National Day in Cameroon

National Day is a holiday observed annually on the 20th of May in Cameroon. Also known as Unity Day in the country, this holiday commemorates the adoption of a unitary state in 1972. Although this day is a holiday, it is not a day off for the general population. Schools and businesses remain open on this day.

School children usually have class parades and/or marches with plenty of singing. People also listen to the speech of Cameroon’s president on this day, as well as the speeches of other important individuals.

The History of National Day in Cameroon

Cameroon originally became a German colony in the 19th century and at the time was known as Kamerun. When Germany was defeated after WWI, the administration of this colony passed to Britain and France. When the United Nations was created at the end of WWII, this country became a UN Trust Territory known as French Cameroun.

French Cameroun gained independence from France on January 1, 1960, and British Southern Cameroons also became a federated state of Cameroon on October 1, 1961. In a national referendum on May 20, 1972, the people of Cameroon voted for a unitary state as opposed to the existing federal state. After the successful vote, President Ahmadou Ahidjo abolished the federal system and established a unitary state known as the Republic of Cameroon.

Fun Facts About Cameroon

Cameroon isn’t as well-known a country as we think it should be, so we decided to give our readers some information about it that they might not know. We’ve listed those fun facts below.

  • Cameroon is a Central African country.
  • The official languages of Cameroon are French and English.
  • Approximately 40% of the country’s total exports are made up of oil exports.

Observing National Day in Cameroon

On this holiday, school children all around the country can go on class trips to march in parades and sing. Also on this holiday, people gather together when they can and listen to political speeches by members of the Cameroon government—including the president.

Where is it celebrated?
Cameroon (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
May 20 Monday
Next year (2025)
May 20 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
May 20 Saturday