The North-west Region is one of the ten Regions of the republic of Cameroon. It lies within the Latitude 6° North of the equator and Longitude 10° East.
It is bound to the North and west by the federal Republic of Nigeria, to the south by the South-West Region.
The Region is spread in a surface of 17910 km² with an approximate population of 2 million.
Administratively, the Region is divided into seven Divisions, each headed by a Senior Divisional Officer(S.D.O) :
- Donga Mantung,
The topography of the Region is generally mountainous and undulating, characterized by abrupt escarpments towering, mountain peaks, deep valleys, broad alluvial plains. The highest point of the Region is mount OKU (in BUI Division) with an altitude of 3011 masl.
The topography of the Region greatly influences the climate of the areas around. The high mountains and plains are either very cold or hot respectively.
On the average, this Region has a wild climate which is very conductive for Agriculture and handcraft.
The Region has two distinct seasons. The dry season starts from mid-October to mid-March; and the rainy season begins from mid-March to mid-October.
However, many changes in climatic conditions have been observed this year.
The vegetation is predominantly savannah with shrubs dotted here and there. However, dense forest of the tropical nature can be found in certain parts of the MENCHUM and MOMO divisions, especially on the border with the Nigeria.
The North-West region has an agricultural based economy with the existence of organizations which are charged with improving seeds of high yielding crop varieties, constructing and rehabilitation of water schemes as well as preserving livestock. The Upper Noun Development Authority (UNVDA) is one of the organizations in charge of boosting the economy of the Region with the cultivation of rice which is consumed by 70% of the population. With the existence of heavy equipment for rice farming production, areas have been increased by 10 000 hectares and created employment for most youth in the Region while GP-DERUDEP charged with road maintenance, water management and village development has been behind the realization of farm to market roads in most communities thereby boosting the economy in those areas.
The Region has a strong cultural legacy with traditions and practices which are strictly adhered by its indigenes.
Depending on the community concerned, the indigenes are usually governed by Fons, Ardos or Chiefs who are responsible for the implementation of law and order and the preservation of peace. Most of the traditions which have been abandoned by other tribes in the country are still being respected by most or all North-Westerners. However, with the advent of religion and education, some of these practices have been modernized, such as the fact that Fons do not eat in public places, one is not supposed to shake the Fon’s hands, amongst others.
Education has equally played a major role in ameliorating the social status of most North-Westerners. A good number of them have a sound knowledge of political and socio economic trends of the country and have occupied strategic positions in both the public and private sector.