Chad officially known as the Republic of Chad is a landlocked country in central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the northwest, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes referred to as the "Dead Heart of Africa".

Background History

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 insurgents. 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. 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. The capital experienced a significant insurrection in early 2008, but has had no significant rebel threats since then, in part due to Chad's 2010 rapprochement with Sudan, which previously used Chadian rebels as proxies. Deby in 2011 was reelected to his fourth term in an election that international observers described as proceeding without incident. Power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority. In January 2014, Chad began a two year rotation on the UN Security Council.



Country Name:

  • conventional long form: Republic of Chad
  • conventional short form: Chad
  • local long form: Republique du Tchad/Jumhuriyat Tshad
  • local short form: Tchad/Tshad


  • name: N'Djamena
  • geographic coordinates: 12 06 N, 15 02 E
  • time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)


  • 11 August 1960 (from France)

Government Type:

  • Republic

Executive Branch:

  • chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Idriss Deby Itno (since 4 December 1990)
  • head of government: Prime Minister Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet (since 21 November 2013)
  • cabinet: Council of State; members are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister

Legislative Branch:

  • structure: unicameral National Assembly

Judicial Branch:

  • structure: Supreme Court; Constitutional Council; High Court of Justice; Court of Appeal; Criminal Courts; Magistrate Courts


People & Society


  • 11,412,107 (global rank: 77)
  • growth rate: 1.92% (global rank: 59)


  • noun: Chadian(s)
  • adjective: Chadian

Major Cities:

  • N'Djamena (capital): 1.079 million

Ethnic Groups:

  • Sara 27.7%, Arab 12.3%, Mayo-Kebbi 11.5%, Kanem-Bornou 9%, Ouaddai 8.7%, Hadjarai 6.7%, Tandjile 6.5%, Gorane 6.3%, Fitri-Batha 4.7%, other 6.4%


  • Muslim 53.1%, Catholic 20.1%, Protestant 14.2%, animist 7.3%, other 0.5%, unknown 1.7%, atheist 3.1%


  • Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French, Hassaniya

Life Expectancy at Birth:

  • total population: 49.44 years (global rank: 223)
  • male: 48.3 years
  • female: 50.63 years

Infant Mortality:

  • total population: 90.3 deaths/1,000 live births (global rank: 6)
  • male: 95.92 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 84.46 deaths/1,000 live births


  • adult prevalence rate: 2.7% (2012 est.) (global rank: 25)
  • people living with AIDS: 213,100 (2012 est.) (global rank: 28)


  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 35.4%
  • male: 45.6%
  • female: 25.4%



Oil and agriculture drive Chad’s economy. At least 80% of Chad's population relies for its livelihood on subsistence farming and livestock raising and oil provides the bulk of export revenues. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings. Remittances have also been an important source of income and Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment. Oil production came on stream in late 2003 and Chad began to export oil in 2004. Economic growth has been positive in recent years due to high oil prices and strong local harvests, but Chad’s fiscal situation is repeatedly exposed to declining oil prices and drought . Recently, the economy has been strained by the costs of repatriating Chadians fleeing the violence in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Chad's investment climate remains challenging due to limited infrastructure, a lack of trained workers, extensive government bureaucracy, and corruption.

Gross Domestic Product:

  • GDP (PPP): $28 billion (global rank: 118)
  • GDP per capita (PPP): $2,500 (global rank: 186)
  • real growth rate: 3.9% (global rank: 83)
  • composition by sector: agriculture: 46.3%, industry: 9.9%, services: 43.8%


  • currency: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale Franc (XAF)
  • exchange rate (per US Dollar): 500.7


  • population below poverty line: 80%
  • unemployment rate: NA

Agricultural Products:

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


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

Exports Commodities:

  • oil, cattle, cotton, gum arabic

Imports Commodities:

  • machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, foodstuffs, textiles






  • Central Africa, south of Libya


  • total: 1.284 million sq km (global rank: 21)
  • land: 1,259,200 sq km
  • water: 24,800 sq km
  • comparative: slightly more than three times the size of California


  • tropical in south, desert in north

Land Use:

  • arable land: 3.82%
  • permanent crops: 0.02%
  • other: 96.16%

Natural Resources:

  • petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt

Current Environmental Issues:

  • inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification


Transnational Issues

  • international disputes: since 2003, ad hoc armed militia groups and the Sudanese military have driven hundreds of thousands of Darfur residents into Chad; Chad wishes to be a helpful mediator in resolving the Darfur conflict, and in 2010 established a joint border monitoring force with Suda, which has helped to reduce cross-border banditry and violence; 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 (country of origin): 352,948 (Sudan); 110,000 (Central African Republic)
  • human trafficking: Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the trafficking problem is mainly internal and frequently involves family members entrusting children to relatives or intermediaries in return for promises of education, apprenticeships, goods, or money; child trafficking victims are subjected to involuntary domestic servitude, forced cattle herding, forced begging, involuntary agricultural labor, or commercial sexual exploitation; some Chadian girls who travel to larger towns in search of work are forced into prostitution; in 2012, Chadian children were identified in some government military training centers and among rebel groups

Published: Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chad officially known as the Republic of Chad is a landlocked country in central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the northwest, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes referred to as the "Dead Heart of Africa".