Facts about Chad

World Facts Index

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, and the capital experienced a significant rebel threat in early 2008.

Geography of Chad

Location:
Central Africa, south of Libya
Coordinates:
15 00 N, 19 00 E
Area:
total: 1.284 million sq km
water: 24,800 sq km
land: 1,259,200 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
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
tropical in south, desert in north
Terrain:
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 (unexploited but exploration under way), uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad)
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
Geography - note:
landlocked; Lake Chad is the most significant water body in the Sahel

More Geography

Population of Chad

Population:
10,111,337 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 47.9% (male 2,396,393/female 2,369,261)
15-64 years: 49.3% (male 2,355,940/female 2,550,535)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 107,665/female 164,407)
Median age:
16 years
Growth rate:
2.93%
Infant mortality:
91.45 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 47.52 years
male: 45.88 years
female: 49.21 years
Total fertility rate:
6.25 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Chadian(s)
adjective: Chadian
Ethnic groups:
200 distinct groups; in the north and center: Arabs, Gorane (Toubou, Daza, Kreda), Zaghawa, Kanembou, Ouaddai, Baguirmi, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Hausa, Boulala, and Maba, most of whom are Muslim; in the south: Sara (Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye), Moundang, Moussei, Massa, most of whom are Christian or animist; about 1,000 French citizens live in Chad
Religions:
Muslim 51%, Christian 35%, animist 7%, other 7%
Languages:
French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic
total population: 47.5%
male: 56%
female: 39.3% 

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Chad
local long form: Republique du Tchad
local short form: Tchad
Government type:
republic
Capital:
N'Djamena
Administrative divisions:
14 prefectures (prefectures, singular - prefecture); Batha, Biltine, Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti, Chari-Baguirmi, Guera, Kanem, Lac, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mayo-Kebbi, Moyen-Chari, Ouaddai, Salamat, Tandjile
note: instead of 14 prefectures, there may be a new administrative structure of 28 departments (departments, singular - department), and 1 city*; Assongha, Baguirmi, Bahr El Gazal, Bahr Koh, Batha Oriental, Batha Occidental, Biltine, Borkou, Dababa, Ennedi, Guera, Hadjer Lamis, Kabia, Kanem, Lac, Lac Iro, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul, Mayo-Boneye, Mayo-Dallah, Monts de Lam, N'Djamena*, Ouaddai, Salamat, Sila, Tandjile Oriental, Tandjile Occidental, Tibesti
Independence:
11 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 11 August (1960)
Constitution:
passed by referendum 31 March 1996
Legal system:
based on French civil law system and Chadian customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
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 Youssof Saleh ABBAS (since 16 April 2008)
cabinet: Council of State, members appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote to serve 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 held 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:
bicameral according to constitution, consists of a National Assembly (155 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and a Senate (not yet created and size unspecified, members to serve six-year terms, one-third of membership renewable every two years)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Magistrate Courts

Economy

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 plan to build a refinery. The nation's total oil reserves have been estimated to be 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:
$15.26 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
6%
GDP per capita:
$1,500
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 33.5%
industry: 25.9%
services: 40.6%
Inflation rate:
3%
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture more than 80% (subsistence farming, herding, and fishing)
Budget:
revenues: $765.2 million
expenditures: $653.3 million
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0%
Industries:
oil, cotton textiles, meatpacking, beer brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials
Agriculture:
cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca); cattle, sheep, goats, camels
Exports:
cotton, cattle, gum arabic
Export partners:
US 82%, China 10.4%, Portugal 2.8%
Imports:
machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs, textiles
Import partners:
France 21.5%, Cameroon 16.4%, US 12.3%, Belgium 5.6%, Portugal 4.7%, Netherlands 4.5%, Saudi Arabia 4%
Currency:
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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