[Country map of Chad]



Location: Central Africa, south of Libya

Map references: Africa

total area: 1.284 million sq km
land area: 1,259,200 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than three times the size of California

Land boundaries: total 5,968 km, 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

International disputes: the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in February 1994 that the 100,000 sq km Aozou Strip between Chad and Libya belongs to Chad; Libya has withdrawn some of its forces in response to the ICJ ruling, but still maintains an airfield in the disputed area; demarcation of international boundaries in Lake Chad,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

Climate: tropical in south, desert in north

Terrain: broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south

Natural resources: petroleum (unexploited but exploration under way), uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad)

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 36%
forest and woodland: 11%
other: 51%

Irrigated land: 100 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification
natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping

Note: landlocked; Lake Chad is the most significant water body in the Sahel


Population: 5,586,505 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (female 1,198,619; male 1,267,470)
15-64 years: 54% (female 1,563,678; male 1,456,481)
65 years and over: 2% (female 71,971; male 28,286) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.18% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 42.05 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 20.26 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 129.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 41.19 years
male: 40.04 years
female: 42.38 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.33 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Chadian(s)
adjective: Chadian

Ethnic divisions:
north and center: Muslims (Arabs, Toubou, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Kanembou, Baguirmi, Boulala, Zaghawa, and Maba)
south: 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, animism 25%

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

Literacy: age 15 and over has the ability to read and write in French and Arabic (1990 est.)
total population: 30%
male: 42%
female: 18%

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


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

Digraph: CD

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

Independence: 11 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day 11 August (1960)

Constitution: 22 December 1989 (suspended 3 December 1990); Provisional National Charter 1 March 1991 is in effect (note - the constitutional commission, which was drafting a new constitution to submit to transitional parliament for ratification in April 1994, failed to do so but expects to submit a new draft to the parliament before the end of April 1995)

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

Suffrage: universal at age NA

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Idriss DEBY, since 4 December 1990 (after seizing power on 3 December 1990 - transitional government's mandate expires April 1996)
head of government: Prime Minister Djimasta KOIBLA (since 9 April 1995)
cabinet: Council of State; appointed by the president on recommendation of the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Consultative Council (Conceil National Consultatif): elections, formerly scheduled for April 1995, were postponed by mutual agreement of the parties concerned until some time prior to April 1996; elections last held 8 July 1990; the National Consultative Council was disbanded 3 December 1990 and replaced by the Provisional Council of the Republic having 30 members appointed by President DEBY on 8 March 1991; this, in turn, was replaced by a 57-member Higher Transitional Council (Conseil Superieur de Transition) elected by a specially convened Sovereign National Conference on 6 April 1993

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), former dissident group, Idriss DEBY, chairman
note: President DEBY, who promised political pluralism, a new constitution, and free elections by April 1994, subsequently twice postponed these initiatives, first until April 1995 and again until sometime before April 1996; there are numerous dissident groups and at least 45 opposition political parties

Other political or pressure groups: NA


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mahamat Saleh AHMAT
chancery: 2002 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 462-4009
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1937

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Laurence E. POPE II
embassy: Avenue Felix Eboue, N'Djamena
mailing address: B. P. 413, N'Djamena
telephone: [235] (51) 62 18, (51) 40 09, (51) 47 59
FAX: [235] (51) 33 72

Flag: 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


Overview: 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, conflict with Libya, 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. More than 80% 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 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 favorable price increases for cotton - the primary source of foreign exchange - the corrupt and enfeebled government bureaucracy continues to dampen economic enterprise by neglecting payments to domestic suppliers and public sector salaries. Oil production in the Lake Chad area remains a distant prospect and the subsistence-driven economy probably will continue to limp along in the near term.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $2.8 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: 3.5% (1993 est.)

National product per capita: $530 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -4.1% (1992)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $120 million
expenditures: $363 million, including capital expenditures of $104 million (1992 est.)

Exports: $190 million (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities: cotton 48%, cattle 35%, textiles 5%, fish
partners: France, Nigeria, Cameroon

Imports: $261 million (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities: machinery and transportation equipment 39%, industrial goods 20%, petroleum products 13%, foodstuffs 9%; note - excludes military equipment
partners: US, France, Nigeria, Cameroon

External debt: $492 million (December 1990 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 2.7% (1992 est.); accounts for nearly 15% of GDP

capacity: 40,000 kW
production: 80 million kWh
consumption per capita: 13 kWh (1993)

Industries: cotton textile mills, slaughterhouses, brewery, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes

Agriculture: accounts for about 45% of GDP; largely subsistence farming; cotton most important cash crop; food crops include sorghum, millet, peanuts, rice, potatoes, manioc; livestock - cattle, sheep, goats, camels; self-sufficient in food in years of adequate rainfall

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $198 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $1.5 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $28 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $80 million

Currency: 1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine Francs (CFAF) per US$1 - 529.43 (January 1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993), 264.69 (1992), 282.11 (1991), 272.26 (1990)
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


Railroads: 0 km

total: 31,322 km
paved: bituminous 263 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone 7,069 km; earth 23,990 km

Inland waterways: 2,000 km navigable

Ports: none

total: 66
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 23
with unpaved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 17
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 21


Telephone system: NA telephones; primitive system
local: NA
intercity: fair system of radio communication stations for intercity links
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 6, FM 1, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: NA; note - limited TV service; many facilties are inoperative
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Armed Forces (includes Ground Force, Air Force, and Gendarmerie), Republican Guard, Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,307,210; males fit for military service 679,640; males reach military age (20) annually 54,945 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $74 million, 11.1% of GDP (1994)