Africa :: Chad
page last updated on August 3, 2010
Flag of Chad
Map of Chad
Introduction ::Chad
Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of civil warfare as well as invasions by Libya before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually drafted a democratic constitution and held flawed presidential elections in 1996 and 2001. In 1998, a rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which has sporadically flared up despite several peace agreements between the government and the rebels. In 2005, new rebel groups emerged in western Sudan and made probing attacks into eastern Chad despite signing peace agreements in December 2006 and October 2007. Power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority. In June 2005, President Idriss DEBY held a referendum successfully removing constitutional term limits and won another controversial election in 2006. Sporadic rebel campaigns continued throughout 2006 and 2007. The capital experienced a significant rebel threat in early 2008.
Geography ::Chad
Central Africa, south of Libya
Geographic coordinates:
15 00 N, 19 00 E
Map references:
total: 1.284 million sq km
country comparison to the world: 21
land: 1,259,200 sq km
water: 24,800 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than three times the size of California
Land boundaries:
total: 5,968 km
border countries: Cameroon 1,094 km, Central African Republic 1,197 km, Libya 1,055 km, Niger 1,175 km, Nigeria 87 km, Sudan 1,360 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Current Weather
tropical in south, desert in north
broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Djourab Depression 160 m
highest point: Emi Koussi 3,415 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt
Land use:
arable land: 2.8%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 97.18% (2005)
Irrigated land:
300 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
43 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.23 cu km/yr (17%/0%/83%)
per capita: 24 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues
Environment - current issues:
inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping
Geography - note:
landlocked; Lake Chad is the most significant water body in the Sahel
People ::Chad
10,543,464 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.4% (male 2,479,373/female 2,412,430)
15-64 years: 50.7% (male 2,457,723/female 2,887,040)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 129,088/female 177,810) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.6 years
male: 15.5 years
female: 17.8 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.038% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
Birth rate:
40.12 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
Death rate:
15.79 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
Net migration rate:
-3.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
urban population: 27% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.85 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 97.05 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 10
male: 103 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 90.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 47.99 years
country comparison to the world: 217
male: 46.95 years
female: 49.07 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.18 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
200,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
14,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2009)
noun: Chadian(s)
adjective: Chadian
Ethnic groups:
Sara 27.7%, Arab 12.3%, Mayo-Kebbi 11.5%, Kanem-Bornou 9%, Ouaddai 8.7%, Hadjarai 6.7%, Tandjile 6.5%, Gorane 6.3%, Fitri-Batha 4.7%, other 6.4%, unknown 0.3% (1993 census)
Muslim 53.1%, Catholic 20.1%, Protestant 14.2%, animist 7.3%, other 0.5%, unknown 1.7%, atheist 3.1% (1993 census)
French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic
total population: 25.7%
male: 40.8%
female: 12.8% (2000 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 6 years
male: 7 years
female: 4 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
1.9% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 168
Government ::Chad
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Chad
conventional short form: Chad
local long form: Republique du Tchad/Jumhuriyat Tshad
local short form: Tchad/Tshad
Government type:
name: N'Djamena
geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 15 02 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
22 regions (regions, singular - region); Barh el Gazel, Batha, Borkou, Chari-Baguirmi, Ennedi, Guera, Hadjer-Lamis, Kanem, Lac, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul, Mayo-Kebbi Est, Mayo-Kebbi Ouest, Moyen-Chari, Ouaddai, Salamat, Sila, Tandjile, Tibesti, Ville de N'Djamena, Wadi Fira
11 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 11 August (1960)
passed by referendum 31 March 1996; a June 2005 referendum removed constitutional term limits
Legal system:
based on French civil law system and Chadian customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno (since 4 December 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Emmanuel NADINGAR (since 5 March 2010)
cabinet: Council of State; members are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; if no candidate receives at least 50% of the total vote, the two candidates receiving the most votes must stand for a second round of voting; last election held on 3 May 2006 (next to be held by May 2011); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno reelected president; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY 64.7%, Delwa Kassire KOUMAKOYE 15.1%, Albert Pahimi PADACKE 7.8%, Mahamat ABDOULAYE 7.1%, Brahim KOULAMALLAH 5.3%; note - a June 2005 national referendum altered the constitution removing presidential term limits and permitting Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY Itno to run for reelection
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (155 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); note - the 1996 constitution called for a Senate that has never been formed
elections: National Assembly - last held on 21 April 2002 (next to be held by 2009); note - legislative elections, originally scheduled for 2006, were first delayed by National Assembly action and subsequently by an accord, signed in August 2007, between government and opposition parties
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPS 110, RDP 12, FAR 9, RNDP 5, UNDR 5, URD 3, other 11
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Magistrate Courts
Political parties and leaders:
Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarledjy YORONGAR]; National Rally for Development and Progress or RNDP [Delwa Kassire KOUMAKOYE]; National Union for Democracy and Renewal or UNDR [Saleh KEBZABO]; Party for Liberty and Development or PLD [Ibni Oumar Mahamat SALEH]; Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [Mahamat Saleh AHMAT, chairman]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Lol Mahamat CHOUA]; Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Gen. Wadal Abdelkader KAMOUGUE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
rebel groups
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mahamat Adam BECHIR
chancery: 2002 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 462-4009
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1937
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Louis NIGRO
embassy: Avenue Felix Eboue, N'Djamena
mailing address: B. P. 413, N'Djamena
telephone: [235] 251-62-11, 251-70-09, 251-77-59
FAX: [235] 251-56-54
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; the flag combines the blue and red French (former colonial) colors with the red and yellow of the Pan-African colors; blue symbolizes the sky, hope, and the south of the country, which is relatively well-watered; yellow represents the sun, as well as the desert in the north of the country; red stands for progress, unity, and sacrifice
note: similar to the flag of Romania; also similar to the flags of Andorra and Moldova, both of which have a national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; design was based on the flag of France
Economy ::Chad
Economy - overview:
Chad's primarily agricultural economy will continue to be boosted by major foreign direct investment projects in the oil sector that began in 2000. At least 80% of Chad's population relies on subsistence farming and livestock raising for its livelihood. Chad's economy has long been handicapped by its landlocked position, high energy costs, and a history of instability. Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment projects. A consortium led by two US companies has been investing $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves - estimated at 1 billion barrels - in southern Chad. Chinese companies are also expanding exploration efforts and are currently building a 300-km pipleline and the country's first refinery. The nation's total oil reserves are estimated at 1.5 billion barrels. Oil production came on stream in late 2003. Chad began to export oil in 2004. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$16.26 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
$16.43 billion (2008 est.)
$16.46 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$7.056 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
-0.2% (2008 est.)
0.6% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,600 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
$1,600 (2008 est.)
$1,700 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 47.2%
industry: 6.5%
services: 45.1% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
4.293 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 83
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 80% (subsistence farming, herding, and fishing)
industry and services: 20% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate:
NA% est.)
Population below poverty line:
80% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 30.8%
Investment (gross fixed):
24.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
revenues: $726.4 million
expenditures: $1.482 billion (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
10.3% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
4.75% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 86
5.25% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 48
15% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$934.9 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 115
$874.5 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$63.42 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 160
$55.23 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$NA (31 December 2008)
$82.81 million (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Agriculture - products:
cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca); cattle, sheep, goats, camels
oil, cotton textiles, meatpacking, brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate:
1.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
Electricity - production:
100 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
Electricity - consumption:
93 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production:
115,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
Oil - consumption:
1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205
Oil - exports:
157,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
Oil - imports:
1,571 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
Oil - proved reserves:
1.5 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
Current account balance:
-$1.638 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
-$1.019 billion (2008 est.)
$3.541 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
$4.342 billion (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil, cattle, cotton, gum arabic
Exports - partners:
US 90.06%, France 4.81%, China 1.6% (2009)
$2.178 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
$1.927 billion (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners:
France 17.74%, Cameroon 12.7%, China 11.23%, US 7.59%, Italy 6.54%, Ukraine 5.33%, Netherlands 4.37% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$616 million (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
$1.347 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$1.6 billion (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA (31 December 2009 est.)
$4.5 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Exchange rates:
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 481.35 (2009), 447.81 (2008), 480.1 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005)
note: since 1 January 1999, the Central African CFA franc (XAF) has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro; Central African CFA franc (XAF) coins and banknotes are not accepted in countries using West African CFA francs (XOF), and vice versa, even though the two currencies trade at par
Communications ::Chad
Telephones - main lines in use:
13,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 199
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1.809 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 126
Telephone system:
general assessment: inadequate system of radiotelephone communication stations with high costs and low telephone density
domestic: fixed-line connections for only about 1 per 1000 persons coupled with mobile-cellular subscribership base of less than 20 per 100 persons
international: country code - 235; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 5 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2001)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
5 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 225
Internet users:
130,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 144
Transportation ::Chad
54 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 86
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 46
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 11 (2009)
oil 250 km (2009)
total: 33,400 km
country comparison to the world: 96
paved: 267 km
unpaved: 33,133 km (2002)
Chari and Legone rivers are navigable only in wet season (2008)
Military ::Chad
Military branches:
Armed Forces: Chadian National Army (Armee Nationale du Tchad, ANT), Chadian Air Force (Force Aerienne Tchadienne, FAT), Gendarmerie (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
20 years of age for conscripts, with 3-year service obligation; 18 years of age for volunteers; no minimum age restriction for volunteers with consent from a guardian; women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age of 21 (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,025,929
females age 16-49: 2,377,898 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,141,776
females age 16-49: 1,354,111 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 125,073
female: 125,069 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.7% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 89
Transnational Issues ::Chad
Disputes - international:
since 2003, Janjawid armed militia and the Sudanese military have driven hundreds of thousands of Darfur residents into Chad; Chad remains an important mediator in the Sudanese civil conflict, reducing tensions with Sudan arising from cross-border banditry; Chadian Aozou rebels reside in southern Libya; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 234,000 (Sudan); 54,200 (Central African Republic)
IDPs: 178,918 (2007)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; the majority of children are trafficked within Chad for involuntary domestic servitude, forced cattle herding, forced begging, forced labor in petty commerce or the fishing industry, or for commercial sexual exploitation; to a lesser extent, Chadian children are also trafficked to Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria for cattle herding; children may also be trafficked from Cameroon and the Central African Republic to Chad's oil producing regions for sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 3 - the Government of Chad does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making any significant efforts to do so; although facing resource constraints, the government has the capacity to conduct basic anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, yet did not do so during the last year; it showed no results in enforcing government policy prohibiting the recruitment of child soldiers; Chad has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2009)

Source: The World Factbook (CIA)