Bamenda town, also known as Mankon town or Abakwa town is the capital city of the North West Region of the Republic of Cameroon. According to the 2012 national census, It has a population of 800.000 people. It is located 366km (227 mi) North West of the political capital, Yaoundé. The town has a cool climate and a scenic hilly location.
The Tikar is the principal ethnic group. In the late 19th century the town was subjected to German colonialism.
Evidence of Germany's former occupation of the town can still be seen today in structures such as the Fort at the station. After the defeat of the Germans in World War I (1914–1918) the League of Nations shared German colonial territories among victorious nations. Western Cameroon was administered jointly with Nigeria under the protectorate of the British until 1961 when following a plebiscite it attained independence by joining the then la République du Cameroun.
Most of the inhabitants of the town speak the English language and Cameroonian Pidgin. English is the main language spoken in the shops and on the streets of the town with very few people speaking French and other languages. Some Anglophone political pressure groups are represented in the city such as the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) advocating secession from the rest of Cameroon.
The town has numerous markets, banks, schools, play grounds, travel agencies, mountains, museums, and lakes for touristic purposes and offices.
The town has roads linked to other parts of the country such as Yaoundé and Douala, as well as villages closer to it. North of town is the Ring Road, a 367 km (228 mi) passing through some of Cameroon's most spectacular mountains. Found along this road is Mount Oku (3,000 m/9,800 ft), the Kimbi River Game Reserve, the Menchum River waterfalls, the Bafut Fon’s palace and a pyramidal thatched shrine at Akum. The area is placed under the supervision of a Government Delegate to the council. It is also the seat of the Region's chief administrator, the Governor, the Divisional officer and the senior Divisional officer for Mezam Division.
Over the years, the town has been famous for having two football teams PWD and Camark Bamenda that played in the First Division Championship.
The town is also the birth place of The Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), born in 1994, a group that has been asking for the restoration of the former British Southern Cameroons, covering the English-speaking provinces of North West and South West.
The town runs through three villages, Mankon, Bamendankwe, and Nkwen.