Bafoussam

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Bafoussam

Fu'sap
Communauté Urbaine
Bafoussam, Tamdja neighbourhood. view of BEAC from afar.jpg
Bafoussam is located in Cameroon
Bafoussam
Bafoussam
Location in Cameroon
Coordinates: 5°28′N 10°25′E / 5.467°N 10.417°E / 5.467; 10.417
CountryFlag of Cameroon.svg Cameroon
RegionsWest
DepartmentMifi
Area
 • Communauté Urbaine402 km2 (155 sq mi)
 • Urban
91 km2 (35 sq mi)
Elevation
1,521 m (4,990 ft)
Population
(2008)
 • Communauté Urbaine800,000 (approx.)
 • Density1,990/km2 (5,200/sq mi)
 • Urban
347,517
 • Urban density3,819/km2 (9,890/sq mi)
 • Major ethnic group
Bamileke
 • Religions
Bamileke Religion, Christianity, Islam
Time zoneUTC+1 (West Africa Time)
Websitecubafoussam.cm

Bafoussam is the capital and largest city of the West Region of Cameroon, in the Bamboutos Mountains. It is the 3rd most important (financially) city in Cameroon after Yaounde and Douala. The communauté urbaine (Urban Community) of Bafoussam, is a decentralized territorial collectivity. Originally called Urban Commune of Bafoussam, the communauté urbaine (Urban Community) of Bafoussam, was born after the Presidential Decree N ° 2008/022 of January 17, 2008 and composed of three communes, namely: the Commune of Bafoussam I (Bafoussam proper), the Commune of Bafoussam II (Baleng) and the Commune of Bafoussam III (Bamougoum).[1]

The city had an urban population of 347,517 inhabitants (at the 2008 Census). Bafoussam is the West Region centre of trade, and people are farming coffee, Potatoes, maize and beans. The city has also a coffee processing facility and brewery. It is the main city of the Bamiléké people and is home to the Bafoussam chief's palace. Bafoussam is a group composed of 07 villages (Bamendzi, Banengo, Ndiangdam, Ndiangsouoh, Ndiangbou, Toukouop, Ngoueng and Banengo city B) with 46 districts or sub-villages.The main neighborhoods of the city are Banengo, Djeleng, Famla (also called Akwa), Kamkop, Quartier Eveché, Quartier Haussa and Tamdja.[2]

Bafoussam has two main markets (Marché A and Marché B), several internet cafés, restaurants and supermarkets and a movie theater. Most of Bafoussam nightlife centers on the area called Akwa (so-named in honor of the neighborhood in Douala). Akwa features several bars, stores, and a live music venue, along with customary vendors of Soya (barbecue beef meat brochettes), Poisson braisé (barbecue fish) and other foods.[2]

This is the birthplace of football player Geremi and his 17 brothers and sisters, as well as the birthplace of his cousin Pierre Webó.

History[edit]

The Bafoussam people originate from the Bamileke ethnic group, which are the natives of the same region. Claims are made that the Bamileke were descendants of the Baladis who left Egypt in the ninth century of our era. They arrived in the Tikar region around the middle of the twelfth century before dividing around 1360 when their last king, King Ndeh, died. Yende, first prince, refused the throne and crossed the Nun (Noun river) to found the Bafoussam kingdom. His sister turned to the Banso area (there are about thirty Bamileke villages in the English-speaking North West). Two decades later, Ncharé, the youngest, went down to the plain of Noun to found the Bamoun kingdom. From Bafoussam were born almost all the other Bamileke Kingdoms, between the fifteenth century and the twentieth century (Bansoa was born in 1910 following the forced exile of Fo Taghe of Bafoussam)[3][4]

Name[edit]

Originally, Bafoussam is written in Bafoussam dialect "Pe Foussan" or "Pe Fussep" which literally means "people of ......". Over time, "Pe" has become "Ba" while retaining the same meaning.

When Westerners arrived, they united the two sound elements "Pe" and "Foussan" to make Bafoussam.

Another source, however, argues that Bafoussam is Fuh Sep's "bad western translation", meaning "we earn more by selling in detail than wholesale". According to this version, the Bafoussam would be a people who bought wholesale to resell in detail or who sold in detail by measuring in small baskets. Fuh here means to measure and Sap or Sep which means profit or treasure, to symbolize by the small basket in which one sold in detail. Pefuhssap or Pefuhssep means "those who have discovered that profit (treasure) is in retail".

It is nevertheless noted that the two sources of information on the origin of the name Bafoussam are not contradictory and it is safe to say that the Bafoussam left their place of residence from the Tikar plain with their name, since they already practised retail trade with small baskets.[2]

City hall of (Communauté Urbaine de) Bafoussam

Birth of Bafoussam city[edit]

In 1945, an unexpected meeting between the colonial administrator of the Bamileke region (during the colonial times, the present day West region was called the Bamileke region) and the monarch of Fu'sap (Bafoussam), Chukhocha Paul, who ruled from 1933 to 1958, laid the foundation for increasing the importance of Bafoussam, which lied at the crossroads between British Southern Cameroons and French Cameroon.

By 1950, when Bafoussam became a subdivision of the French colonial administration headed by Jacques Lestrigang, very quickly, the village became cosmopolitan because located at the intercession of the tracks connecting the two Cameroon and also the cities charged with history that are Dschang, Foumban and Ngaoundéré. Thus the first servicing plan was designed by the French architect Dufayard. Its execution, associated with the dynamism of the populations which occupied it, had to trigger the skyrocketing of the city. Then came his twinning with the city of Bayeux, a city located in Calvados, France.

BEAC (Bafoussam branch) from across the road

As the saying goes "for souls nobly born, valor doesn't await the passing of years", Bafoussam replaced Dschang a few years later as the capital of the West Region (then West Province) and equally replaced Nkongsamba as the economic hub of the region. Thus, important economic operators including the BEAC (Banque des Etats d'Afrique Centrale), Brasseries of Cameroon, and other industrial units in the making orchestrated a rush to the new city.[5]

View near BEAC (Bafoussam branch), Bafoussam

Geography[edit]

Topography[edit]

Bafoussam is built in the foothills of the Banengo and Baleng hills that are covered with savannah vegetation. The city, located at about 1500 metres above sea level is built on stairs on the perimeters of Tamdja neighborhoods (1st floor), shopping center and Djemoum (2nd floor), Djeleng (3rd floor) and lower corners called Mairie rurale and Tougang (4th level).

A view of the Famla neighbourhood (commonly called Akwa) in Bafoussam

Climate[edit]

The climate is constantly cool with a temperature oscillating between 15 ° and 22 ° c. With climate change in recent years, Bafoussam sometimes reaches 28 °C during the dry season that extends from mid-November to mid-March (four months). The rainy season lasts eight months, from mid-March to mid-November.

Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as Subtropical highland Climate (Cwb) or an Oceanic Climate type (Cwb), featuring a dry and cool to cold winters and warm to cool summers(With Cool nights on summers) with some few hot days,[6] however, its temperatures are lower than other locations with this classification due to its high elevation.

View from Baptist Health Center

Its highest record temperature was 41 °C (106 °F) on April 28, 1981, while its lowest record temperatures was 0 °C (32 °F) on December 19, 1981.[7]

Climate data for Bafoussam
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33
(91)
39
(102)
37
(99)
41
(106)
39
(102)
36
(97)
35
(95)
36
(97)
33
(91)
40
(104)
34
(93)
39
(102)
41
(106)
Average high °C (°F) 27
(81)
27.6
(81.7)
26.9
(80.4)
26.1
(79.0)
25.2
(77.4)
23.8
(74.8)
23
(73)
23.2
(73.8)
23.8
(74.8)
24.1
(75.4)
24.9
(76.8)
25.9
(78.6)
25.1
(77.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 20.7
(69.3)
21.1
(70.0)
21.6
(70.9)
21
(70)
20.3
(68.5)
19.4
(66.9)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19.2
(66.6)
19.8
(67.6)
20.2
(68.4)
20.0
(68.0)
Average low °C (°F) 14.5
(58.1)
14.7
(58.5)
16.3
(61.3)
16
(61)
15.5
(59.9)
15.1
(59.2)
15
(59)
14.9
(58.8)
14.3
(57.7)
14.3
(57.7)
14.8
(58.6)
14.5
(58.1)
15.0
(59.0)
Record low °C (°F) 8
(46)
2
(36)
3
(37)
12
(54)
11
(52)
14
(57)
3
(37)
8
(46)
4
(39)
12
(54)
11
(52)
0
(32)
0
(32)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11
(0.4)
34
(1.3)
106
(4.2)
170
(6.7)
184
(7.2)
197
(7.8)
255
(10.0)
255
(10.0)
321
(12.6)
270
(10.6)
58
(2.3)
10
(0.4)
1,871
(73.5)
Source #1: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 1432m)[6]
Source #2: Voodoo Skies for record temperatures[7]

Waterfalls[edit]

The city is not very rich in natural rivers. The Mifi River runs along the southern part of the city to fall in the void creating the fall of the Metche. Other small streams including Megang, Nlom and Vava exist in the city. Next to the fall of the Metche, which is a real attraction, Lake Baleng (this crater lake) is also a tourist attraction.[8]

Education[edit]

Bafoussam is home to a good number of high schools (including technical and vocational schools), lots of primary schools and kindergartens, and few institutions providing tertiary education. Most students upon graduation travel to other cities like Dschang, Yaounde, Douala, or Buea to attend university or other forms of tertiary institutions. It is important to note that in Cameroon, Lycée is the name given to government/public high schools, while Collège is the name given to privately funded high schools.

Cameroon having two official langues, it won't be uncommon to find schools that offer education solely in English or French or both (so called Bilingual High schools)

Notable High Schools[edit]

The top 10 high schools in Bafoussam according to the ranking of the 2017 session by the Office du Baccalauréat du Cameroun are[9];

List of Top 10 High Schools in Bafoussam in 2017
School National rank Rank in West Region
Collège Polyvalent de l'Assomption 6 1
Lycée Bilingue de Bafoussam (Government Bilingual High School Bafoussam) 22 3
Lycée de Bafoussam Rural 47 7
Lycée Bilingue de Gouache (Government Bilingual High School Gouache) 50 10
Lycée Bilingue de Baleng (Government Bilingual High School Baleng) 53 11
Lycée Technique de Banengo Bafoussam 54 12
Lycée Technique de Bafoussam (LTIC Bafoussam) 58 14
CETIC Sacré-Coeur de Bafoussam 78 18
Collège Saint Thomas d'Aquin 91 20
Lycée Classique de Bafoussam (Government Classical High School Bafoussam) 92 21

Lycée Bilingue de Bafoussam (Government Bilingual High School Bafoussam) is the best government/publicly funded high school in Bafoussam and the whole of the West Region of Cameroon. With time, it has imposed itself as a place of quality education and high discipline. Every year, a handful of students enter the prestigious National Advanced School of Engineering (École nationale supérieure polytechnique de Yaoundé) and other prestigious tertiary institutions Cameroon.

Partial view of Government Bilingual High School

Other famous High Schools include:

  • Complexe Polytechnique Bilingue prive laïc TAMA (CoPoBiT)
  • College Martin Luther King (Martin Luther King College)

Tertiary Education[edit]

Most of these institutions are affiliated to state universities like the University of Dschang or the University of Bamenda. Some of which include;

Twin towns - Sister cities[edit]

Bafoussam is twinned with:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Presentation de la CUB". Communauté Urbaine de Bafoussam. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Histoire de Bafoussam". Marie de Bafoussam 1er. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  3. ^ Toukam, Dieudonné (2010). Histoire et anthropologie du peuple bamiléké. L'Harmattan. p. 242.
  4. ^ Toukam, Dieudonné (2008). Parlons bamiléké. Paris: L'Harmattan. p. 255.
  5. ^ "Naissance et Évolution de la Ville de Bafoussam". Festival International du Cinema Independent de Bafoussam. 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Climate: Bafoussam - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  7. ^ a b "Bafoussam, Cameroon". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  8. ^ "Geographie physique de la ville de Bafoussam". Festival International du Cinema Independent de Bafoussam. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Classement des Etablissements de l'OBC". CRTV. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Les villes jumelles | Ville de Bayeux". Bayeux. Retrieved 26 February 2018.

Coordinates: 05°28′N 10°25′E / 5.467°N 10.417°E / 5.467; 10.417