Michael Page Africa recruits across the African continent. Our easy to use guides give you the lowdown on living and working in selected countries in Central Africa.
Our quick reference guides have vital information on pay, benefits, tax and visas - everything you need to work and live in Cameroon :
Pay & Benefits
In Cameroon, the labour code stipulates a minimum salary of 23,514 XAF (35.8 euros) per month. A secretary's average wage is 110,000 XAF, while an accountant earns around 300,000 XAF. A normal work week in the private sector is 40 hours.
A fiscal year starts the first of January and ends the 31st of December. Anyone living and working in Cameroon must pay personal income tax (“Impôt sur le revenu”). Employees have their taxes deducted directly from their wages. The tax varies between 10% to 35% and anyone with an income of 5,000,000 XAF will pay a 35% tax. Before every 31st of March, a tax declaration, based on income groups, must be sent at the nearest taxation office.
A visa is required for both short and long stays. For business purposes, a letter from the employer stating the mission, an employment contract agreed to by the “Ministère du Travail” and a return plane ticket are required. You need a yellow fever certificate to be granted a visa. It can take up to two months for the Cameroon Embassy to issue a visa.
Living in Cameroon
French is spoken throughout Cameroon, while English is spoken in the northwest and southwest of the country.
The political situation is fragile in Douala, Yaoundé and in the western provinces in February 2008. Travel to the northern part of the country is not recommended.
Because of its oil resources and favourable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. However, it faces many of the serious problems facing other underdeveloped countries.
Medical facilities are limited, and health insurance is needed to work in Cameroon. If treated prior to departure, you should bring all medications and prescription drugs with you (in their original containers). Vaccination against yellow fever, tuberculosis, cholera, hepatitis A and B, typhoid and tetanus is needed. In addition, you should take anti-malarial drugs and measures to avoid insect bites. It is advisable to drink only bottled water.
Here is a list of healthcare professionals (e.g. doctors, dentists, specialists, laboratories, pharmacies) usually frequented by expatriates. Embassies and consulates also provide a list of trusted establishments.
When hired in Cameroon, opening a bank account is easy. Generally ID pictures, a valid passport, pay stub, and a minimum deposit of 10,000 CFA francs (XAF) suffice. Credit cards are accepted only in major hotels, and by airlines and international chains. A few ATMs have been set up in Yaoundé and Douala. You can check the MasterCard ATM locator page for the location of ATMs in Cameroon.
In addition, cheques are not used in Cameroon, so you should bring US dollars or Euros and exchange them in banks or at foreign exchange offices. Crédit Lyonnais du Cameroun, Société Générale de Banques au Cameroun, BICEC and other banks operate in Cameroon.
Finding a Property
Douala, Yaoundé, Garoua, Bamenda, Koussendi are the main cities in Cameroon. In Yaoundé, there are many real estate agencies. It is possible to rent an advanced standing apartment around 330 000 XAF per month (503 Euros per month in 2008) in the capital. Bastos, Quartier du Lac and Plateau Atémengué are the main residential areas. Douala, Bonapriso and Bonanjo are districts expatriates are to be found. Lately, rents have risen significantly (about 20%). A contract lasts one year, and the rent is usually be payable in advance.
By road: Traffic regulations are not generally respected and driving is said to be dangerous between Douala and Yaoundé. Rental cars are available but are very expensive. Away from the main cities, it is rare to find paved roads, so four-wheel drive is recommended. Due to the lack of rain, roads stay in fairly good condition. If you want to drive your own car, you can use an international driving licence.
By train: The railway is improving, but it is still largely avoided by expatriates and tourists because travel is time consuming. Train service exists from the capital, Yaoundé, to the port city of Douala and the northern city of Ngaoundéré. Camrail, a subsidiary of Bolloré, hopes to greatly extend the rail network by 2025
By air: Cameroon Airlines has been out of operation since 2008. The new national airline, Camair-co, operates between Yaoundé and Douala and Garoua.
By bus: Modern, comfortable buses, sometimes with air conditioning, operate between the major cities. Note that buses wait until they are full to depart. Departure may take a few hours. Within Douala and Yaoundé, there is no public transport.
Cost of Living
The currency is the CFA franc (XAF). In April 2008 the exchange rate was 1 euro = 709.54 XAF and 1 USD = 443.67 XAF.
Here are some prices for common expenditures (in CFA francs; 2011):