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The flag and coat of arms of Cameroon are shown above.

Sometimes counted as part of central Africa, and sometimes counted more as a western Africa country, Cameroon is a kind of crossroads country. Some have called it an Africa in miniature in view of the so many aspects of the larger continent combined in this single country. 250 native languages are spoken among 20 million people1, but English and French are the official languages of the land.2

Colonial Era…

Germany endeavored to colonize Cameroon following the Berlin conference. Its success was hindered substantially by resistance from the inhabitants of the land. With the defeat of Germany in WW1, the German claims to the Cameroon territory were divided between France and Great Britain. French Cameroon was incorporated into French Equatorial Africa, British Cameroon remained separate.


French Cameroon gained independence in 1960 followed by British Cameroon in 1961. Shortly thereafter, they combined as the Federal Republic of Cameroon. On May 20, 1971, the federal system was abolished in favor of the United Republic of Cameroon.

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detail from Cameroon 500 Francs Year 2002

Cameroon – 500 Francs – Year 2002

Art of Cameroon 500 Francs Banknote – Year 2002 – Face and Back
Cameroon 500 Francs banknote Year 2002 , featuring school children in class
Cameroon 500 Francs Year 2002

A lovely classroom scene is featured on the obverse of our Cameroon 500 franc banknote.  It appears as if a classroom demonstration is taking place, with one student at the blackboard illustrating the alphabet to others,  How important education is!  And how commendable that education is being celebrated on our banknote.

The Central Africa CFA franc is a common currency among 6 central Africa states.  The capital “U” in the top left and right corners is what distinguishes this particular banknote as originating from Cameroon.  In 2002, the year of issuance of our banknote, (see back lower right corner), U designated Cameroon, whereas the other 5 nations are designated as follows: T – Republic of Congo, M – Central African Republic, A – Gabon, F- Equatorial Guinea, C- Chad.

Cameroon 500 Francs Banknote - Year 2002 featuring village woman and 2 hits
Cameroon 500 Francs Year 2002