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szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen
Cameroon: all of Africa in one country
    2018-February-1  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

The Central African nation of Cameroon lies at the very “corner” of the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean, a place known as “the Bight of Biafra.” Nigeria lies to the northwest, Chad and the Central African Republic to the east, the Republic of the Congo to the southeast, and Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to the south. The Gulf is to the west.

Cameroon’s official languages — French and English — signal some of its history, though its name is derived from another language. When the Portuguese arrived in 1472, they noticed an abundance of shrimp in the Wouri River, so they named it Rio dos Camaroes or “the River of Shrimp.” Cameroon is the English form of the Portuguese word.

The first major colonizing presence was that of Germany, though their efforts were primarily commercial in nature, and relied on impressing the natives into forced labor. After Germany’s defeat in World War I, the country was split into two parts: French Cameroon and British Cameroon. After much turmoil following World War II, independence was achieved in 1960.

Sometimes called “Africa in miniature” because its geological and cultural diversity reflects that of the entire continent, Cameroon’s landscape is indeed diverse. It encompasses beaches, deserts, rainforests, savannas and mountains, including Mount Cameroon, the highest point. Its five zones are the densely forested coastal plain, extending 15 to 150 kilometers inland; the South Cameroon Plateau dominated by equatorial rainforest; the Cameroon Range, an irregular chain of mountains, hills and plateaus, with a mild climate and fertile soil; the Adamawa Plateau, which divides the country’s north and south; and the Northern Lowland, an area of savanna scrub and grass which extends up to Lake Chad on the borders of Chad and Nigeria.

About a third of all Cameroonians have been living below the international poverty threshold, but the country’s relatively high stability has led to development in the areas of agriculture, transport and the exploitation of petroleum and timber. Large numbers of people, however, still depend on subsistence farming.

Vocabulary:

Which words above mean:

1. grasslands with scattered trees

2. low trees or shrubs

3. utilization for profit

4. raised, flat areas

5. forcing into service

6. indicate

7. bend or curve in a shore

8. typical of the area near the equator

9. away from the coast

10. growing food for one’s family, not for market

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