CAMEROON IS ARGUABLY Central Africa's most important country. The largest economy in the region, it is also a strategic ally, alongside Nigeria, Chad and Niger, in the fight against Boko Haram. Often understated, it also plays an active role in shepherding the waters of the gulf of Guinea.
Cameroon has a rich tradition, exporting the best of Africa to the world be it through its music with stars such as Manu Dibango and sports giants such as Roger Milla or Samuel Eto'o. Today some of Africa's leading public intellectuals are from Cameroon, at the forefront of international institutions such as Vera Songwe who heads the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa or Celestin Monga, chief economist at the African Development Bank.
Its people have always been entrepreneurial and the country has been the agricultural and manufacturing hub for the region. The development of the deep sea port at Kribi has made Cameroon a true gateway for Central Africa, given its strategic location, its economic importance and its reputation for a peaceful and stable environment.
Economically, the country is bouncing back and showing resilience, with growth forecasts estimated at 4.2% for 2018 and a number of large public investment projects driving this growth. The country however has faced challenges during the past year, and the political agenda has been dominated most notably by what has been called the "Anglophone" problem.
Resolving the crisis
Cameroon has always been known as a peaceful, united country. However, issues dating back to the legacy of colonisation have recently reared their head. Cameroon was originally colonised by the Germans in the late 19th century. Following the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, German Kamerun was "awarded" to the French and the English. In 1961, as African countries sought independence, Southern Cameroons, under British rule, was united with the territory then under French rule to create what we know today as Cameroon.
Like many economies, the...