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Cameroon History Timeline

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Cameroon's Information

Flag of Cameroon
Land Area 472,710 km2
Water Area 2,730 km2
Total Area 475,440 km2
Population 24,360,803
Population Density 51.24 / km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $77.24 Billion
GDP Per Capita $3,300
Currency Franc (XAF)
Largest Cities
  • Douala (1,338,082)
  • Yaounde (1,299,369)
  • Garoua (436,899)
  • Kousseri (435,547)
  • Bamenda (393,835)
  • Maroua (319,941)
  • Bafoussam (290,768)
  • Mokolo (275,239)
  • Ngaoundere (231,357)
  • Bertoua (218,111)

200BC- 100BC

  • (200BC - 100BC) Bantu tribes began arriving from Nigeria
  • (200BC - 100BC) Native Pygmies forced into forests by the Bantus
  • (200BC - 100BC) Sao culture developed south of Lake Chad
1400 - 1700
  • (1472) Fernando Po led Portuguese expedition to coast of Cameroon
  • (1520) Portuguese settlers started sugar plantations and slave trade
  • (1600s) Dutch took over slave trade from Portuguese
  • (1700s) British missionaries protested against slave trade
  • (1700s) London Baptist Missionary Society created colony in Victoria (Limbe); first occupants were freed slaves from Jamaica, Ghana, Liberia
  • (1845) Trade continued to develop between Cameroon and Europe
  • (1845) European settlement founded at Douala by navy engineer and missionary, Alfred Saker
  • (1850s) Saker founded settlement in Victoria (Limbe); tried to convince English government to make the area a crown colony
  • (1850s) Slavery trade died, new trade began with natural resources including palm oil, ivory, gold
  • (1863) Slavery abolished in U.S.
  • (1884) Gustav Nachtigal of Germany signed treaty with Chiefs of Doula on behalf of Kaiser Wilhelm; in return for trade advantages, chiefs accepted German protectorate
  • (1885) Baron von Soden became governor of new colony: Kamerun
  • (1888) German settlement founded in mountains by Georg Zenker - later became capital city, Yaounde
  • (1907) Governor Von Puttkamer constructed railway into country; started developing roads, schools and hospitals
  • (1914) Two nationalists, Chief Rudolph Douala Manga Bell and military officer Martin-Paul Samba, were executed for resisting German power
  • (1916) World War I began, Germans forced to stop development
  • (1916) Britain and France forced Germany out of territory
  • (1919) At end of World War I, London Declaration divided Cameroon between Britain and France
  • (1919) British Cameroon stopped use of forced labor
  • (1922) League of Nations conferred mandates on Britain and France for each administrative zone
  • (1922) British Cameroon and Nigeria administered as one colony, most of attention and effort went into development of Nigeria
  • (1922) German settlers returned to British Cameroon, developed private plantations
  • (1922) French Cameroon continued to grow with infrastructure, larger port in Douala, more export
  • (1939 - 1940) German plantations were confiscated during World War II
  • (1945) UN renewed British and French mandates after World War II
  • (1947) Cameroon Development Corporation was formed from confiscated German plantations
  • (1955) Revolt organized by Union des Populations Camerounaises (UPC) began in major towns in French Cameroon
  • (1955) French stopped revolt, several hundred killed, massive destruction in towns
  • (1956) French government banned UPC party
  • (1956) UPC continued as illegal freedom movement
  • (1958) L'Union Camerounaise party founded by Ahmadou Ahidjo, called for independence and reunification of the two colonies
  • (1958) French Cameroon granted self-government; Ahmadou Ahidjo became prime minister
  • (1960) French Cameroon granted independence, became the Republic of Cameroon
  • (1960) Ahmadou Ahidjo inaugurated as president of Republic of Cameroon
  • (1960) President Ahidjo began working to reunite British and French territories
  • (1961) Following referendum, British Southern Cameroons joined the Republic of Cameroon to become the Federal Republic of Cameroon, Northern Cameroons joined Nigeria
  • (1963) Large-scale riots and uproar stopped with help of French forces
  • (1966) Six major parties formed National Cameroonian Union, became sole legal party
  • (1972) Following national referendum, federal structure was dissolved, Cameroon became United Republic of Cameroon, new constitution instigated
  • (1970s) President Ahidjo developed agriculture and industry
  • (1970s) Discovery of oil helped economic and political stability
  • (1970s) President Ahikjo began clinging to his power, became unwilling to make changes and reforms
  • (1982) President Ahidjo resigned abruptly, Prime Minister Paul Biya took over presidency
  • (1983) Colonial city of Victoria changed name to Limbe
  • (1983) Former President Ahidjo went into exile in France after President Biya accused him of masterminding a coup
  • (1983) President Biya fired the prime minister and several other government officials
  • (1983) Former President Ahidjo, still in exile, criticized President Biya of making Cameroon a police state, claimed Biya forced him out of the presidency
  • (1983) Ahidjo sentenced to death while in exile
  • (1984) President Biya pardoned Ahidjo
  • (1984) Military coup attempted, failed after three days of fighting in Yaounde, nearly 1,000 died
  • (1984) CO2 explosion at Lake Monoun killed 37
  • (1984) Biya elected to first full term as president by 99.98 percent of the votes
  • (1984) President Biya changed country's name to Republic of Cameroon
  • (1986) Cameroon became fourth African nation to establish diplomatic relations with Israel
  • (1986) Over 1,800 killed around Lake Nyos when cloud of deadly gasses erupted from the lake, suffocated all lives up to 15 miles (25 km) away
  • (1987) Oil boom ended, part of the cause of an economic crisis
  • (1988) President Biya reelected
  • (1989) Former President Ahmadou Ahidjo died
  • (1990) New oil sources discovered
  • (1990) Social Democratic Front formed without permission of government; around 30,000 people attended founding rally in Bamenda, riots broke out, shots were fired into crowd, six killed and several injured
  • (1990) President Biya laid out draft for multi-party system, more than 20 parties registered
  • (1990) President Biya dismissed multi-party system due to his opponents who formed coalitions and gained strength
  • (1990) Seven provinces placed under military rule, opposition rallies banned
  • (1991) Campaign of civil disobedience called "Operation Ghost Town" was launched, effectively closed ports and stopped all transports on week days; business stopped all over the country except for weekends; several opposition parties were banned, leaders arrested
  • (1991) Operation Ghost Town ended when government agreed to support work of constitutional committee; all political prisoners were freed; opposition was allowed to meet

1900s continued

  • (1992) In presidential election, President Biya won by small margin; reports of election fraud caused demonstrations; thousands arrested, many died in riots; opposition members put under house arrest
  • (1993) U.S. government imposed economic sanctions on Cameroon
  • (1994) Fighting broke out between Cameroon and Nigeria over border of oil-rich Bakassa Peninsula
  • (1994) Economic crisis led to higher prices, devaluation of Central African franc
  • (1995) Southern Cameroons National Council formed, demanded independence from Cameroon
  • (1996) Nigeria and Cameroon agreed to UN mediation to resolve border dispute over Bakassa Peninsula
  • (1997) President Biya's party won majority of seats in parliament during elections
  • (1997) President Biya reelected
  • (1998 - 1999) Business organization, Transparency International, labeled Cameroon as the "most corrupt country in the world"
  • (1998) Nigeria and Cameroon agreed to exchange war prisoners from border conflicts
  • (1998) Train hauling oil tanker cars derailed outside of Yaounde, collided with oncoming train, exploded, more than 100 killed
  • (2000) World Bank approved funding for oil and pipeline project in Cameroon and Chad; environmental and human rights activists criticized project
  • (2001) Environmental organizations protested over pipeline project, deforestation of Cameroon
  • (2001) Plague of caterpillars devastated crops in eastern and southern provinces
  • (2001) Tensions grew between government and separatists lobbying on behalf of Cameroon's English-speaking residents, several arrests were made, three died
  • (2002) International Court of Justice gave sovereignty of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, Nigeria rejected ruling
  • (2003) Chad begun pumping oil to Cameroon in project funded by World Bank
  • (2003) After week of heavy rain, water-logged hillsides gave way, 21 killed
  • (2003) Nigeria ceded 32 villages to Cameroon as part of 2002 border agreement
  • (2004) Nigeria failed to meet deadline to hand over Bakassi Peninsula
  • (2004) President Biya won seventh term as president in elections
  • (2004) Inoni Ephraim began serving as prime minister
  • (2005) French Civil Aviation Authority banned flights by Cameroon Airlines citing safety concerns
  • (2006) At UN-mediation summit, Nigeria agreed to withdraw troops from Bakassi Peninsula
  • (2006) Paris Club agreed to cancel most of Cameroon's $3.5 billion debt
  • (2006) At least 30,000 refugees, fleeing conflicts in Chad and Central African Republic, escaped to Cameroon
  • (2007) President Biya's party retained majority in parliament in legislative elections
  • (2007) 21 Cameroon soldiers killed in Bakassi Peninsula by suspected Nigerian militants
  • (2008) Transport strike against fuel costs turned into anti-government demonstrations in Yaounde, at least 17 killed
  • (2008) Constitution amended by Parliament allowing President Biya to run again in 2011
  • (2008) Bakassi Peninsula turned over to Cameroon by Nigeria; territorial dispute ended
  • (2008) Cameroon and Nigeria mutually agreed to protect land and sea borders from attacks by pirates and militants
  • (2010) Cholera outbreak killed over 300
  • (2010) Senior security officials sacked after rumors circulated of attempted coup
  • (2011) Cameroon secured loan from China to build deep sea port at Kribi
  • (2011) Busses and taxis were banned from using roads at night in order to reduce high number of fatal accidents
  • (2011) Cholera outbreak killed nearly 500; 13,000 cases reported
  • (2011) Paul Biya won reelection as president, opponents alleged fraud
  • (2011) Food and living costs spiraled; unemployment reached 60%
  • (2011) Ten presidential candidates filed requests with Supreme Court for annulment of presidential election; Supreme Court rejected request
  • (2011) National Anti-Corruption Commission of Cameroon reported 45 million euros was missing from public works ministry, general treasury, maize industry
  • (2012) Nearly 500 elephants were killed in less than two months in Bouba Ndjida National Park by poachers from Sudan and Chad
  • (2012) Police arrested former Prime Minister Inoni Ephraim as part of corruption investigation
  • (2012) Minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya jailed for embezzlement of $29 million that was to be used for down payment on presidential plane
  • (2012) Seven athletes from Cameroon went missing from London Olympics, assumption was they were seeking asylum in United Kingdom
  • (2012) President Biya celebrated 30 years in power
  • (2013) France urged citizens to leave northern Cameroon following kidnapping of seven family members by Islamic militants

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