Most imported consumer goods are distributed among the European population and the salaried and urban African workers. The internal markets are run by African entrepreneurs, while important import-export houses are controlled by Europeans, usually French. The main firms are found in Douala (the main port and industrial center) and Yaoundé (the capital city). The internal markets deal mainly with cattle, locally produced foodstuffs, and textiles, sewing machines, and radios. Trade in capital equipment and construction materials is practically restricted to the local industrialists and government contractors. Agricultural extension, modernization programs, cooperatives, and provident societies have all assisted in expanding markets. Credit, marketing of produce, transport of produce, and storage fall within their jurisdiction.
Economic reforms toward privatization have been in effect throughout the late 1990s. Though progress has been slow, by the end of 2001 four out of eleven state-owned assets were privatized under the current economic program.
Usual office hours are from 7:30 AM to noon and from 1:00 to 3:30 PM , Monday through Friday, and 8 AM to noon Saturday. Many businesses are open from 8 AM to 6 PM . Banks are open 8 to 11:30 AM and 2:30 to 3:30 PM .