Bibliographic data

Fomenky, Robert; Gwanfogbe, Mathew: Histoire du Camroun, Cours élémentaire. Vol. 3/4. Vanves: Editions Classiques d’Expression Francaise (EDICEF), 2017, 69–70.

"The arrival of the Europeans in Cameroon"

[p. 69]

17 The arrival of the Europeans in Cameroon

The Europeans arrived in Cameroon for the first time in 15th century. The Portuguese were the first who arrived.

In 1469, the king of Portugal sent his fleet to the coast of West Africa for trade. In 1471, the Portuguese discovered São Tomé and Principe. In 1472, Fernando Poo, a Portuguese captain, observed a large island. He called it Formosa. Later, it was named Fernando Poo after him. Today it is called Malabo and it is a part of Equatorial Guinea. From Fernando Poo the Portuguese could see Mount Cameroon on the mainland. They passed through the mouth of the Wouri. They called it “Rio-dos-Camaroes” (river of shrimps).

[Black-and-white print of a maritime scene. At the front, there is a Portuguese two-master with billowed sails. In the background, there are several smaller ships. The sky is cloudy.]

[caption:] A Portuguese ship from the 16th century

[p. 70]

And this is how Cameroon received a name. The Portuguese called it Camaroes, the French le Cameroun (Kamerun in German).

During the 15th century, the Portuguese explored the coastline. The Portuguese also started to trade. They established trading posts in Kribi, Bimbia, Douala and Rio-del-Rey. The populations of the coast served as intermediaries for the trade between Europeans and the people of the interior. In that period the Europeans did not explore the interior of the country.

[ancient map of Africa]

[caption:] Ancient map of Africa


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