Yaoundé

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Yaoundé
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Nickname(s): La Ville au Sept Collines
Yaoundé is located in Cameroon
Yaoundé
Yaoundé
Map of Cameroon showing the location of Yaoundé.
Coordinates: 3°52′N 11°31′E / 3.867°N 11.517°E / 3.867; 11.517Coordinates: 3°52′N 11°31′E / 3.867°N 11.517°E / 3.867; 11.517
Region Centre
Department Mfoundi
Area
 • Total 180 km2 (70 sq mi)
Elevation 726 m (2,382 ft)
Population (2012)[1]
 • Total 2,440,462
 • Density 14,000/km2 (35,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+1)

Yaoundé (/ˌjɑːnˈd/ or /jaːˈʊndeɪ/, French pronunciation: ​[ja.un.de]; German: Jaunde) is the capital of Cameroon and, with a population of approximately 2.5 million, the second largest city in the country after the port city Douala. It lies in the centre of the nation at an elevation of about 750 metres (2,500 ft) above sea level.

History[edit]

The outpost of Epsumb or Jeundo was founded between the Nyong and Sanaga rivers at the northern edge of the area's forests in 1887,[2] 1888,[3] or February 1889 by the German explorers Lt. Kund and Tappenbeck by the agreement of the chiefs of Ela Esono.[5] From December 1889 to May 1895, it was occupied by the German botanist August Georg Zenker as an agricultural research station named Jaunde after the local Yaunde or Ewondo people.[6] His settlement served as a base for the area's rubber and ivory trade, purchasing these from the natives in exchange for imported clothing and iron.[3] It was also known in English as Yaunde Station. Major Dominik's establishment of a military garrison at the site in 1895 permitted a Pallotine mission and religious school at nearby Mvolyé (now a suburb).[3]

During World War I, Jaunde was occupied by Belgian troops from the Congo. After Imperial Germany's defeat in that war, France held eastern Cameroon as a mandate of the League of Nations and Yaoundé was chosen to become the capital of the colony in 1922. Douala long remained the more important settlement, but Yaoundé saw rapid growth after 1957 due to the cocoa crisis and unrest along the coast. It continued as the seat of government for the Republic of Cameroon upon its independence.

Economy[edit]

A view of Yaoundé from the BEAC office

Most of Yaoundé's economy is centered around the administrative structure of the civil service and the diplomatic services. Due to these high profile central structures, Yaounde enjoys a relative higher standard of living and security compared to the rest of Cameroon.

Major industries in Yaoundé include tobacco, dairy products, beer, clay, glass goods, and lumber. It is also a regional distribution centre for coffee, cocoa, copra, sugar cane, and rubber.

A roundabout near the place du 20 mai
Yaoundé City Hall


Places of interest[edit]

The city centre houses government offices, some hotels, and the central market. The Bastos district, 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 district.

Yaoundé Unity Palace - Cameroon Presidency

Also found in Yaoundé are:

Yaoundé cathedral
  • the Cameroon Art Museum (located in a former Benedictine monastery)
  • the Cameroon National Museum (located in the former presidential palace)
Cameroon National Museum
Yaoundé Reunification Monument
  • the Sport Palace (Palais des Sports)
Yaoundé Sport Palace

There is a small zoo in the Mvog-Betsi neighbourhood. Yaoundé has a small assortment of nightclubs and restaurants.

A distance outside Yaoundé is the NGO Ape Action Africa, which rescues and rehabilitates Great Apes threatened with extinction by the illegal bushmeat and deforestation trades.

Apes from Yaoundé's Mefou National Park maintained by Ape Action Africa
American Embassy in Cameroon

Climate[edit]

Yaoundé features a tropical wet and dry climate with constant temperatures throughout the year. However, primarily due to the altitude, temperatures are not quite as hot as one would expect for a city located near the equator. Yaoundé features a lengthy wet season, covering a ten month span between February and November. However, there is a noticeable decrease in precipitation within the wet season, seen during the months of July and August, almost giving the city the appearance of having two separate rainy seasons. It’s primarily due to the relative lull in precipitation during these two months that Yaoundé features a tropical wet and dry climate, as opposed to a tropical monsoon climate.

Climate data for Yaoundé
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33
(91)
33
(91)
33
(91)
36
(97)
34
(93)
32
(90)
31
(88)
34
(93)
31
(88)
33
(91)
32
(90)
32
(90)
36
(97)
Average high °C (°F) 29.6
(85.3)
31.0
(87.8)
30.4
(86.7)
29.6
(85.3)
28.8
(83.8)
27.7
(81.9)
26.5
(79.7)
26.5
(79.7)
27.5
(81.5)
27.8
(82)
28.1
(82.6)
28.5
(83.3)
28.5
(83.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 24.6
(76.3)
25.7
(78.3)
25.4
(77.7)
25.0
(77)
24.5
(76.1)
23.8
(74.8)
23.2
(73.8)
22.9
(73.2)
23.4
(74.1)
23.5
(74.3)
23.9
(75)
24.0
(75.2)
24.16
(75.48)
Average low °C (°F) 19.6
(67.3)
20.3
(68.5)
20.3
(68.5)
20.3
(68.5)
20.2
(68.4)
19.9
(67.8)
19.9
(67.8)
19.3
(66.7)
19.3
(66.7)
19.2
(66.6)
19.6
(67.3)
19.5
(67.1)
19.78
(67.6)
Record low °C (°F) 14
(57)
15
(59)
16
(61)
15
(59)
16
(61)
15
(59)
16
(61)
16
(61)
15
(59)
15
(59)
17
(63)
16
(61)
14
(57)
Precipitation mm (inches) 19.0
(0.748)
42.8
(1.685)
124.9
(4.917)
171.3
(6.744)
199.3
(7.846)
157.1
(6.185)
74.2
(2.921)
113.7
(4.476)
232.3
(9.146)
293.6
(11.559)
94.3
(3.713)
18.6
(0.732)
1,541.1
(60.672)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3 4 12 14 17 14 11 12 20 23 11 3 144
 % humidity 79.5 79.5 81.0 82.0 84.0 85.0 85.5 86.0 85.5 85.0 82.0 79.0 82.83
Mean monthly sunshine hours 170.5 180.8 170.5 165.0 167.4 126.0 96.1 86.8 102.0 130.2 168.0 182.9 1,746.2
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization[9]Hong Kong Observatory (sun 1961-1990)[10]
Source #2: BBC Weather [11]

Transport[edit]

Buses in Yaounde

Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport is a major civilian hub, while nearby Yaoundé Airport is used by the military. Train 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 ditricts. Frequent buses run on 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 light during the weekends. Yaoundé has made significant progress in infrastructure, especially road construction.

Markets[edit]

Mfoundi market
A view of a Yaoundé suburb

There are numerous markets in the city, ranging from small street-side markets to the large Mfoundi and Mokolo market. There are also some supermarkets (e.g. the locally owned 'Rayco' and 'Mahima' and the French-owned Casino) situated in the city centre.

Education[edit]

Cameroon is a bilingual country, where English and French are both official languages; therefore in the city there is a coexistence of French sub-educational system schools, where the degree giving access to university is baccalaureate, and all the education is in French, and the English sub-educational system schools, where the degree giving access to university is the GCE Advanced level. There are three American schools in Cameroon, the American School of Yaounde (ASOY) and Rain Forest International School (RFIS), and the American School of Douala (ASD). There is also one Turkish School, The Amity College/School . Yaoundé is the site of several universities: the University of Yaoundé I, the University of Yaoundé II (on a campus outside of town), the Protestant University of Central Africa (UPAC) and the Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC). Several of the nation's professional schools are also located in Yaounde ( Higher Teacher's training college, Ecole Militaire InterArmes du Cameroun) as well as various schools for engineers, nurses and diplomats.

Healthcare[edit]

The largest hospital is the Central Hospital of Yaoundé (Hôpital Central de Yaounde) with 650 beds.[12] Yaoundé General Hospital (Hôpital Général de Yaoundé - HGY) had 302 beds when it was built in 1985.[13] Other hospitals are the Yaoundé Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital (Hôpital Gynéco Obstetrique et Pédiatrique de Yaoundé - HGOPY) and the University Hospital Center of Yaoundé (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Yaoundé - CHU).

Sports[edit]

The national football team plays some of its home matches in the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium and the football clubs Canon Yaoundé, Impôts FC and Tonnerre Yaoundé are all based in the city. The Grand Prix Chantal Biya, a men's road bicycle racing event on the UCI Africa Tour starts and finishes in Yaoundé.

Yaoundé is also the base for the National Institute of Youth and Sport; this school trains government workers who will be in charge of sport all across the country during their career.

Notable Sport Athletes[edit]

Joel Embiid Center for the Philadelphia 76ers

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World Gazetteer". Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi & al. African Families at the Turn of the 21st Century, p. 175. Praeger Publishers (Westport), 2006. ISBN 0275972747. Accessed 17 Apr 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Johnson–Hans, Jennifer. Uncertain Honor: Modern Motherhood in an African Crisis, p. 34. University of Chicago Press (Chicago), 2006. ISBN 0226401812. Accessed 17 Apr 2014.
  4. ^ Kund, Richard. Letter to the Foreign Office of April 4, 1889. Bundesarchiv R 1001/3268, Bl. 14f. (German)
  5. ^ „Ich bemerke nur, daß der Lieutenant Tappenbeck und ich eine Station in größeren Maßstabe auf dem Innerafrikanischen Plateau zwischen den Flüssen Yong u Zannaga an dem Platze angelegt haben, der auf der Karte mit dem Namen Epsumb bezeichnet ist. (3° 48' N.) Die Entfernung von der Küste beträgt 20 Tagesmärsche...“[4]
  6. ^ Kund and Tappenbeck had used the title "Jaunde" to refer to the area but not the settlement or site itself.
  7. ^ "GCatholic.org". GCatholic.org. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  8. ^ "Address by Pope Benedict XVI". Vatican.va. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  9. ^ "World Weather Information Service - Yaounde". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Climatological Information for Yaounde, Cameroon". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Average Conditions Yaounde, Cameroon". BBC Weather. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Overview". Central Hospital of Yaoundé. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  13. ^ Binder, Georges (1 March 2001). Montois Partners: Selected and Current Works. Images Publishing. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-86470-069-5. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 

External links[edit]