Regions

The Republic of Cameroon is divided into 10 semi-autonomous regions with each under the administration of an elected Regional Council. A presidential decree on the12th November, 2008 officially endorsed the change from provinces to regions. Each region is headed by an appointed governor. These governors are charged with the implementation of decrees at the will of the president. They report on the general mood and conditions of the regions by administering the civil service, engendering peace, and supervising the heads of the smaller administrative units. Governors have broad powers: they may order propaganda in their area and call in the army, gendarmes, and police. All local government officials are employees of the central government’s Ministry of Territorial Administration, from which local governments also get most of their budgets.

The regions are subdivided into 58 divisions (French départements). These are headed by presidentially appointed divisional officers (préfets), who perform the governors' duties on a smaller scale. The divisions are further segmented into sub-divisions (arrondissements), headed by assistant divisional officers (sous-prefets). The districts, administered by district heads (chefs de district), are the smallest administrative units. These are found in large sub-divisions and in regions that are difficult to reach.

The three northernmost regions are the Far North (Extrême Nord), North (Nord), and Adamawa (Adamaoua). Directly south of them are the Centre (Centre) and East (Est). The South Province (Sud) lies on the Gulf of Guinea and the southern border. Cameroon's western region is split into four smaller regions: The Littoral (Littoral) and Southwest (Sud-Ouest) regions; on the coast, and the Northwest (Nord-Ouest) and West (Ouest) regions on the western grassfields. The Northwest and Southwest were once part of British Cameroons; the other regions were in French Cameroun.

History of areas
The 61/DF Decree 15 of 20th October, 1961 gave rise to administrative regions. The constitutional revision of 2nd June 1972 created seven provinces (sometimes called districts) from the five provinces of Cameroon’s former protectorate of France (then as an Associate State) before independence:
- North
- East
- South Central
- Littoral
- West

The two provinces of Cameroon’s former protectorate of the United Kingdom before their union with independent Cameroon are the:
- Northwest
- Southwest

Two former provinces of the former British Cameroon joined Nigeria.

On the 22nd August 1983, the number of provinces increased to 10, following the division of the North into three (Northern Province, province in the Far North and Adamawa Province), and two of the Central South (Central Province and the Southern Province).


In 2008, President Paul Biya abolished by decree the name “provinces”. The provinces of Cameroon were modified to be called “regions”. (Decree No. 2008/376 of 12th November 2008 on the administrative organization of the Republic of Cameroon).

Region

Chief Place

(Capital City)

Number of
Departments

Official Language

Regions in Cameroon

1

Adamaoua

Ngaoundéré

5

French (majority),
English

2

Center

Yaoundé

10

3

East

Bertoua

4

4

Extreme-North

Maroua

6

5

Littoral

Douala

4

6

North

Garoua

4

8

West

Bafoussam

8

9

South

Ebolowa

4

7

North-West

Bamenda

7

English (majority),
French

10

South-West

Buea

6

The Provinces of Cameroon are divided into 58 divisions or departments (départements). The divisions are further sub-divided into sub-divisions (arrondissements) and districts. The divisions are listed below: