economic causes that led to population movement in cameroon
The search for grazing land was an important factor for population movement in the 19th century. Fulanis who’s main activity was cattle rearing occupied lands rich in pasture from Lake Chad and ;oved Southzard towards the western Highlands. There was also a seasonal migration which took them up the hills during thewet season and down the hills during the dry season. This was known as transhumance and was very common among the Fulani cattle rearers
The search for fertile lands also greatly instigated population movements in the 19th century in Cameroon. At this period, Farming depended on rudimentary tools and the only way to improve farming output was to respect the system of shifting cultivation. As a result, people were forced to move either because of hunger or because their arable land had become infertile because of over farming and soil erosion. For instance the Bali people were forced to migrate from Lake Chad basin southward in search of fertile land. Also the Bamileke people wandered in search of fertile lands and settled in the Mboo plains.
The annexation of Cameroon by the Germans brought about various economic reforms in the country. The arrival of the Germans did not only bring about legitimate trade but also led to the establishement of plantations and trading companies at the coast of the country, leading to the massive movement of thousands of people who left the Grasslands for the Coasts in order to be employed. Apart from the voluntary migrants, others were forcefully recruited by the Germans with the assistance of friendly chiefs.
Transport and communication facilities acted as a logical inetus for the movement. For example, people moved to River ports or Sea ports in order to accelerate the volume of trade. The major roads linked these areas and this facilitated the migration of Cameroonians to these ports. How ever some ethnic groups moved because they had the mince to do so. This was the case with the Bali chamber which acquired horses from the Fulanies in the North and were able to penetrate the Western plateau.