Yaoundé, is the capital city of Cameroon and second largest city in the country after Douala. It lies in the centre of the nation at about 750 metres (2,500 ft) above sea level.
Yaoundé was founded in 1888
traders as a base for the ivory
trade and an agricultural research station. It was occupied by Belgian
troops during World War I
. After Germany's defeat, France became the colonial power in eastern Cameroon, and Yaoundé became the capital of French Cameroon
. It has continued as the capital of the Republic of Cameroon until the present day.
Major industries in Yaoundé include cigarettes
products, breweries, clay
goods, and lumber
. Yaoundé is a regional distribution center for coffee
, sugar cane
, and rubber
Places of interest
The city centre houses government offices, some hotels, and the central market. The Bastos neighbourhood, with most homes owned by Cameroonians, is home to foreign embassies and the expatriate European community (drawn mainly from the diplomatic corps). The presidential palace and compound is in the Etoudi neighborhood.
Also found in Yaoundé are the cathedral, the Cameroon Art Museum (located in a former Benedictine monastery), the Cameroon National Museum (located in the former presidential palace), and the Afhemi Museum. There is a small zoo in the Mvog-Betsi neighbourhood.
Yaoundé has a small assortment of nightclubs and restaurants.
Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport
is a major civilian hub, while nearby Yaoundé Airport
is used by the military. Railway lines
run west to the port city of Douala
and north to N'Gaoundéré
. Many bus companies operate from the city, particularly in the Nsam and Mvan neighborhoods. Frequent bus runs occur along the road between Yaoundé and Douala, which has witnessed several fatal accidents. Travel time by road between Douala and Yaounde is approximately 3 hours. Traffic in the city can be heavy during weekdays, but is very little during the weekends.
Mokolo is among the biggest of the numerous markets in the city. Others include Mfoundi. There are also some supermarkets (e.g. "Score") situated in the city centre.
The national football (soccer)
team plays frequent matches in the Ahmadou Ahidjo
(or Omnisport) stadium. Also, the Grand Prix Chantal Biya
, which is a men's road bicycle racing
event on the UCI Africa Tour
starts and finishes in Yaoundé.
Yaoundé is the site of some universities, the University of Yaoundé I
, University of Yaoundé II
(on a campus outside of town), and the Catholic University for Central Africa
(UCAC). Several of the nation's professional schools are also located in Yaounde (Ecole Normal Superieur for teachers, Ecole Militaire InterArmes du Cameroun, as well as various schools for engineers, nurses and diplomats).