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However, ethnic distinctiveness remains, and ethnic identity became an increasingly important source of social capital during the 1990s. Cameroon is situated by the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa.Its area is 179,527 square miles (465,000 square kilometers).The educational system and legal practices derive from those of England.The French-speaking region consists of the remaining eight provinces, where French is the lingua franca, the French school system is used, and the legal system is based on the statutory law of continental Europe. Tension between the two regions increased after the introduction of a multiparty political system in the 1990s.The large urban population is prominent in commerce and higher education.Since the conversion of Sultan Njoya to Islam early in the twentieth century, the Bamoun have been a largely Muslim people. The name of the country derives from the term used for the Wouri River by Portuguese explorers.
The British appointed warrant chiefs to aid their colonial rule, and in many instances the population rallied behind those chiefs in the postcolonial period.The English-speaking region is divided into two cultural regions.The Grassfields peoples of the Northwest Province consist of nearly one hundred chiefdoms each ruled by a divine king (fon) .This name later was applied to the coastal area between Mount Cameroon and Rio Muni.
Cameroon has distinct regional cultural, religious, and political traditions as well as ethnic variety.
They are patrilineal, grow root crops and peanuts for their own consumption, and grow cocoa as a cash crop. The current president is Bulu, and many prominent authors are Beti.