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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 sporadically flares up despite several peace agreements between the government and the rebels. In 2005 new rebel groups emerged in western Sudan and have made probing attacks into eastern Chad. Power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority. In June 2005, President Idriss DEBY held a referendum successfully removing constitutional term limits.


Central Africa, south of Libya

Geographic coordinates:

15 00 N, 19 00 E


total: 1.284 million sq km
land: 1,259,200 sq km
water: 24,800 sq km

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, 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)

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


9,944,201 (July 2006 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) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 16 years
male: 15.3 years
female: 16.6 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.93% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

45.73 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

16.38 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

-0.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 91.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 100.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 82.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 47.52 years
male: 45.88 years
female: 49.21 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

6.25 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

4.8% (2003 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

200,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

18,000 (2003 est.)

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 (2005)


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: 47.5%
male: 56%
female: 39.3% (2003 est.)

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; 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

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)
elections: National Assembly - last held 21 April 2002 (next to be held in April 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPS 110, RDP 12, FAR 9, RNDP 5, URD 5, UNDR 3, other 11

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Magistrate Courts

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. Over 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. The nation's total oil reserves has been estimated to be 2 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):

$17.73 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.033 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

18% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,800 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 23.7%
industry: 38.6%
services: 37.7% (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 80% (subsistence farming, herding, and fishing)
industry and services: 20%

Population below poverty line:

80% (2001 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.5% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

7.2% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $765.2 million
expenditures: $653.3 million; including capital expenditures of $146 million (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca); cattle, sheep, goats, camels


oil, cotton textiles, meatpacking, beer brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials

Industrial production growth rate:

5% (1995)

Electricity - production:

120 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

111.6 million kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

225,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:

1,450 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Current account balance:

$663.3 million (2005 est.)


$3.016 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

cotton, cattle, gum arabic, oil

Exports - partners:

US 67.7%, China 21.5%, Portugal 4.3% (2004)


$749.1 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, foodstuffs, textiles

Imports - partners:

France 21.9%, Cameroon 16.2%, US 10.8%, Portugal 10.5%, Germany 6.4%, Belgium 4.6% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$881.8 million (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$1.5 billion (2003 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

$238.3 million received; note - $125 million committed by Taiwan (August 1997); $30 million committed by African Development Bank; ODA $246.9 million (2003 est.)

Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

13,000 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

123,000 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: primitive system
domestic: fair system of radiotelephone communication stations
international: country code - 235; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 5 (2002)

Television broadcast stations:

1 (2002)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

7 (2005)

Internet users:

60,000 (2005)


51 (2005)

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 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 44
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 21
under 914 m: 9 (2005)


oil 205 km (2004)


total: 33,400 km
paved: 267 km
unpaved: 33,133 km (1999)


Chari and Legone rivers are navigable only in wet season (2002)

Military branches:

Chadian National Army (Armee Nationale Tchadienne, ANT), Air Force, Gendarmerie (2004)

Disputes - international:

since the expulsions of residents from Darfur in 2003 by Janjawid armed militia and Sudanese military, about 200,000 refugees remain in eastern 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): 224,924 (Sudan), 29,683 (Central African Republic) (2005)