|Elevation||240 m (790 ft)|
Kumba is a city in Southwest Province, western Cameroon also known as K town. Kumba has an estimated population of about 400.000 inhabitants with about ¾ of this population falling within the youthful age group. The increase in population is as a result of increase in birth rate and a fall in infant mortality rate as a result of improvement in Infant health care and migrations (rural – urban). The N8 and N16 highways meet at Kumba.
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The city is a trade centre for cacao and oil palms, and has a timber industry as well. Kumba is a local road junction, making it one of the main commercial towns in anglophone Cameroon.Trading in Kumba has attracted the interest of foreigners, mostly Nigerians (The Igbos), who have always controlled a greater percentage of the Kumba main market. (culled from a personal survey, January 2011)
Although it is the largest city in the southwest province of Cameroon, it is not the provincial capital; which is located in Buea, the former German colonial capital. Because of its size, most major roads to the provincial interior radiate from Kumba, running to the Nigerian border at Mamfe, the Korup National Park at Mundemba, and Mount Koupe to the east. The premier geographical attraction in Kumba is Barombi Mbo, a large crater lake located two kilometers northwest of Kumba's city center.
Kumba is the terminus of a branch railway of the western system of Camrail.
Local politics have been divided between a government-appointed mayor (called the Government Delegate) and a local chief, Mukete. There has been something of a power struggle between the two in recent years, which has occasionally spilled over into local violence.
The indigenes of Kumba are the Bafaw, an ethnic group who speak the Bafaw language, a language similar to Duala, Mboh and Bakossi, and certainly Southern Bantoid. The Bafaw people are ruled by their Paramount chief HRH Fon Victor Esemisongo Mukete who is the current chairman of Camtel, Cameroon's own Telecommunication company and also the founder and CEO of Mukete Plantations Limited, a plantation measuring over 200 square kilometers in different localities in Meme division. Due to its cosmopolitan nature, the Bafaw now form just a percentage of the general population of the city, and have lost many aspects of their culture, except for their language which is spoken mostly by the elderly and some of the younger generation.
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