Cameroon - Country history and economic development

1884. Germany establishes a protectorate over the Douala region of coastal Cameroon.

1920. Cameroon is divided between England and France at the end of World War I.

1958. France grants self-rule to Cameroon and Ahmadou Ahidjo becomes its first president.

1960. Cameroon formally gains independence and joins the United Nations.

1961. British Southern Cameroon is federated with Cameroon, while British Northern Cameroon joins Nigeria.

1977. Cameroon begins to export oil.

1982. President Ahidjo resigns and is succeeded by Paul Biya.

1986. Cameroon's economy begins a decade of steep decline when prices for oil and other commodities plunge.

1990. Opposition political parties are legalized.

1994. Cameroon's currency, the CFA franc, is devalued by 50 percent.

1997. The government embarks on a program of structural reform in collaboration with the IMF and the World Bank, aimed at increased privatization.

2000. Work begins on the Chad-Cameroon Oil Production and Pipeline project.

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