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C H A D




 

Republic of Chad
National name: République du Tchad

President: Idriss Déby (1990)

Prime Minister: Pascal Yoadimnadji (2005)

Current government officials

Land area: 486,178 sq mi (1,259,201 sq km); total area: 495,755 sq mi (1,284,000 sq km)

Population (2006 est.): 9,944,201 (growth rate: 2.9%); birth rate: 45.7/1000; infant mortality rate: 91.5/1000; life expectancy: 47.5; density per sq mi: 20

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): N'Djamena, 609,600

Monetary unit: CFA Franc

Languages: French, Arabic (both official); Sara; more than 120 languages and dialects

Ethnicity/race: 200 distinct groups. North and center, mostly Muslim: Arabs, Gorane (Toubou, Daza, Kreda), Zaghawa, Kanembou, Ouaddai, Baguirmi, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Hausa, Boulala, and Maba. South, mostly Christian or animist: Sara (Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye), Moundang, Moussei, Massa

Religions: Islam 51%, Christian 35%, animist 7%, other 7%

Literacy rate: 48% (2003 est.)

Quick Facts
Chad (Arabic: تشاد (Tšad); French: Tchad), officially the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in central Africa. It is listed by Foreign Policy as one of the world's top 10 failed states. It borders Libya to the north, 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". In the north, it contains the Tibesti Mountains, the largest mountain chain in the Sahara desert. Chad was formerly part of the Federation of French Equatorial Africa.
 
Background
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.
 
Economy
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.