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INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

IN CAMEROON

Cameroon is characterised by the extraordinary diversity of its population, with more than 250 ethnic groups.

There are two main groups of indigenous peoples in Cameroon that are widely recognised by civil society:

 

  • the indigenous forest peoples (Baka, Bagyeli, Bakola and Bedzang), also referred to pejoratively as "pygmies", who are hunter-gatherers, living mainly in the forested areas of the South, Centre and East of the country;

  • the pastoral indigenous peoples (Mbororo), who live mainly in the savannah areas of the Eastern, North-Western and Adamoua regions.

The Gbabandi Platform specifically represents the forest peoples.

There are estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000 indigenous forest peoples, equivalent to around 0.4% of Cameroon's population (although this number could be higher), while the pastoralist population is estimated to be around one million.

Cameroon's indigenous forest peoples are divided into three distinct groups: 

  • The Baka, with an estimated population of 40,000 people. In the southern region, the Baka live particularly in the department of Dja-et-Lobo. In the Eastern region, they live in the departments of Boumba-et-Ngoko, Haut-Nyong and Kadey.

  • The Bagyeli/Bakola are distributed in the Ocean department. They are counted at about 4,000 people. 

 

  • The Bedzan, about 300 people, are located in the transition zone between savannah and forest, in the centre of Cameroon (Mbam-et-Kim department).

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