Cameroon - Media



The telecommunications network has been improving over the years. An automatic telephone exchange system links all important cities and towns. Cable, telegram, and telex services connect Cameroon to the outside world. In January 1974, a satellite telecommunications earth station was inaugurated, greatly improving the quality of Cameroon's international telephone service. However, service is still limited to mostly business and government use. As of 2001, some there were 95,000 main line telephones in use. A 2002 report indicated there were an additional 300,000 cellular phones in use.

In 1987 Cameroon's radio and television networks were merged to form the Office de Radiodiffusion–Télévision Camerounaise (CRTV), which operates under the authority of the Ministry of Information and Culture. There are broadcasting stations at Yaoundé, Douala, Garoua, Buea, Bertoua, Bamenda, and Bafoussam, offering programs in French, English, and many African languages. In 1998, there were 11 AM and 8 FM radio stations. There was one television station the same year. In 2000, there were 163 radios and 34 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, the country had 112 cyber-cafés and there were about 29 Internet service providers serving 20,000 users.

Most Cameroonian publications are issued irregularly and have small circulations. The majority are published in French, but some appear in Bulu, Duala, and other native languages of Cameroon. The major daily is the Cameroon Tribune, the official government newspaper, published in French in Yaoundé, with a weekly English-language edition; circulation was 66,000 in French and 20,000 in English as of 2002. There are 40 to 50 private newspapers, most of which are published sporadically.

The constitution guarantees freedom of the press, but in practice the threat of government censorship generally prevents opposition viewpoints from appearing in print, especially in the government-controlled press.

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