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Fri, 01.01.1960

Cameroon Gaines Independence From France

*Cameroon gained its independence from France on this date in 1960.  Nigeria was scheduled for independence later that same year, which raised question of what to do with the British territory. After some discussion (which had been going on since 1959), a vote was agreed to and held on February 11, 1961.

The Muslim-majority Northern area opted for union with Nigeria, and the Southern area voted to join Cameroon.  Northern Cameroons became the Sardauna Province of Northern Nigeria on May 31, 1961, while Southern Cameroons became West Cameroon, a constituent state of the Federal Republic of Cameroon, later that year on October 1, 1961.  After the Berlin Conference, all of present-day Cameroon and parts of several of its neighbors became a German colony, Kamerun, with a capital first at Buea and later at Yaoundé. 

Germany was particularly interested in Cameroon's agricultural potential and entrusted large firms with the task of exploiting and exporting it. Chancellor Bismarck defined the order of priorities as follows: "first the merchant, then the soldier". Large German trading companies and concession companies established themselves massively in the colony. Letting the big companies impose their order, the administration simply supported their brokerage with France, protected them and tried to eliminate indigenous rebellions.  Finally, in the late 1950s Black Africa began to take its country back. 

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