HTLC Network | Cameroon
HTLC Network is a valuable support that can help you to transform the challenges of an international relocation into a successful and satisfying life experience. We provide global corporate and private relocation and immigration services and we are present in many different parts of the world, being able to meet your requests, to ensure the utmost attention to every detail
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WELCOME TO CAMEROON

An “Africa in miniature”, Cameroon is unique among the African nations and an exceptional example of geographical, social and ethnic diversity.

 

map-cameroon

Cameroon’s western highlands are widely thought to be where the Bantu migrations originated some 2,000 years ago. Having received countless migrations and invasions, the origins of Cameroon’s diverse culture can be traced back centuries to various ethnic groups and languages. Throughout history, numerous were, in fact, the kingdoms, fondoms, and chiefdoms that rose and fell. As a result, the region has become a meeting place of important cultural groups: the western highlanders (or grassfielders) in the northwest; coastal tropical forest peoples in the Southwest; southern tropical forest peoples; the Islamic people of the northern semi-arid regions (the Sahel) and central highlands; and the “Kirdi”, non-Islamic or recently Islamic peoples of the northern desert and central highlands.

 

The coast of the region was explored by the Portuguese late in the 15th century, who named the estuary to the south of Mt. Cameroon, Rio dos Camarões (“River of Prawns”), the name from which Cameroon derives. Merchants established trading stations along the coast in the 17th century, buying slaves, ivory and rubber. British traders and missionaries were especially active in the area after the mid 1800’s, while the Germans began to explore inland after 1860 and in 1884 established the Kamerun colony. In 1916, Anglo-French forces invaded the region and with the defeat of Germany, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate (later UN trust territories) with one-fifth of its territories, contiguous with eastern Nigeria, assigned to the UK (British Cameroons) and four-fifths assigned to France (French Cameroun). French Cameroun enjoyed more rapid economic and political development than the British Cameroons, and it felt sooner the effects of the independence movements sweeping through the continent after World War II.

 

In the 1950s, guerrilla warfare raged in the French Cameroons, instigated by the nationalist Union of the Peoples of the Cameroons, which demanded immediate independence and union with the British Cameroons. France granted first self-government to the French Cameroons and internal autonomy after. In 1960, French Cameroun became an independent republic, merging with the southern part of British Cameroons in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. It was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972, and the Republic of Cameroon or République du Cameroun in 1984. The president of Cameroon since independence, Ahmadou Ahidjo, was replaced in 1982 by the prime minister, Paul Biya. Both administrations were characterized by authoritarian rule. Over the ensuing decades, the political structure has evolved from a one-party system to multiparty with the first such elections held in 1992. Biya has nevertheless won numerous elections, but the fairness of these elections has been questioned.

 

Compared to other African countries, Cameroon enjoys relative political and social stability, which has in turn permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as an extensive timber and petroleum industry. Despite movement toward political reform, however, power remains firmly in the hands of an ethnic oligarchy.

Just north of the Equator and tucked up in the “hinge” of Africa along the Gulf of Guinea, Cameroon has a rich variety of climates, landscapes and a lively, fascinating culture.

 

yaounde-admin

Although it is a relatively small country, Cameroon exhibits all major climates and vegetation of the African continent. In the south, the coastal plains extend inland from the Gulf of Guinea and are blanketed with equatorial rain forests extending to the Sanaga River. In central Cameroon, the rain forest yields to the Adamaoua Plateau, a vast, sparsely vegetated region. Stretching northward from the foot of this plateau to Lake Chad are the great northern plains, where savannas contrast starkly with unusual rock formations in the Mandara Mountains. To the west and northwest are rolling hills and volcanic mountains cloaked in lush vegetation. Here lies Mt. Cameroon, the highest peak (4,095 m.) in sub-Saharan West Africa.

 

For a quarter century following independence, Cameroon was one of the most prosperous African countries until prices for its main exports – oil, cocoa, coffee, and cotton – imploded in the mid 80’s, plunging the country into a deep economic crisis which lasted over a decade. While Cameroon had made economic progress since independence, it had not been able to change the dependent nature of its economy, so the government embarked upon a series of economic reform programs. Today, the country remains one of the world’s leading cocoa producers and cash crops still represent an important source of income. Fishing and forestry follow oil and agriculture as leading occupations. Cameroon has major tourist potential but infrastructure still needs upgrading and expanding. France is the major trading partner, followed by other members of the EU, African countries, and the US, and exports consist mainly of petroleum, agricultural, and forest products. The macroeconomic situation has improved significantly in recent years, but progress is slow in solving structural problems such as privatisation, reducing production costs and creating a better business climate. Cameroon still faces problems similar to those faced by other developing African nations: extensive corruption, poverty, unemployment, and lack of investments and reforms.

 

Cameroon’s two major cities are Douala and Yaoundé. Situated in a lush hilly region in the interior, Yaoundé is the capital and seat of the government. The commercial centre and largest city is the port of Douala.

 

Living in Cameroon can be a challenging but also an enriching experience. The country is not fully equipped with facilities for expats such as ‘western style’ grocery stores, quality health-care, or fast and reliable internet and telephone services. Like most African metropolises, traffic is heavily congested and at times dangerous. However, Cameroon offers a wide span of attractive potentials: tourism, sports, shopping, and entertainment. Communicating is not very difficult, as French and English are in fact the official languages. French is spoken in 8 of Cameroon’s 10 provinces, while English, most commonly pidgin, is predominant only in the Northwest and Southwest Provinces.

Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.

 

Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.

 

Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.

 

auto-europe-driving-informationCity by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.

 

International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.

 

Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.

 

Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.

 

Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.

 

bigstock-Real-Estate-Home-Inspection-Re-20778977Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.

 

Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.

 

Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.

 

Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.

 

Local Registration
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.

 

Closeup of a call center employee with headset at workplaceOngoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.

 

Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.

 

Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.

Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.

 

Passport immigration stamp

• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration

• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country

• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures

• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign

• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised

• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination

• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application

• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city

• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service

 

For more info about our immigration services in Cameroon please contact our marketing department at: info@htlcnetwork.com

douala-monumentResouce guides:

 

Douala or Duala, is situated on the Wouri River, some 24km (15 miles) from the sea and is the largest city in Cameroon and the capital of Cameroon’s Littoral Region. Home to Cameroon’s largest port and its major international airport, Douala International 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.

 

Douala is the first city in tropical Africa to have a piped natural gas supply (presently serving only industrial customers). Douala is the 27th most expensive city in the world and the most expensive in Africa, overtaking Lagos, Nigeria at 32nd.

FAQ Cameroon - Housing
What can I expect to find in an unfurnished, a semi-furnished or a furnished property?

An unfinished property is basically bare, predisposed for utility connections.

A semi-finished property will have basic utility connections but no furniture , or sometimes very basic furniture.

A fully finished property will have all the furniture necessary to live in the property and is ready for use. Such properties are extremely limited.

What sort of flexibility will I have to negotiate rent or furnishings?

There is some flexibility . Most landlords are not prepared to furnish properties.

How many properties will I be shown?

This depends on the Relocation Package you have; Our Basic Package includes 8 properties and our Extended Package includes 15 properties. You will be told at the outset how many properties you will be shown or how much time you have available to do the house hunting. The properties provided will be as close to your ‘Needs Analysis’ description as possible according to what is available on the market at the time.

How can I secure a property that I choose?

Generally, a rental contract can be drawn up immediately with no need of a pre-contract agreement. In rare cases when a pre-contract is put in place, a penalty may be imposed on the landlord should he withdraw from the deal.

What costs are involved in renting a property?

Real estate agent fees ( negotiable ) are to be paid by the tenant.

It is common to have to pay an initial security deposit, sum to be indicated by the landlord as well as a pre-payment of around 6 months rent up front , thereafter rent is usually paid on a monthly basis.

 

The security deposit is refundable at the end of the contract, provided the property is returned in the same state as when rented out, normal wear and tear taken into consideration, it can be sued by the landlord to cover any damages caused by the tenant or any unpaid utility bills remaining upon exit.

 

The advance rental payment is kept to cover any period of time during which the tenant may be unable to pay rent.

What other expenses should I expect to pay?

In connection with the contract there are no further expenses to the tenant (no stamp duty, VAT or administration fee to be paid by the tenant.) In serviced apartments, the rental fees usually include services such maid service, cleaning and security. In individual property it is recommended to use the services of a on-call security company.

What is the process flow to rent a property?

Once a suitable property has been identified, a contract is drafted and negotiated until agreed upon by both parties.
After payment as indicated above and signature, the contract must be legalised, either by the landlords lawyer or at any police station where it is registered.

What responsibility do I have as a tenant towards maintenance of the property ?

The landlord is responsible for maintenance, any responsibility of tenant is indicated in the contract.

Can i make any changes to the property?

Only with written permission of the landlord.

What if I need to break the lease early?

At times it is possible to include a break clause, but the pre-paid rental sum and security deposit would usually be forfeited.

FAQ Cameroon - Utility
What utility expenses will I have to pay?

A renter has to pay Electricity, water, and Telephone.

Standby generators are required as there are constant power failures.

Gas, there are are no gas pipelines in Cameroon, instead there is bottled cooking gas 12 kg bottle (approx 6000 FCFA) and 5.5 kg ( approx 3500 FCFA). These can be purchased from any store in the city and at all petrol stations. Gas is provided in Cameroon CAMGAS, SCTM, and GLOBAL GAS.

How are these accounts charged?

‘Heating bills’ arrive once a month, directly to the property.

All utility contracts usually remain in the name of the landlord

All bills are delivered directly to the given mailing address by agents of the utility companies.

Is it possible to receive mail/bills at home address or are only P.O. boxes available?

No it is not possible to receive mail/bills to home addresses in Cameroon. Your Local Counsellor will assist you to set up a PO box.

Will I be able to get Satellite TV?

Yes. This is available.

How long will I have to wait for my telephone?

It takes approx 2 weeks and it’s landlord responsibility usually.

What documents do I need to install a Telephone Line?

Telephone lines remain in the name of the landlord.

How will i be billed?

Standard payment is on a monthly basis.

FAQ Cameroon - Driving
Is my licence valid in Cameroon?

It is required to obtain an International driving license to drive in Cameroon. UK licenses are valid.

Can I buy a car?

Yes, a foreigner can purchase a vehicle as long as they have resident status.

For how long can I drive my own car in Cameroon?

The time limit is 90 days after which the car MUST be registered locally.

FAQ Cameroon - Safety Concerns
How can I ensure the security of my family?

Foreigners require 24 hour guard service to ensure their security. Douala is full of armed robbers and foreigners often make easy targets.

Are there any precautions a foreigner must take?

You must carry your passport or ID with you at all times. The police can and do stop individuals and ask for it, particularly when someone is leaving the city. It is advisable to have a copy made of your passport which can be certified by the Embassy ,and deposit your passport in the office for safekeeping.

 

In Yaoundé and Douala you need to be especially careful of your personal possessions as pick-pockets abound, particularly at night, on public holidays, around the major hotels and in crowded areas (banks, markets, railway stations). In Limbe and Kribi possessions are sometimes stolen from the beach.

 

You are advised that it is not safe to walk alone in the major towns after dark or away from the main thoroughfares at any time. Mugging is common and it is not sensible to carry about large sums of money. Don’t wear expensive jewellery conspicuously. It is important to be aware and . Passports, spare cash and valuables should be left in your home / hotel safe.

FAQ Cameroon - Health Concerns
Do I have to be vaccinated before arriving to Cameroon?

Yes it is a MUST.

Cholera, typhoid, dysentery and malaria are endemic. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is obligatory, while up to date vaccinations for typhoid, polio and tetanus are strongly recommended. You should also consider vaccination against hepatitis and meningitus.

 

Current health precautions are contained in the most recent Health Advice for Travellers booklet from the Department of Health. The booklet is available on request.

 

You should avoid being bitten whenever possible by wearing long sleeve shirts, using repellents, (which are available locally) staying inside after dark and by using mosquito nets. Mosquito nets are available locally. The wall plugs anti malaria devices are also very effective.

AIDS is rampant – you have been warned!

Water; by taking normal precautions such as boiling the water for cooking, tea or coffee is okay, but otherwise only drink bottled mineral water. Street food is often delicious and usually pretty clean, but be careful.

FAQ Cameroon - About HTLC Network
Why should I choose HTLC Network?

– Extensive rapidly growing client list.
– Exclusive partner/representative of many Global Relocation Service Providers.
– Exclusive representative of many International Law and Immigration Firms.
– Quality control guarantee: Head Office directs all relocations and immigrations in every destination.
– All staff required to attend on-going training sessions and workshops to keep updated as to global mobility needs.
– No language barriers – Assistance provided in all major European languages and many others.
– Corporate consultation with HTLC Network’s’ Representatives at location of choice.
– HTLC Network own ‘Resource Guides’ providing a wealth of everyday information for expatlife in destination city.
– Comprehensive FAQs for each country serviced.
– Red Alert List to prepare for the specific challenges of each destination.
– Extra ‘Safety’ section in Resource Guides for countries posing specific security threats.
– 24-hour Emergency Helpline for Transferees throughout the duration of the relocation.
– Complimentary 3-month Helpline.

FAQ Cameroon - For Corporate
How does HTLC Network assist with Immigration?

HTLC Network will prepare all the necessary paperwork, email it to the Company and direct as to how the various documents are to be printed out and signed. We will send one of our Local Counsellors with Power of Attorney to act on behalf of the individual and company.

When the Transferee has to be present to apply for a document, he will be accompanied by our Local Counsellor.

How can we determine a realistic Housing Budget for Transferees?

During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.

HTLC Network will prepare the contract in the name of a legal representative of the Company. We require full data of the individual, a photocopy of his/her passport ID pages and a photocopy of the Company’ s ‘Camera di Commercio’ demonstrating position within the Company.

The prepared contract will be emailed to the appropriate Company contact and instructions will be given on how it is to be printed out and signed. Once signed, one of HTLC Network’ Local Counsellors will collect the contract and deliver it to the real estate agent for the signature of the landlord. A signed copy will be returned to the Company whilst the three copies of the contract are being registered, thereafter a registered copy will be delivered.

Arrangements will be made to take a thorough inventory in the presence of the tenant and landlord.

How can we determine a realistic Housing Budget for Transferees?

During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.

Can the contract be signed in the name of a foreign company?

Legally, yes, as long as it can be proved that the individual who signs the contract has the legal right to sign as a representative of the Company. Many landlords however, will not accept this as it is harder to take a foreign Company to court should there be any missing rent payments or problems. As landlord’s rarely accept a foreign Company signing the lease, it is usually signed by the local company that is VAT registered locally.

Is it necessary for the Transferee to be present to apply for documents?

For the presentation of document application, it varies from city to city. Wherever possible HTLC Network will prepare power of attorney  in order for a Local Counsellor to act on behalf of the Transferee and family.

To release the obtained documents, the Transferee and other members of the family must be present as an original signature is required.

How can we guarantee all Transferees will receive the same standard of service? (staff relocating to main cities versus more rural areas)

All Local Counsellors are really ‘local’ to the area where they assist Transferees. They are selected for their good knowledge of their city area.

All Local Counsellors are trained by HTLC Network to follow our set pattern of delivering services using an in-house ‘Training and Operations Manual’.

All Local Counsellors are closely directed by Office Coordinators, ensuring a consistent standard of service is delivered.

How does EMC Network handle Group Moves?

All relocations are handled by the same system of centralisation. When required, we arrange for a member of our office team to go to the location of a group move to be an in-house Coordinator, working from the Client Company’s premises as a point of reference for HR, Transferees and their families.

In main centres we have several Local Counsellors.

Geography

Area: 301,230 sq km
Time Zone: GMT+1
Capital city: Yaoundé
Bordering countries: Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria
Climate: from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north

Government

Stateform: Republic
Legislative Branch: unicameral National Assembly
National Holiday: 20 May
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF)

Population

Population: Approximately 17.3 million
Religion: indigenous beliefs, Christian, and Muslim
Languages: 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Ethnic groups: Cameroon Highlanders, Equatorial Bantu, Kirdi, Fulani, Northwestern Bantu, Eastern Nigritic and other African