Cameroon (officially the Republic of Cameroon) is home to over 200 different linguistic groups with French and English the official languages. Cameroon enjoys relatively high political and social stability. Nevertheless, large numbers of Cameroonians live in poverty as subsistence farmers and illiteracy rates are high, particularly for females. Most children have access to state-run schools – Cameroon has one of the highest school attendance rates in Africa.  However, girls attend school less regularly than boys do because of cultural attitudes, domestic duties, early marriage and pregnancy, and sexual harassment. Although attendance rates are higher in the south, a disproportionate number of teachers are stationed there, leaving northern schools chronically understaffed.  The quality of health care is generally low.  There is only one doctor for every 5,000 people, according to the World Health Organisation.  Unemployment is about 30%, and about a third of the population lives below the international poverty threshold of US$1.25 a day.

Cameroon boys
Photo courtesy of Flickr