U.S. Relations With Cameroon

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 7, 2018


More information about Cameroon is available on the Cameroon page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-CAMEROON RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Cameroon in 1960, following the independence of the French-administered part of the country. Cameroon has had just two presidents since independence. U.S. relations with Cameroon are positive, although from time to time they have been affected by concerns over human rights abuses and the pace of political and economic liberalization. Cameroon plays a key role in regional stability and remains our strongest regional partner in countering terrorism in the Lake Chad Region. The United States and Cameroon are closely engaged in issues that address democracy and governance, regional security, environmental protection, health, and economic development. Presidential elections are projected for September 2018.The United States supports Cameroon's efforts to strengthen electoral institutions, enhance transparency, and allow for contestation of results.

U.S. Assistance to Cameroon

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) runs a number of programs in Cameroon, mainly through its regional office in Ghana, and primarily in the health sector. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also has activities in Cameroon, mostly in HIV/AIDS prevention. Peace Corps volunteers work in maternal child health, youth empowerment, and sustainable livelihoods. The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon organizes and funds diverse cultural, educational, and informational exchanges. It maintains a library, and helps foster the development of Cameroon's independent press by providing information in a number of areas, including U.S. human rights and democratization policies. Through several State Department and USAID regional funds, the Embassy also provides funds for biodiversity protection, refugees, , democratization, human rights, countering violent extremism, and education.

The USAID/Office of Transition Initiatives, Northern Cameroon Initiative (NCI) works to stabilize communities most affected by the Boko Haram/ISIS-West Africa crisis and prepare communities for eventual reintegration. NCI works in the Mayo-Sava, Mayo-Tsanaga, and Diamare sub-divisions of the Far North where it partners with community leaders, civil society groups, and local government entities to strengthen local initiatives that create a sense of agency in addressing violent extremism and to help communities affected by Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa return to normal.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Cameroon is eligible for trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and also qualifies for textile and apparel benefits. The U.S. and Cameroon signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) in 1986 that came into force in 1989. Cameroon is currently the United States’ 124th largest goods trading partner with $341 million in total (two way) goods trade during 2016. U.S. goods exports to Cameroon totaled $190 million; goods imports totaled $151 million.

Cameroon's Membership in International Organizations

Cameroon and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon is Peter H. Barlerin; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Cameroon maintains an embassy in the United States at 3400 International Drive, NW, Washington, DC 20008. (tel. 202-265-8790).

More information about Cameroon is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Cameroon Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Cameroon Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Cameroon Page
History of U.S. Relations With Cameroon
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel Information