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Flag of Chad
Map of Chad
Introduction Chad
Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of ethnic warfare as well as invasions by Libya before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually suppressed or came to terms with most political-military groups, settled a territorial dispute with Libya on terms favorable to Chad, drafted a democratic constitution, and held multiparty presidential and National Assembly elections in 1996 and 1997 respectively. In 1998 a new rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which continued to escalate throughout 2000. A peace agreement, signed in January 2002 between the government and the rebels, provides for the demobilization of the rebels and their reintegration into the political system. Despite movement toward democratic reform, power remains in the hands of a northern ethnic oligarchy.
Geography Chad
Central Africa, south of Libya
Geographic coordinates:
15 00 N, 19 00 E
Map references:
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
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
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 (unexploited but exploration under way), uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad)
Land use:
arable land: 2.78%
permanent crops: 0.02%
other: 97.2% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
200 sq km (1998 est.)
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, Nuclear Test Ban, 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
8,997,237 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 47.8% (male 2,162,732; female 2,135,354)
15-64 years: 49.4% (male 2,108,134; female 2,340,189)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 103,683; female 147,145) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
3.27% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
47.74 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
15.06 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
93.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 51.27 years
female: 53.4 years (2002 est.)
male: 49.22 years
Total fertility rate:
6.5 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
5%-7% (2001)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
300,000 (2001)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
14,000 (confirmed AIDS cases, actual number far higher but difficult to estimate) (2001)
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
Muslim 51%, Christian 35%, animist 7%, other 7%
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: 40%
male: 49%
female: 31% (1998)
Government Chad
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Chad
conventional short form: Chad
local long form: Republique du Tchad
local short form: Tchad
Government type:
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
11 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 11 August (1960)
passed by referendum 31 March 1996
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 (since 4 December 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Haroun KABADI (since 12 June 2002)
cabinet: Council of State, members appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
election results: Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY reelected president; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY 63%, Ngarlegy YORONGAR 16%, Saleh KEBZABO 7%
note: government coalition - MPS, UNDR, and URD
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 20 May 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); prime minister appointed by the president
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)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - MPS 110, RDP 12, FAR 9, RNDP 5, URD 5, UNDR 3, others 11
elections: National Assembly - last held 21 April 2002 (next to be held in NA April 2006)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Magistrate Courts
Political parties and leaders:
Federation Action for the Republic or FAR [Ngarlejy YORONGAR]; National Rally for Development and Progress or RNDP [Mamadou BISSO]; National Union for Development and Renewal or UNDR [Saleh KEBZABO]; National Union for Renewal and Democracy or UNRD [leader NA]; Party for Liberty and Democracy or PLD [Ibni Oumar Mahamat SALEH]; Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS [Mahamat Saleh AHMAT, chairman] (originally in opposition but now the party in power and the party of the president); Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Lal Mahamat CHOUA]; Union for Democracy and the Republic or UDR [Jean Bawoyeu ALINGUE]; Union for Renewal and Democracy or URD [Gen. Wadal Abdelkader KAMOUGUE]; Viva Rally for Development and Progress or Viva RNDP [Delwa Kassire COUMAKOYE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hassaballah Abdelhadi Ahmat SOUBIANE
chancery: 2002 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1937
telephone: [1] (202) 462-4009
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher E. GOLDTHWAIT
embassy: Avenue Felix Eboue, N'Djamena
mailing address: B. P. 413, N'Djamena
telephone: [235] (51) 70-09
FAX: [235] (51) 56-54
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; 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 be boosted by major oilfield and pipeline projects that began in 2000. Over 80% of Chad's population relies on subsistence farming and stock raising for their livelihood. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's export earnings, but Chad will begin to export oil in 2004. Chad's economy has long been handicapped by its land-locked 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 is investing $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves estimated at 1 billion barrels in southern Chad.
purchasing power parity - $8.9 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,030 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 38%
industry: 13%
services: 49% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
80% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture more than 80% (subsistence farming, herding, and fishing)
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $198 million
expenditures: $218 million, including capital expenditures of $146 million
cotton textiles, meatpacking, beer brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate:
5% (1995)
Electricity - production:
92 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
85.56 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca); cattle, sheep, goats, camels
$172 million f.o.b. (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities:
cotton, cattle, gum arabic
Exports - partners:
Portugal 38%, Germany 12%, Thailand, Costa Rica, South Africa, France, Nigeria (2001)
$223 million f.o.b. (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners:
France 40%, Cameroon 13%, Nigeria 12%, India 5% (1999)
Debt - external:
$1.1 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$238.3 million (1995); note - $125 million committed by Taiwan (August 1997); $30 million committed by African Development Bank
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Chad
Telephones - main lines in use:
9,700 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
5,500 (2000)
Telephone system:
general assessment: primitive system
domestic: fair system of radiotelephone communication stations
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 5 (2002)
1.67 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2002)
10,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)
Internet users:
4,000 (2002)
Transportation Chad
0 km
total: 33,400 km
paved: 450 km
note: probably no more than 8,000 km of the total receive maintenance, the remainder being desert tracks (2000)
unpaved: 32,950 km
2,000 km
Ports and harbors:
49 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 7
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 43
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 10 (2002)
Military Chad
Military branches:
Armed Forces (including National Army, Air Force, and Gendarmerie), Rapid Intervention Force, National and Nomadic Guard (GNNT), Presidential Security Guard, Police
Military manpower - military age:
20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,881,769 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 985,094 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 82,003 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$31 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.9% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Chad
Disputes - international:
Lake Chad Commission urges signatories Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria to ratify delimitation treaty over lake region, the site of continuing armed clashes; Nigeria requests and Chad rejects redemarcation of boundary, which lacks clear demarcation in sections and has caused several cross-border incidents; Chadian rebels from Aozou reside in Libya

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003