multiplied by ten for a sophisticated and discerning developer, who specialises in selected wood and processes by the best specialists.  

There are many carpenters who specialize in processing the metal and wrought iron or aluminium for the installation of gates or metal openings for buildings. The cost of an iron gate for a standard villa is approximately 400, 000 FCFA. This is the same price for the upholsterers and decorators who often trained in European cities are requested for the most demanding of developers.  

There is market demand for the importation of marble handicrafts and stone decorations often used for facades given its high natural quality and very attractive prices.  

For luxury finishes, there are now channels for providing cheap tiles, lamps and accessories of the same quality as those from Dubai or Guangzhou in China.  

Local materials  

The Mission of Promoting Local Materials (MIPROMALO), a government agency, conducts research to reduce the cost of construction by using local materials. Cooked or raw bricks, stone, fine ceramic, tiles, quartz crafts, several other product variants and services are offered by the MIPROMALO and some private operators for the construction of buildings, finishes and decorations. Using local materials can see a 20% saving compared to other building products, and can be more aesthetic and suitable to the climate.  

The availability of construction materials is not yet strong enough to trigger a dynamic increase in building as rigidity in the industry still persists. Specialists claim excessive taxation (taxes represent about 40% of the construction costs), increased customs duties on imported materials and the absence of a policy for short or long term bank loans is to blame.  

Precision Equipment  

Precision machining is a process where material is removed from a component to a very high tolerance. The tolerance held depends on the machine but most precision CNC machines will not have a problem holding a tolerance of 0.002" or 0.005 MM (ish). Precision Machining can be classed as Milling, Turning and Jig Boring but also include other types such as laser and water cutters.   

Precision machined items are around in everyday items such as car engines, electric motors or even clocks.  

Architecture & Engineering  

The major cities include Douala (the shipping and industrial center), Yaoundé (the capital), Nkongsamba (the end point of the railroad through the southern plantations of the colonial period), Maroua and Garoua, Bafoussam and Bamenda (the provincial capitals of the West and Northwest provinces), Kumba, and Limbe. Yaoundé has several monuments to national unity.   

Most villages and small towns in rural areas have a marketplace in a central location that may house a weekly, biweekly, or daily market, depending on their size. Most markets have separate areas for women's products (produce and palm oil), and men's products (livestock and bush meat). Official buildings are often located near these markets or along the central axis leading through smaller towns.   

Architecture varies by region. In the rain forest and the Grassfields, poto-poto (earthen plaster on a wooden frame) and mud brick rectangular buildings roofed in palm thatch or corrugated iron are common. Traditional Grassfields architecture was constructed of "bamboo" (the spines of raffia palm fronds); square or rectangular buildings with sliding doors were topped by conical thatched roofs. The doorposts of royalty had elaborate carvings. Traditional architecture in the north includes round mud buildings crowned in thatch. Walled compounds usually include a separate granary. Throughout the nation, structures built of concrete bricks, corrugated iron roofs, and iron grillwork have replaced other forms of housing.   

Much of daily life occurs in public areas such as the courtyards of polygynous compounds. Privacy is often suspected, especially among peoples with a strong belief in malevolent and occult powers.  

Engineering structures on paved roads are satisfactory. Works on the secondary or local roads are insufficient in number and dimension. Traffic safety is still a major problem. Several projects are under consideration in order to support the development of drainage, road or railway infrastructures.  

Luxury & Leisure Products  

A larger segment of the population has more disposable income, so the demand for luxury leisure experiences continues to grow. Desires for experiential and aspirational travel are increasing, with soft adventure having a new luxury appeal for ‘baby boomers’ and their families, looking to spend quality time together. Luxury products are extremely diverse, from six-star city hotels and private islands in the Pacific to heli-skiing in Kazakhstan and gorilla trekking in Uganda. In order to understand how to exceed guest expectations, operators will need to define their experience as well as their target market. Knowledge of market segments and the consistent delivery of key messages will be essential for long-term success.