Douala is the largest city in Cameroon and the capital of Cameroon's Littoral Province. Douala is home to Cameroon's largest port and its major international airport, Douala Airport, it is the commercial capital of the country. Consequently, it handles most of the country's major exports, such as oil, cocoa and coffee, timber, metals and fruits. Cameroon is in West and Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. Varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north. Diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in centre, mountains in west, plains in north. The official languages are French and English. Business is mostly conducted in French. Although Cameroonian French is noticeably different from standard French and can be difficult to understand, this is less true among businesspeople and government officials. The main religions are Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs. The economy of Cameroon is one of the ten highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Red tape, high taxes, and endemic corruption have impeded growth of the private sector. Unemployment was estimated at 30% in 2001, and about a third of the population was living below the international poverty threshold. The security risk for expatriates in Cameroon is medium, but high in the extreme north and in the Bakassi peninsula which is affected by militancy and criminality. Risks include petty and violent crime including armed robbery and carjacking's, as well as civil unrest. The population in Douala is 2.5 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 1.06% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Douala as at 1 January 2015 is high in comparison to other places in the world. In Douala, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very High 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Low 9) Miscellaneous: Average 10) Personal Care: Average 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: High Douala is for example 35.6% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, -21.7% cheaper for household costs than Durban, and 13.7% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Douala is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Douala for an expat from Zurich is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Douala) premium of 30% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Douala? Register subscribe to your home location and Douala and run your personalised reports.