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Countries > Chad Chad Flag

Languages   6 languages are spoken in Chad. We have 609 products available for 2 of those languages.

Capital: N'Djamena
Population: 6,361,000
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Chad Map


Historical perspective: After enduring decades of civil warfare among ethnic groups as well as invasions by Libya, Chad got started toward a more stable state with the seizure of the government in early December 1990 by former northern guerrilla leader Idress DEBY. His transitional government eventually suppressed armed rebellion in all quarters of the country, settled the territorial dispute with Libya on terms favorable to Chad, produced a democratic constitution which was ratified by popular referendum in March 1996, held multiparty national presidential elections in June and July 1996 (DEBY won with 67% of the vote), and held multiparty elections to the National Assembly in January and February 1997, in which Idress DEBY's party, Patriotic Salvation Movement or MPS, won a majority of the seats.


Location: Central Africa, south of Libya

Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 19 00 E

Map references: Africa

total: 1.284 million sq km
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

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 175 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: 3%
permanent crops : 0%
other: 97% (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


Population: 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
male: 49.22 years
female: 53.4 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.5 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun : Chadian(s)
adjective: Chadian

Ethnic groups: Muslims (Arabs, Toubou, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Kanembou, Baguirmi, Boulala, Zaghawa, and Maba), non-Muslims (Sara, Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye, Moundang, Moussei, Massa), nonindigenous 150,000 (of whom 1,000 are French)

Religions: Muslim 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs (mostly animism) 25%

Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara and Sango (in south), more than 100 different languages and dialects

definition: age 15 and over can read and write in French or Arabic
total population: 40%
male : 49%
female: 31% (1998)


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Chad
conventional short form: Chad
local long form : Republique du Tchad
local short form: Tchad

Data code: CD

Government type: republic

National 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: 31 March 1995, passed by referendum

Legal system: based on French civil law system and Chadian customary law; does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY (since 4 December 1990)
head of government : Prime Minister Nagoum YAMASSOUM (since 13 December 1999)
cabinet: Council of State 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 20 May 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); prime minister appointed by the president
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

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 25 April 2002 (next to be held in NA April 2006)
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

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: NA

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CEEAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM,OAU, OIC, UDEAC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Hassaballah Abdelhadi Ahmat SOUBIANE
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 Christopher E. GOLDTHWAIT
embassy: Avenue Felix Eboue, N'Djamena
mailing address : B. P. 413, N'Djamena
telephone: [235] (51) 70-09, (51) 90-52, (51) 92-33
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 flag of Andorra, which has a national coat of arms featuring a quartered shield centered in the yellow band; design was based on the flag of France


Economy - overview: Unfavorable climate, geographic remoteness, poor resource endowment, and lack of infrastructure make Chad one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. Its economy is hobbled by political turmoil, drought, and food shortages. Consequently the economy has shown little progress in recent years in overcoming a severe setback brought on by civil war in the late 1980s. About 85% of the work force is involved in subsistence farming and fishing. Cotton is the major cash crop, accounting for at least half of exports. Chad is highly dependent on foreign aid, especially food credits, given chronic food shortages in several regions. Of all the Francophone countries in Africa, Chad has benefited the least from the 50% devaluation of their currencies on 12 January 1994. Despite an increase in external financial aid and price increases for cotton - the primary source of foreign exchange - the corrupt and enfeebled government bureaucracy continues to postpone payment of public sector salaries and to dampen economic enterprise by neglecting payments to domestic suppliers. The devaluation resulted in stepped-up inflation of 41% in 1994; inflation fell to 9% in 1995 but it remains high compared with other Francophone countries. In one favorable development, Chad in December 1996 concluded an agreement with ESSO/Chad (EXXON) for drilling and extracting petroleum at Doba. Oil will be piped through Cameroon for export.

GDP: 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:
industry: 13%
services : 49% (2001 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3% (2000 est.)

Labor force: NA
by occupation : agriculture 85% (subsistence farming, herding, and fishing)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues :$198 million
expenditures: $218 million, including capital expenditures of $146 million (1998 est.)

Industries: cotton textiles, meat packing, beer brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials

Industrial production growth rate: 5% (1995)

Electricity - capacity: 40,000 kW (1991)

Electricity - production: 92 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 85.56 million kWh (2000)

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

total value: $172 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: cotton, cattle, textiles, fish
partners : Portugal 38%, Germany 12%, Thailand, Costa Rica, South Africa, France, Nigeria (2001)

total value: $223 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: machinery and transportation equipment 39%, industrial goods 20%, petroleum products 13%, foodstuffs 9%; textiles; note - excludes military equipment
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

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: CFA Francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 541.69 (January 1997), 511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69 (1992)
note: beginning 12 January 1994 the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 10,260 (2000)

Telephone system: primitive system
domestic: fair system of radiotelephone communication stations
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 5 (1998)

Radios:1.67 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (1997)

Televisions:10,000 (1997)


Railways: 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

Waterways: 2,000 km navigable

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 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 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 42
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 10 (2001)


Military branches: Armed Forces (includes Ground Force, Air Force, and Gendarmerie), Republican 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: 985,094 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males : 985,094 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $31 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.9% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: demarcation of international boundaries in the vicinity of Lake Chad, the lack of which has led to border incidents in the past, is completed and awaiting ratification by Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria

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