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. Relations with Cameroon
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 they have been adversely affected by concerns over human rights violations and abuses, in particular in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, and the slow pace of political and economic liberalization. Cameroon plays a key role in regional stability and remains a regional partner in countering terrorism in the Lake Chad Region. The United States and Cameroon are closely engaged on issues that address democracy and governance, health, regional security, humanitarian assistance, and environmental protection.
U.S. Assistance and other Programs to Cameroon
The U.S. government provides health assistance to Cameroon through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Health Security Agenda, the President’s Malaria Initiative and other global health programs, and works across five U.S. government agencies to support Cameroon’s national HIV and TB programs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided assistance to Cameroon since 1989 and works in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the Cameroonian government’s efforts to combat HIV, malaria, and other public health threats. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, CDC and USAID improve Cameroon’s health sector by strengthening laboratory, surveillance, emergency management and workforce capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks. In the past twenty years, the United States has provided nearly $439 million in health assistance to Cameroon. USAID and the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provide humanitarian assistance to displaced populations by addressing food insecurity and malnutrition, providing health services, promoting agricultural production, and improving livelihoods to meet the basic needs of refugees, internally displaced persons, and vulnerable host communities. Prior to the March 2020 evacuation of all volunteers worldwide due to the COVID outbreak, Peace Corps was working in six regions of Cameroon to improve community health, education, and agriculture. Since the evacuation, Peace Corps staff continue to engage its communities through staff service and virtual service, and has planned for a new intake of volunteers in May 2022.
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon organizes cultural, educational, and informational exchanges. It maintains a library and helps foster the development of Cameroon’s independent press. Several State Department and USAID funding mechanisms support biodiversity protection, refugees, democratization, respect for human rights, countering violent extremism, and education. The Department of Defense conducts bilateral and multilateral security cooperation activities in coordination with the Cameroonian government. U.S. security assistance strengthens Cameroon’s ability to contain Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, assists maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, contributes to regional stability, strengthens military justice, and promotes respect for human rights.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and Cameroon signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in 1986 that entered into force in 1989. Cameroon is currently the United States’ 115th largest goods trading partner with U.S. goods exports to Cameroon totaling $187 million and goods imports from Cameroon totaling $471 million in 2020. On January 1, 2020, Cameroon lost its African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) eligibility status for engaging in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.
Cameroon’s Membership in International Organizations
Cameroon and the United States belong to many of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Bilateral Representation Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List. Cameroon maintains an embassy in the United States at 2349 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008. (tel. 202-265-8790). Current Cameroon’s Ambassador is Henri Étoundi Essomba.
More information about Cameroon is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: