Most people consider Cameroon to have been colonised by the French only. This is particularly because French is spoken by 80% of the population. This is actually incorrect: the country was subject to German and British domination before the French settled in.
The Germans invaded Cameroon in 1884, in what is now know as “Scramble for Africa”, the imperialist strategy which brought European countries to the continent. The German arrival was probably precipitated by the already successful enterprise by some German traders, particularly in logging. Cameroon owes to Germany much of its infrastructure, particularly its hospital and rail lines, but the German presence is also synonymous with violence.
The British Army defeated the Germans during of WWI, which brought the British Empire to Cameroon around 1916. What’s now modern-day Cameroon was split into two with the French, in 1919. The British area was in turn, split into two separate territories: Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons. The British are known for the work camps they established in the region when WWII started: the majority of the European population was of German descent, and they sympathized with the Nazi regime.
After the end of WWI, the French government obtained a larger part of Cameroon than that given to the British. This was known as “Cameroun”. The French were assimilationists, which means that under their rule, it was mandatory for French to be taught to the local population, and it was mandatory to “act as French”, with a judiciary, political and economic system mimicking that of the European country. This gave rise to a rather prominent anti-French sentiment. The de-colonisation process only started after WWII, at the end of the Fifties, and a partial autonomy was granted in 1956. Independence was finally declared in 1960; this included the territories originally under British rule.