In the French-speaking area, the largely Muslim north is culturally distinct from the largely Christian and animist south.
The Littoral province is in the coastal rain forest region in the southwest.
It includes the largest city, the port of Douala, and the industrial, hydroelectric, and bauxite mining area near Edea. The southern part of the French-speaking area includes the high plateau region of the West province, which includes the Bamiléké and Bamoun peoples. The Bamiléké constitute roughly 25 percent of the population.
The educational system and legal practices derive from those of England.
The French-speaking region consists of the remaining eight provinces, where French is the lingua franca, the French school system is used, and the legal system is based on the statutory law of continental Europe. Tension between the two regions increased after the introduction of a multiparty political system in the 1990s.
Since the jihad led by an Islamic cleric in 1804, the northern region has been culturally dominated by the Fulani.
Urban Fulani are renowned as clerics in the Sunni branch of Islam. An important subgroup are the Bororo'en, noted for the size of their cattle herds.
However, ethnic distinctiveness remains, and ethnic identity became an increasingly important source of social capital during the 1990s. Cameroon is situated by the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa.
Its area is 179,527 square miles (465,000 square kilometers).
The Center, South, and East provinces are characterized by dense tropical rain forest.