Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Douala

Douala is the capital of Cameroon’s Littoral Province and the largest city of the country. Most people know Cameroon, by Douala, in other words it is the identity of the country. Besides that, Douala also has another significant importance in the region as it is home to Cameroon’s largest port and its major international airport “Douala Airport”. Both airport and the “port” serve as gateway to not only Cameroon but also a connecting point for neighboring countries such as central Africa, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

In 1986, Douala became a Sister City of Philadelphia and Akhisar, Turkey mainly because it is the largest port in West Africa and the unofficial economic capital of the Cameroon. The richly diverse population that represents more than 130 ethnic groups in Douala was last estimated 1,448,300. The name “Douala” has its origin from early 17th century and it is believed that it was actually named after a tribe that settled in the coastal area of Cameroon.

Being the biggest port in the region, Douala serves as commercial capital of the country. Consequently, it handles most of the country’s major exports, such as oil, cocoa and coffee, timber, metals and fruits. This also makes Douala the richest city in the whole CEMAC region (Communauté Economique et Monetaire de l’Afrique Centrale), consisting of 11 African countries. Other countries, member of CEMAC are Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Republic of Congo. On an overall basis, the CEMAC region is rich in mineral resources, with oil and gas exports accounting for almost 80 per cent of the West African region’s total exports, however, despite the abundance of natural resources, the majority of the population in the member states still lives in a below poverty line conditions. The key institutional bodies of CEMAC, such as the Conference of Heads of State, the Council of Ministers and the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) are also based in Cameroon.

For a tourist, Douala is an excellent location situated on an estuary of the River Wouri that represents a delightful mosaic of colorful markets, historic churches and museums unfolding vibrant and rich African history. Also one prominent attraction is the equatorial forest on Douala’s outskirts that serves as a sanctuary for dozens of species of birds, animals and plants. X-posted from CAT

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:51 AM,

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