Where We Work
Independent from French ruling since 1960, Cameroon is situated in Central Africa and counts over 25 million people. It shares borders with Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea. The country is bilingual. French is spoken by about 80 per cent of the population, and English by about 20 per cent 2. There are about 240 indigenous languages including 24 major language groups.
Cameroon’s name derives from camarões, which means shrimps. This name came from Fernando Po, a 15th-century Portuguese explorer who named the River Wouri Rio dos Camarões (‘shrimp river’). The country is divided into ten regions: Adamaoua, Centre, Coastal, East, Far North, North, North-West, South, South-West, and West. Cameroon’s poverty reduction rate is lagging its population growth rate. As a result, the number of Cameroonians considered poor keeps increasing. Poverty is increasingly concentrated, with 56% of poor living in the northern regions1.
Due to its weak governance, Cameroon’s development, and ability to attract investment is hindered greatly. It ranks 152 out of 180 countries in the 2018 Transparency International corruption perceptions index, and 166 out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report1. Cameroon’s public spending on education was estimated to be around as 2.8 per cent of GDP in 20132. About 57% of students complete primary school2. Public universities include the University of Yaoundé, University of Douala, University of, University of Buea; University of Dschang; and the University of Maroua.
Did you know?
Cameroon is famous for its soccer team. The list of the many Cameroon nationals who have excelled in international soccer include Samuel Eto’o, Patrick Mboma, Thomas Nkono, and Roger Milla. For music and Tennis lovers, you can count on Manu Dibango, Richard Bona and Yannick Noah.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
With a surface area covering 2,345,095 km2, and a population of about 89 000 000, the DRC, formerly known as the Republic of Zaire, is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa1,2. Kinshasa, the capital, is located on the Congo River and is the largest city in central Africa. The city serves as the DRC’s official administrative, economic, and cultural center. The DRC became independent from Belgium in 1960. It shares borders with the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola4. While French is the official language of the country, there are four other “national languages (Swahili, Tshiluba, Lingala, and Kongo) spoken by the population.
Although its poverty rate has fallen slightly over the past two decades, the DRC remains one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2018, 72% of the population, especially in the North West and Kasaï regions, was living in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day1. According to the World Bank (2020), the “DRC ranks 135 out of 157 countries in terms of human capital, with a human capital index score of 0.37%, which is below the average in Sub-Saharan Africa (0.40). This means that a child born today will be 37% less productive in adulthood than a child who received a complete education and proper health care. Congolese children spend an average of 9.2 years in school and 43% of children are malnourished”.
While the Congolese government is cognizant of the value of education and has attempted to promote it publicly, years of civil unrest have led to a dramatic decline in funding for education3. The country counts a few universities such as the university of Kinshasa, University of Kisangani, University of Lumbumbashi, Kongo University, and the University of Mbuji-Mayi.
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The DRC is potentially one of the richest mining countries in Africa. The DRC is rich in natural resources, and boasts vast deposits of industrial diamonds, cobalt, copper, and much more2.
Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia, shares borders with South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. The country’s capital city is Harare, also formerly known as Salisbury with the second largest city being Bulawayo. Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980. More than two-third of Zimbabweans speak Shona, while one of six speak Ndebele2. Ndebele speaking Zimbabweans are concentrated around Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe is divided into eight provinces and two cities with provincial status, Bulawayo and Harare known as metropolitan provinces. The provinces and metropolitan provinces are further divided into districts2. The many years under which the country was ruled by whites left a legacy of a segregated school system. The government had concentrated on providing virtually free education to white children between the ages of 5 and 15, while the schooling of black children was left in the hands of missionaries. In 1950, there were only 12 government schools for blacks, compared to 2,230 schools for white students2.
There are several universities and colleges in Zimbabwe, including the University of Zimbabwe, founded in 1955 at Harare, and the National University of Sciences and Technology, founded in 1991 at Bulawayo. Zimbabwe has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, with nine-tenths of the population being able to read. Unfortunately, due to poor economic conditions, poverty continues to rise. This has also led to a significant contraction of the economy, increases in food prices and basic commodities (World Bank, 2020).
Did you know?
The Victoria Falls, also known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” in Bantu which means “The smoke that thunders” are located on the Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe3.