Republic of Chad
République du Tchad
CAPITAL: N'Djamena (formerly Fort-Lamy)
FLAG: The flag is a tricolor of blue, yellow, and red vertical stripes.
ANTHEM: La Tchadienne begins "Peuple Tchadien, debout et à l'ouvrage!" ("People of Chad, stand up and set to work!").
MONETARY UNIT: The Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA Fr), which was originally pegged to the French franc, has been pegged to the euro since January 1999 with a rate of 655.957 CFA francs to 1 euro. The CFA franc is issued in coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 CFA francs and notes of 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 CFA francs. CFA Fr1 = $0.00194 (or $1 = CFA Fr516.5) as of 2005.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; National Holiday, 11 January; Labor Day, 1 May; African Independence Day, 25 May; Independence Day, 11 August; Assumption, 15 August; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Proclamation of the Republic, 28 November; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', Milad an-Nabi, Easter Monday, Ascension, and Pentecost Monday.
TIME: 1 pm = noon GMT.
A landlocked country situated in northern Central Africa, the Republic of Chad has an area of 1,284,000 sq km (495,755 sq mi), extending 1,765 km (1,097 mi) n–s and 1,030 km (640 mi) e–w. Comparatively, the area occupied by Chad is slightly more than three times the size of the state of California. It is bounded on the north by Libya, on the e by the Sudan, on the s by the Central African Republic, on the sw by Cameroon, and on the w by Nigeria and Niger, with a total boundary length of 5,968 km (3,708 mi).
The Aozou Strip of Chad, an area along the northern border of about 114,000 sq km (about 44,000 sq mi), was occupied and annexed by Libya in 1973. In February 1994, the International Court of Justice rejected Libya's claim to the territory. Armed clashes broke out in 1983 with Nigeria over several islands in Lake Chad that had emerged as the water level fell.
Chad's capital city, N'Djamena, is located in the southwestern part of the country.
The country's most marked feature is Lake Chad, which is situated at the foot of a gently sloping plain, is surrounded by vast marshes and is fed chiefly by the Chari and Logone rivers. The surface area of the lake varies from about 9,842 to 25,641 sq km (3,800–9,900 sq mi). From this low point of 230 m (750 ft) above sea level, the land rises to a maximum of 3,415 m (11,204 ft) at Emi Koussi, an extinct volcanic peak in the Tibesti Mountains of northern Chad. The center of the country is primarily a shallow bowl known as the Bodélé Depression.
The three chief climatic zones are the Saharan, with a wide range of temperatures between day and night; the Sahelian, a semidesert; and the Sudanic, with relatively moderate temperatures. Extreme temperatures range from -12° to 50°c (10°–122°f); at N'Djamena the average daily maximums and minimums are 42°c (108°f) and 28°c (73°f) in April and 33°c (91°f) and 14°c (57°f) in December. The rains last from April (in the south) or July (farther north) through October. Average annual rainfall is about 76 cm (30 in) at N'Djamena. In the far south, it is as much as 122 cm (48 in), but at Faya-Largeau in the north, it averages only 2.5 cm (1 in). A severe drought affected two-thirds of the country from 1967 through 1973 and again in the early 1980s, especially 1984.
Animal and plant life correspond to the three climatic zones. In the Saharan region, the only flora is the date-palm groves of the oases. Palms and acacia trees grow in the Sahelian region. The southern, or Sudanic, zone consists of broad grasslands or prairies suitable for grazing. Elephants, lions, buffalo, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, giraffes, antelopes, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, snakes, and a variety of birds are found in the savanna country. As of 2002, there were at least 134 species of mammals, 141 species of birds, and over 1,600 species of plants throughout the country.
With two national parks, five game reserves, and two Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, about 9% of Chad's natural areas are protected. The chief environmental problem is increasing desertification after a decade marked by below-normal rainfall and periodic droughts. Warring factions in Chad have damaged the environment and hampered the efforts of the government to address environmental problems for 25 years. Locust swarms periodically cause crop damage. The availability of fresh water is also a major problem. Safe drinking water is available to 40% of urban dwellers and 32% of the rural population. About 82% of the nation's renewable water resources are used for farming activity.
According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the number of threatened species included 12 types of mammals, 5 species of birds, 1 type of reptile, and 15 species of plants. Endangered species in Chad include the black rhinoceros, Dallon's gerbil, and African wild ass. The Sahara oryx, also called the scimitarhorned oryx, is extinct in the wild. Elephant herds were reported greatly decimated in the 1970s.
The population of Chad in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 9,657,000, which placed it at number 82 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 48% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 98 males for every 100 females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 2005–2010 was expected to be 2.7%, a rate the government viewed as satisfactory. The projected population for the year 2025 was 16,979,000. The population density overall was 7 per sq km (19 per sq mi), but almost half of the area is desert, and almost half the population lives in the southwestern 10% of Chad.
The UN estimated that 24% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 4.71%. The capital city, N'Djamena, had a population of 797,000 in that year. Other cities and their estimated populations include Sahr (formerly Fort-Archambault), 193,800; Abéché, 187,900; and Moundou, 127,500.
At least 200,000 Chadians fled the country during the civil war in 1979–81, mostly to Cameroon and Nigeria. About 150,000 returned in 1982. In 1983, up to 200,000 of the estimated 700,000 Chadians in Nigeria were expelled as part of a general expulsion of foreigners. Beginning in 1983, tens of thousands of Chadians fled from Libyan-controlled northern Chad and other areas of the country. The government of Chad reported that more than 152,000 Chadians returned home between November 1985, when a general amnesty was proclaimed, and the end of June 1987. As of 1995, there were 42,900 Chadian refuges in Cameroon; 21,500 in the Central African Republic; 2,000 in Niger; and 1,300 in Nigeria. A total of some 10,500 Chadian refugees were repatriated from the Central African Republic between April 1995 and September 1997, and from Niger between December 1997 and January 1999. The Chadian government, in agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), decided to facilitate the repatriation of another 55,000 Chadian refugees between 1999 and the end of 2000.
As of 2004, there were 260,064 asylum seekers, refugees, and others of concern to UNCHR living in Chad, of which 52,663were refugees. Of the total migrant population, 88% were living in camps. In 2004, 39,261 Chadian refugees were in Cameroon and 5,023 were in Sudan. In that same year, countries of asylum for Chadians were Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and France. The net migration rate for 2005 was estimated as 0.11 per 1,000 population. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.
The basic population of Chad derives from indigenous African groups, whose composition has been altered over the course of years through successive invasions from the Arabic north. The present population is a mixture of at least 200 ethnic groups.
The population can be broadly divided between those who follow the Islamic faith and the peoples of the south, by which is meant the five southernmost prefectures. The Arab invaders brought Islam, perhaps as early as the 8th century, and today their descendants form a relatively homogeneous group, localized in the regions of Chari Baguirmi and Ouaddai, but mostly seminomadic. Muslim indigenous groups include Arabs, Toubou, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Kanembou, Baguirmi, Boulala, Zaghawa, and Maba. Some indigenous groups, such as the Salamat and the Taundjor, were largely Arabized by intermarriage over the years. Other Muslim peoples include the Fulani, the great sheep and goatherders of Chad.
Among the non-Muslim indigenous peoples, the most important (and the largest single group in Chad) are the Sara, about 30% of the population. They live in the valleys of the Chari and Logone rivers and are farmers of considerable skill. Others include the Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye, Moundang, Moussei, and Massa.
There are about 150,00 nonindigenous inhabitants, of whom about 1,000 are French.
More than 120 languages and dialects are spoken by the different ethnic groups, but Arabic is commonly spoken in the north and Sara and Sango languages in the south. French and Arabic are the official languages.
As of 2004, about 54% of the people are Muslims, 33% are Christians, and the remainder are followers of indigenous religions or no religion. Most of the people of northern Chad are Muslims. Islam, brought both from Sudan and from northern Nigeria, spread through the area around Lake Chad long before the coming of Europeans. Protestant and Catholic missionaries have been in the territory only in this century. A majority of the nation's Muslims are of the mystical Tidjani sect (also known as Sufism). Some indigenous religious elements are also incorporated into this Muslim practice. About 5–10% of the nation's Muslims are considered fundamentalists. Most of the people of southern Chad are Christian, with a majority of Roman Catholics. Protestants tend to be affiliated with evangelical groups. Followers of two minority religions, the Baha'i and Jehovah's Witnesses, also have small communities in the country. Some people of the south, particularly those living in the valleys of the Chari and Logone rivers, follow African traditional religions. There are also small communities of Baha' is and Jehovah's Witnesses.
The constitution provides for freedom of religion, but this right has been restricted by the government in some situations. For instance, the Islamic group Faid al-Djariahas has been banned because of religious customs that are considered to be non-Islamic. In 2002, the Catholic Church was formally admonished by the government for its sponsorship of a training program for election observers. The Minister of Territorial Administration claimed that the church was taking on the role of a political party, thus promoting an illegal combination of religion and politics. All religious organizations must be registered with the Department of Religious Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior. Though there is no state religion, a majority of the senior government officials are Muslim. Certain Muslim and Christian holidays are officially observed.
Chad suffers from poor transportation both within the country and to outside markets; its economic development depends on the expansion of transport facilities. During the rainy season, the roads become impassable and the economy slows down almost to a standstill. There are no railways.
In 2002 there were an estimated 33,400 km (20,754 mi) of roads, of which only 450 km (280 mi) were paved. In 1992 there were about 8,720 passenger cars and 12,350 commercial vehicles in use, including trucks and buses. The main export routes are to the Nigerian railhead of Maiduguri and the Cameroonian railhead of Ngaoundéré. A bridge across the Chari, linking N'Djamena to Kousséri, Cameroon, was completed in 1985. In the same year, a us$19.2 million loan for road rehabilitation was provided by the IDA.
Most rivers flow but intermittently. On the Chari, between N'Djamena and Lake Chad, transportation is possible all year round. In September and October, the Logone is navigable between N'Djamena and Moundou, and the Shari between N'Djamena and Sarh. Total waterways cover 4,800 km (3,000 mi), of which 2,000 km (1,250 mi) are navigable all year.
Chad had an estimated 50 airports in 2004, only 7 of which had paved runways as of 2005. Air Tchad (60% state owned) provides internal service to 12 locations but suffers from lack of fuel and equipment. The international airport at N'Djamena was damaged in fighting in 1981, but is now served by several international carriers including Air Afrique, which is partly owned by Chad. Another major airport, developed as a military staging area, is located at Sarh. In 2003, scheduled airlines in Chad carried about 46,000 passengers on domestic and international flights.
Fine prehistoric rock engravings and paintings can be found in northern Chad, dating from between 5000–2000 bc. In 2002, an international research team announced the discovery of the fossil remains of the earliest hominid on record. The six specimens, collected in Chad in 2001–2002 are the oldest hominid evidence, and are dated as between six and seven million years old.
As early as the 8th century ad, Arabs (Berbers) entered from the north and their records tell of the existence of great African empires—Kanem, Bornu, Baguirmi, and Ouaddai—between the 9th and 16th centuries. By the end of the 19th century, many small states south of Lake Chad became vassals of the northern sultanates, which conducted a flourishing slave trade.
Europeans began exploration of Chad in the 19th century. Chad was explored in part in 1822 by Dixon Denham and Hugh Clapperton, two British travelers. More detailed explorations were carried out by Heinrich Barth (1853) and Gustav Nachtigal (1870–71). In the decade after 1890, French expeditions gradually expanded French control of the lands to the south and east of Lake Chad. Completed conquest of the territory was achieved by 1913. The borders of Chad as they presently stand were secured by conventions between France and Germany (1894) and France and the United Kingdom (1898). In 1910, Gabon, Middle Congo, and Ubangi-Shari (which included Chad) were constituted administratively as colonies; together they formed French Equatorial Africa. Chad was separated in 1916 and became a colony in 1920.
On 26 August 1940, during World War II, French officials in Chad rallied to the Free French standard, making Chad the first colony to do so. N'Djamena, formerly Fort-Lamy, was an important Allied air base on the route to the Middle East, and from there Col. Philippe Leclerc's troops departed to fight in the North African campaign. After 1945, Chad became one of the territories of French Equatorial Africa in the French Union, and in the referendum of 28 September 1958 the territory of Chad voted to become an autonomous republic within the French Community. On 26 November 1958, the territorial assembly became a constituent assembly and proclaimed the autonomous Republic of Chad. On 11 August 1960, Chad achieved full independence, with François (later Ngarta) Tombalbaye as head of state and prime minister. On 4 April 1962, a new constitution was proclaimed, and a new government formed with Tombalbaye as president.
By 1965 power had been consolidated, and Chad was a one party state. In 1965 there was full-scale rebellion in the Muslim north country, largely the result of Muslim resentment toward the Christian- and animist-oriented government in N'Djamena. Prominent in the rebellion was the National Liberation Front (Front de Libération Nationale—FROLINAT). In late 1968, President Tombalbaye requested and received the aid of French troops in combating the rebels. French troops were officially withdrawn from Chad in 1972 although technical advisers remained. In 1973, Libya, a major source of covert aid for the rebels, occupied and annexed the Aozou Strip in northern Chad.
On 13 April 1975, Tombalbaye's 15-year rule ended with an army coup and his assassination. Gen. Félix Malloum became the new president. Like his predecessor, Malloum was a Southerner whose rule was opposed by the Muslim north. In 1976, however, a faction led by Hissène Habré split with FROLINAT and eventually formed the Armed Forces of the North (Forces Armées du Nord—FAN). Goukouni Oueddei, a powerful leader from the north, with Libyan support, emerged as head of FROLINAT, but a FROLINAT advance south was stopped by additional French troops in 1978. In a government shuffle, Malloum named Habré prime minister in 1978, but the two broke in early 1979 as antagonism between Muslims and Southerners intensified. After Habré's FAN party seized control of the capital, Malloum resigned as president on 23 March 1979 and fled the country. In April Habré became defense minister and Oueddei interior minister in a coalition government, which in August was reconstituted with Oueddei as president. In November it became the interim Government of National Unity, representing 11 armed factions, with Oueddei remaining as president and Habré as minister of defense.
Fighting between FAN and government forces broke out in March 1980, and Habré was dismissed from the cabinet in April. France withdrew its forces from Chad in May, and the FAN occupied Faya-Largeau in June, as well as holding part of N'Djamena. By October, Libya had intervened on Oueddei's behalf, and, in December, an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 Libyan troops completed the conquest of Chad by occupying N'Djamena. Habré's forces fled to eastern Chad and the Sudan.
Libya's action and proposed union with Chad angered other African leaders and France; Oueddei himself may have become alarmed at the growth of Libyan influence. At Oueddei's request, Libyan troops withdrew in November 1981 and were replaced by a 3,600-man OAU peacekeeping force. These troops did nothing, however, to halt the FAN's subsequent advance from the east. On 7 June 1982, Habré's forces occupied the capital, and Oueddei fled to Algeria. Habré declared himself president of Chad on 19 October 1982.
By early 1983, Habré's dictatorial regime had extended its control to southern Chad, but was meeting increasing difficulties in the north. Ousted president Oueddei formed a rival government and, with a rebel army of about 3,000, captured the northern town of Faya-Largeau on 10 August 1983, with the support of Libyan aircraft and artillery. Although Habré's regime was characterized by widespread atrocities, France and the United States supported his quest for power, seeing him as a bulwark against Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi. As of early 1984, Chad was effectively partitioned, with a chain of French military posts stretching across the center of the country. To the south, the Habré regime was consolidating its position. France subsequently moved its defensive line 100 km (60 mi) to the north. Northern Chad, however, remained under the control of Libya and Oueddei's rebel forces, and there were growing fears that Libya was moving to annex the area.
A November 1984 agreement between France and Libya called for both countries to withdraw their forces from Chad, but although France complied, Libya reneged. French troops returned in 1985 to help repulse an enemy offensive. On 8 August, Aozou, and with it the entire disputed strip, fell to Chad, but a Libyan counteroffensive recaptured the settlement on 28 August. However, after a damaging Chadian raid on an air base within Libyan territory on 5 September, Libya agreed to a cease-fire, effective 11 September. During 1987 fighting, Chad captured us$500 million to us$1 billion worth of Libyan military equipment, most of it intact. US-supplied Stinger missiles allowed Habré's forces to neutralize Libya's air force. In 1987 Libya withdrew, and Hissène Habré was officially recognized as president of the whole of Chad.
The struggle for Chad took another twist in November 1990. After a three-week campaign by guerrillas loyal to an ex-army commander, Idriss Déby, Habré's dictatorship fell. Déby was supported by Libya and Sudan, but he also was backed by the United States, France, and Nigeria. A French force of 1,200 assisted Déby against pro-Habré rebels, who were eventually put down in 1993.
In May 1992, Déby appointed a new prime minister, Joseph Yodoyman, who formed a new cabinet that included several opposition figures. A democratization process was agreed upon, parties were legalized and, by the end of 1992, 28 parties had registered. In April 1992, Yodoyman stepped down. He died in November.
A Sovereign National Conference that lasted from January to April 1993 brought together a diverse group of government, economic, military, and special interest representatives. It confirmed Déby as Chief of State, established a new transitional government, elected 57 counselors to a Higher Transitional Council (a quasilegislative body), and adopted the Transitional Charter, an interim constitution. This government was given a one-year mandate. Late in 1993, a technical commission of jurists was constituted, which began work on a new constitution, an electoral code, and a charter for political parties. In April 1994 Déby's mandate was extended by 12 months, and the work of the jurists was continued. Elections were scheduled for April 1995 but were postponed. The Transitional Council submitted a proposed constitution in 1994 calling for a directly elected president, a bicameral legislature, and a constitutional court.
Chad's long-standing territorial dispute with Libya over the Aozou Strip was taken up by the International Court of Justice in June 1993. On 3 February 1994, the Court rejected Libya's claim to Chadian territory. Libyan withdrawal was slow, but was fully completed by May 1994. French forces remained in the area despite Libyan protests. In December 1994 the government announced an amnesty for exiled opposition politicians and for political prisoners, excluding Habré. Opposition activity expanded afterwards, but Déby was accused of sponsoring harassment despite the amnesty. Opposition forces coalesced early in 1995, to form the Political Parties Concentration (CPP), which, joining with Western nations—notably France—began calling for changes in the administration of the Transitional Council. In March, ignoring such demands, the Transitional Council expanded its mandate to govern the country and removed the sitting prime minister. In August, the chairman of the Transitional Council resigned amid allegations of fiscal mismanagement. Later that month, the Council sponsored raids of opposition parties, and the government briefly detained a prominent opposition leader. Elections and the required constitutional referendum continued to be postponed.
In March 1996 the government signed a cease-fire agreement with 13 opposition parties for the constitutional referendum and following elections to take place. The agreement was brokered by Gabon in Franceville, with assistance from the Central African Republic and Niger. Though an election timetable was established and proceeded, numerous opposition groups, and particularly those who wished a federal governmental system rather than a unitary one, urged a boycott of the referendum polling. Despite these calls and opposition in the southern part of the country, 63.5% of the voters on 31 March 1996 agreed to adoption of the constitution.
The presidential elections could then proceed. The first round of voting took place on 2 June 1996 with Déby garnering 43.8% of the votes. The second round, held on 3 July was contested between Déby and Wadal Abdelkader Kamagoué, representing the URD (Union pour le renouveau et la démocratie), who had taken 12.4% of the voters in the first round. Déby was inaugurated as president on 8 August.
Legislative elections, though delayed again, took place in January and February 1997, with 658 candidates representing 49 political parties in polling for 125 national assembly seats.
Much of Déby's presidency since his 1996 inauguration has been engagement in negotiations or armed conflict with continuing dissident groups in the northern and southern regions of the country. Due to the desire to see the oil reserves from the Doba oil fields brought into production, his government has been particularly eager to bring a cessation to hostilities in the south, with mixed results. Outbreaks of violence continued to be reported in both the northern and southern regions, and in 1998, Youssouf Togoimi left the government and his position as Defense Minister to form the MDJT (Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad), and organized an armed rebellion against the government.
The Chadian security forces continue to be charged with human rights violations by various internal and international rights organizations. In October 1996 Amnesty International also accused France of participating in these violations in Chad. Despite various disagreements over the years, France continues to see maintenance of an armed force in Chad as essential to securing its strategic position as a border state of Libya and Sudan. Déby's government also continues to be accused of harassing the opposition, including detentions, prosecutions, and jail terms. Chadian forces have taken part in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic in 1998 and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from September of that year.
In January 1998 Déby's government stated its intention of requesting extradition of Hissène Habré from Senegal in order to prosecute him for human rights abuses and embezzlement of government funds. In a separate approach toward Habré, the Chadian Truth Commission, which spent 15 months studying charges against the former president, has pressed for his criminal trial in Senegal, where he has lived in exile since his ouster in 1990. They are joined by several international human rights organizations. The Commission, in a 1992 report, estimated that Habré's forces killed 40,000 Chadians, most of the deaths being attributed to his National Security Service. Habré was indicted in 2000 on charges of torture and crimes against humanity, and placed under house arrest under the 1984 UN Convention Against Torture. However, in March 2001, Senegal ruled it did not have jurisdiction to try Habré in Senegal on torture charges during his tenure in power in Chad. On 18 August 2005, at the urge of Human Rights Watch, Prime Minister Pascal Yoadimnadji announced in a letter that all remaining Habré-era officials accused of human rights violations and still holding key government positions would be released from service of the Chadian government while awaiting trial.
On 20 May 2001, Déby won reelection as president with 63% of the vote in an election determined by credible sources to have been marked by fraud and vote-rigging. Six of the candidates opposing Déby were detained for questioning by the police, but were released within an hour. Although results from 25% of the polling stations were cancelled due to irregularities, Déby's reelection was confirmed and he was sworn in August for a second five-year term. During the campaign, Déby promoted a us$3.5 billion development project from southern Chad to the coast of Cameroon. Supported by an international consortium of companies with the ExxonMobil affiliate EssoChad serving as the primary operator. The Chad/Cameroon Development Project was the largest development project in the history of Chad; as many as 11,000 workers developed the Doba oil fields of southern Chad, and built a 1070-kilometer pipeline to transport the oil from land-locked Chad to the coast of Cameroon. Of the total investment, us$2 billion of this was invested in Chad. Planned for a 25-year production phase, Chad began to export oil extracted from the Doba Basin in late 2003, adding an estimated us$100 million to government revenues, an increase of approximately 40%. An estimated one billion barrels existed in oil reserves. The World Bank estimates that government income could increase annual government revenue from a minimum of us$80 million to us$100 million; Chad expects to receive between us$2.5 billion and us$5 billion in direct revenues from royalties, taxes, and dividends, depending on the price of oil over the Chadian oilfield's production period. Despite the increase in oil revenue, 80% of the population relies on agriculture and subsistance farming, herding, and fishing. Although the government committed 80% of its future oil revenues on health, education, rural development, infrastructure, environment, and water, according to the World Bank, the government of Chad distributed us$67.7 million from oil revenues during 2004 for the priority poverty-reduction sectors, us$4.2 million for the oil production region, and us$12.7 million for the general budget.
In the first half of 2005, Chad netted us$102.5 million in net revenues. Chad estimated its direct oil revenues for the whole year would reach us$225 million.
In November 2001, relations between Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) broke down when the CAR army chief of staff, François Bozizé, fled to Chad after being accused of involvement in a failed coup attempt. Chad and the CAR accused each other of supporting dissidents in cross-border attacks. CAR President Ange-Félix Patassé claimed Chad was looking to annex part of the CAR's oil-rich north, as, according to Patassé, 85% of the rebels occupying the north and center of the country were Chadians. In March 2003, rebels overthrew President Ange-Félix Patassé, and approximately 400 Chadian troops were sent to help stabilize the situation and back the newly self-declared president, General Bozizé. The relations between the new CAR government and Chad have significantly warmed.
In January 2002, the Chadian government and Togoimi's MDJT reached a peace agreement, brokered by Libya. The accord provided for an immediate cease-fire, an amnesty for prisoners held by both sides, the integration of rebels into the national army, and government jobs for MDJT leaders. However, in May, fighting between the two forces broke out in the far north of the country, and 64 were killed. As of early 2003, skirmishing between government forces and the MDJT continued.
In January 2003, the government signed a peace agreement with the National Resistance Army (ANR), a rebel group operating in eastern Chad, near the border with Sudan and the Central African Republic. The accord provided for an immediate ceasefire and an amnesty for prisoners. The following December, a new peace agreement was signed with the northern rebels. Fighting between rebel groups, militias, and the government in the neighboring Darfur region of Sudan has driven upwards of 180,000 refugees into eastern Chad, as well as sparking clashes between these militias and Chad's military. Tensions also remained high along the Central African Republic and Libyan borders, especially due to increased CAR refugees, amounting to 52,000, from clashes between Central African rebels and the CAR.
Although Chad is peaceful in contrast to its neighbors, much of the money initially earned on the pipeline was reportedly used to buy arms, and the influx of refugees as well as the nearby political instability has contributed to the unease. Although the Chadian government attempted to broker a peace accord between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebels in April 2004, the Chadian army itself clashed with the Janjaweed militia, and the conciliatory attitude the Chadian government has taken with the Sudanese government is thought to be partly responsible for the 2004 uprising in the capital.
Drought, locusts, and a cholera epidemic in western Chad, in addition to the influx in primarily women and children refugees, have also led to the general dissatisfaction of the 9.2 million people. Human rights criticism continued, fueled by such incidents as the imprisonment of a parliamentarian, and the brief censure of media organizations.
According to the constitution of 1962, Chad was an indivisible, secular, democratic, and social republic with a president and National Assembly. One-party rule was established and presidential elections were held on 15 June 1969, the first by universal suffrage. An official announcement on 16 June stated that President Tombalbaye, being the only candidate, had been reelected for a further seven years by 93% of the voters.
The National Assembly was dissolved after the coup of 13 April 1975 that ousted Tombalbaye. A provisional constitution, which came into force 16 August 1975, was abolished on 23 March 1979, when President Malloum fled. In October 1982, a National Consultative Council was formed with two representatives from each prefecture and two from N'Djamena. This body was to draft a new constitution by 1990, but it was replaced in the Déby coup on 1 December 1990.
The three-month-long national conference in early 1993 established a new transitional government with a 57-member higher transitional council (elected by the 254 conference delegates) and a transitional charter.
Work on a new draft constitution began near the end of 1993, and a provisional document was drafted and made public in 1994. The constitution, approved in a March 1996 referendum, mandates a directly elected president serving a five-year term, a bicameral legislature, and a constitutional court. The 1996 presidential election under this constitution returned Idriss Déby to the presidency, and 1997 legislative elections brought an absolute majority to Déby's MPS party, with three opposition parties sharing the remaining 62 seats. Déby was reelected in May 2001, and his MPS party won an overwhelming majority in the 21 April 2002 elections for the National Assembly. Elections for the National Assembly were scheduled for April 2006. Although the 1996 constitution provides for a bicameral legislative branch, only the National Assembly functions, as the Senate has not yet been created. Senate members are to serve six-year terms, with one-third of representatives renewable every two years. Members of the National Assembly are elected for four-year terms in 25 single-member and 34 multi-member constituencies (155 seats total). In May, 2004, after an uprising in the capital that the president claimed was intended to overthrow him, the National Assembly approved a constitutional amendment that ended the two-term limit on the presidency, allowing Déby to run for a third term in 2006, which he won. Pascal Yoadimnadji was appointed prime minister on 3 February 2005.
Prior to independence, Chad was split politically. The Northerners, predominantly Muslim, were supporters of the Party of African Reunion (Parti de Regroupement Africain). The non-Muslim southern farmers were supporters of the Chad Progressive Party (Parti Progressiste Tchadien—PPT). In 1958, the Legislative Assembly of Chad was controlled by PPT members, who had a majority of 42 of the 65 seats. In the election of 31 May 1959, the PPT obtained 57 seats in the new Assembly, and François (later Ngarta) Tombalbaye of the PPT became prime minister. In February 1960, four smaller parties joined forces to form the opposition African National Party (Parti National Africain—PNA). In 1962, the PNA was dissolved, and Chad became a one-party state. In 1973, the name of the PPT was changed to the National Movement for Cultural and Social Revolution (Mouvement Nationale pour la Révolution Culturelle et Sociale—MNRCS). Following the 1975 coup, the MNRCS was banned, and the National Assembly was dissolved. As a consequence, all formal political activity ceased.
In 1984, Habré established the National Union for Independence and Revolution (Union Nationale pour l'Indépendence et la Révolution—UNIR), with a 14-member Executive Bureau headed by himself and an 80-member Central Committee. After the Déby coup, his Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) took over. Parties were legalized in 1992, and eventually 28 registered with the authorities. These parties have continued to evolve, unite, disband, and reform.
The 1996 constitution provides for many political parties, with approximately 60 involved politically or culturally. In the 2002 elections, seven major parties were represented in the National Assembly. The Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) had 110 assembly seats, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP); 12, Federation Action for the Republic; (FAR) 9, National Rally for Development and Progress; 5, Union for Renewal and Democracy (URD); 5, National Union for Democracy and Renewal (UNDR); 3, with the remaining 11 seats spread over a variety of other parties.
Chad is divided into 28 departments and 98 sub-prefectures, in addition to the city of N'Djamena. In many areas, the traditional chief still retains power as the head of his people.
Since the 1990 coup, the structure and functioning of the judicial system has been seriously disrupted. Because of the breakdown of law and order, as well as interference by the government and the military, the judiciary was unable to handle criminal cases. Many magistrates went on strike in 1993 to protest difficult working conditions and nonpayment of salaries.
Traditionally, the legal system was based on a combination of French civil law and Chadian customary law. The judicial system consisted of four criminal courts, four magistrate courts, four labor tribunals, 14 district courts (in major cities), 36 justices of the peace (in larger townships), and a court of appeal (the Appellate Court of N'Djamena). A Supreme Court was inaugurated in 1963 and abolished in 1975. A Court of State Security was established in 1976. Courts-martial, instituted early in the Déby regime to try security personnel, no longer operate and the remaining military magistrates sit as civilian judges on the N'Djamena Court of Appeals. In most rural areas where there is no access to these formal judicial institutions, sultans and chiefs preside over customary courts. Their decisions may be appealed to ordinary courts.
Under the transitional charter, the Appellate Court of N'Djamena was charged with responsibility for constitutional review as well as review of decisions of lower courts and criminal convictions involving potential sentences of over 20 years.
The 1996 constitution guarantees an independent judiciary. Though a Supreme Court has been created and a functioning judicial system exists, it is clear that there continues to be significant interference in its independence, as the president names most judicial officials. The Supreme Court consists of one chief justice, appointed by the president, and 15 councilors chosen by both the president and National Assembly, all lifetime appointments. A Constitutional Council made up of nine judges elected to nineyear terms has the power to review legislation, treaties, and international agreements prior to their adoption. In local contexts, customary and traditional law is recognized to the extent it does not interfere with national law or public order.
In 2000, the chief justice of the Supreme Court demoted two Supreme Court justices, reportedly because they made a decision which adversely affected the interests of the chief justice. A Superior Council of Magistrates is to act as a guarantor of judicial independence, and in 2001, sanctioned several justices for malfeasance.
In 2005, Chad's armed forces totaled 30,350 active personnel, with 25,000 in the Army, 350 in the Air Force, and the remainder in the Republican Guard. The gendarmerie and other paramilitary forces totaled about 4,500. The Army's equipment included 60 main battle tanks, over 174 reconnaissance vehicles, 29 armored personnel carriers and 5 pieces of artillery. The Air Force had two combat capable aircraft that were also used as training aircraft. About 950 French troops were based in Chad. The defense budget in 2005 totaled $57.4 million.
Chad was admitted to UN membership on 20 September 1960 and is a member of ECA and several nonregional specialized agencies. It is also a member of the African Development Bank, the ACP Group, the Central African States Development Bank (BDEAC), the Monetary and Economic Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), G-77, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the African Union. Chad joined the WTO 19 October 1996. The nation is part of the Franc Zone and the Community of Sahel and Saharan States (CENSAD). Chad is part of the Nonaligned Movement and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Chad, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Niger, and Nigeria are members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, formed in 1964. Chad is also active in the Interstate Commission for the Fight Against the Drought in the Sahel. In other environmental cooperation efforts, Chad is part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Ramsar, CITES, the Montréal Protocol, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the UN Conventions on Climate Change and Desertification.
Water-resource limitations are the critical factor influencing the Chadian economy. Much of the country is desert suitable only for very limited agriculture and livestock production, while the remainder is threatened by periodic drought. Petroleum and natron are the principal mineral resources. Key industry is centered on cotton processing. Periodic civil war has compounded Chad's chronic negative trade imbalance. It was estimated that the Chadian GDP grew by approximately 0.6% during 2000 and was forecast to grow considerably after oil from the Chad-Cameroon pipeline was expected to begin flowing in 2004.
Services was Chad's primary sector, accounting for 37.7% of GDP in 2005, but agriculture employs the majority of Chadians. Approximately 80% of the population engages in farming and livestock, accounting for 23.7% of the GDP in 2005. Sorghum, millet, and groundnuts are the principal food crops, while cassava, rice, dates, maize, and wheat augment domestic consumption. While most groundnut production is consumed locally or turned into oil, Chadian groundnuts also make their way to Central African markets. Chad also has a successful sugar production agroindustry. Cotton is a principal export commodity, but the sector suffered considerably from a variety of ills. The 75% state-owned cotton company was reorganized in 1986, but a steady decline in international prices for cotton reduced foreign exchange earnings in the late 1980s. Cotton's share of total exports fell from 80% in 1990 to 40% in 1999.
Livestock production accounted for 12% of exports in 2000. Much of the industry is conducted following seasonal rain patterns and, as a result of the extended drought, is increasingly centered in the south.
In January 1994 France suddenly devalued the CFA franc, causing its value to drop in half overnight. Immediately, prices for almost all imported goods soared, including prices for food and essential drugs, like those to combat malaria. The devaluation, long expected in the investment community, was designed to encourage new investment, particularly in the oil sector, and discourage the use of hard currency reserves to buy products that could be grown domestically. In 1999, an American-led group (Exxon, Shell, and Elf) planned to produce 150,000 to 250,000 barrels of oil per day from fields in the Doba region in the south of Chad, from reserves estimated at one billion barrels. Smaller oil reserves north of Lake Chad were slated to be used by the government for power generation.
The rate of growth of the GDP has been impressive in previous years, jumping from 9.9% in 2001 and 2002, to 11.3% in 2003, and 29.7% in 2004; in 2005 it was expected to fall back to 6.0%. This impressive economic expansion can be attributed to the newly established oil exploitations in southern Chad. The inflation rate also registered a dramatic evolution, dropping from 12.4% in 2001, to -5.3% in 2004. However, a deflated currency poses problems to Chad's export economy and its competitiveness on world markets. In addition, Chad suffers from its landlocked position and high energy costs, and continues to be dependent on foreign aid for most private and public sector investment projects.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Chad's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $18.3 billion. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $1,900. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 14%. The average inflation rate in 2005 was 5.5%. It was estimated that in 2005 agriculture accounted for 23.7% of GDP, industry 38.6%, and services 37.7%.
Foreign aid receipts amounted to $247 million or about $29 per capita and accounted for approximately 10.6% of the gross national income (GNI).
The World Bank reports that in 2003 household consumption in Chad totaled $1.350 billion or about $158 per capita based on a GDP of $2.6 billion, measured in current dollars rather than PPP. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the period 1990 to 2003 household consumption grew at an average annual rate of 2.4%. It was estimated that in 2001 about 80% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.
Over 80% of all Chadian workers are involved in subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, or fishing. There is no data on the size of the nation's workforce or on its unemployment rate.
Although workers (except those in the armed forces) can form or join unions, authorization must be granted by the ministry of the interior. The right of collective bargaining is protected under the law, but the government can intervene under certain circumstances. The right to strike is also protected but in the public sector is limited by a decree that requires minimum services to be maintained. Over 90% of employees in the formal economy were unionized, excluding herders and subsistance cultivators.
Child labor in Chad is a problem. Although minors under the age of 18 are prohibited from working under circumstances that would impair the health, safety, or morals of a child, the means to enforce the law were lacking from the government. About one fifth of all children between the ages of 6 and 18 worked in the informal economy in urban areas. Children were also employed throughout the country in the agricultural and herding sectors, as well as manual laborers, street vendors, and helpers in small shops in the country's urban centers.
The minimum wage of $51 per month in 2005 was insufficient to support a worker and family. Most employment is limited to 39 hours per week, with overtime for additional hours. Agricultural workers are limited to an average of 46 hours per week. All workers are entitled to a consecutive 48 hours of rest each week. Although there are occcupational safety and health standards, these are rarely followed in the private sector and are nonexistent in the civil service.
Only 2.6% of Chad's land is cultivated. Agriculture engaged 80% of the active population in 2005, and accounted for 23.7% of GDP. Prolonged periodic droughts and civil war and political instability have cut agricultural production and necessitated food relief. Because of drought, annual cereal production can widely fluctuate. Chad's cereal yield during 2002–04 was 713 kg per person, up from 659 kg per person during 1992–94.
Since the 1960s, cotton crops have accounted for a high percentage of Chad's export earnings. Cotton growing began about 1929 and spread gradually throughout southern Chad. Production was 84,500 tons in 2004, still far below the high of 174,062 tons in 1975–76. Production is dominated by the parastatal Coton-Tchad, which regulates output, operates the ginneries and cottonseed-oil works, and markets and exports both cotton and cottonseed. Chad's medium staple cotton is sold to 20 different countries; Germany, Portugal, and Japan are the principal customers. Although most cotton is exported, factories in Chad produce cottonseed oil for domestic consumption.
Production of peanuts has rapidly increased since the early 1990s, rising from an annual average of 164,000 tons during 1989–91 to an estimated 450,000 tons in 2004. Millet is the basic foodstuff (except in the Lake Chad area, where corn is the main cereal). Production of millet totaled 430,000 tons in 2004. Rice production was about 109,000 tons in 2004; corn production amounted to 120,000 tons that year. Other products, with 2004 production figures, include cassava, 325,000 tons; yams, 230,000 tons; and sweet potatoes, 64,000 tons. Sugarcane production on a French managed irrigated estate of about 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) on the Shari River yielded 366,000 tons in 2004.
About 36% of the total land area of Chad is given over to pastureland. In 2004 there were about 2.57 million sheep, 5.72 million goats, and 6.4 million head of cattle; more than 1.5 million cattle died during the 1984–85 drought. In 2004 there were about 735,000 camels, 388,000 asses, 273,000 horses, and 5,200,000 chickens. Actual totals may have been considerably higher because herders are reluctant to declare the extent of their herds and flocks, because all full-grown animals are subject to taxation.
Live cattle, sheep, and goats are exported, with considerable smuggling, to Nigeria. Also important are exports of meat, hides, and skins. In 2004, about 125,000 tons of meat were produced. Livestock is Chad's second most important export, after cotton.
Fish, either fresh or dried, forms an important element in the diet of the people living in the major valleys. The catch from the Chari and Logone rivers and the Chad Basin was approximately 70,000 tons in 2003. Production is far below potential.
Chad has wooded areas covering more than 25% of its land area but no real forests. The only exportable forest product is gum arabic, the yield of which has averaged 300 to 400 tons a year. Roundwood removals were estimated at 7 million cu m (247 million cu ft) in 2003, 89% for fuel. Acacia trees were extensively planted in 1978.
The mineral industry was poised to become a significant segment of Chad's economy as the Doba Basin petroleum project got under way. Exportation of crude oil began in 2004. Nonfuel mineral production in 2004 included: gold (150 kg); aggregate, sand and stone (300,000 metric tons); natron or soda ash (12,000 metric tons); and salt (9,000 metric tons) The country's undeveloped mineral resources included bauxite, columbium (niobium)-tantalum, diatomite, graphite, kaolin, quartz, soapstone, tin, thorium, tungsten, and uranium. There were also occurrences reported of chromite, copper, diamond, iron, lead, nickel, titanium, and zinc. The government actively encouraged foreign investment in the development of domestic hydrocarbons, but Chad's landlocked geography and lack of infrastructure and water remained impediments to development.
Although Chad lacks coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric sources, the country does have crude oil reserves that as of 1 January 2004, have been placed at 900 million barrels, with production in 2003 at 36,000 barrels per day. Continental Oil Co., in association with Shell Oil, struck oil in the Kanem area, north of Lake Chad, in 1978, and wells briefly produced 1,500 barrels a day (about 80% of national consumption) before fighting disrupted the operation in 1980. An Exxon-led consortium drilled eight wells in the south during 1985–86. In 1988, interest in the region renewed, and in November 1996 Exxon and the government of Chad signed an agreement outlining the development of oil reserves in the Doba basin. In July 2003 the first oil began to be pumped following the completion of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, which was built with the aid of a $93 million loan from the World Bank. A second project to develop oil fields in the Sedigi Basin (with reserves put at 150 million barrels) has been delayed. The problem arose after it was found that the pipeline to carry oil from the Sedigi Basin to a refinery and power plant in the capital of N'Djamena was of such poor quality that it could not be used.
All of Chad's power plants are thermal. The two at N'Djamena provide most of the national output. As of 2002, only around 2% of the households in Chad had access to electricity and the majority of the country's population must rely upon wood for fuel. Production of electricity rose from about 31 million kWh in 1968 to 92 million kWh in 2000, and 101 million kWh in 2002, all generated by fossil fuels. In 2002, consumption of electricity in Chad totaled 94 million kWh. Installed capacity in 2002 was 29,000 kW.
The industrial sector accounted for about 38.6% of GDP in 2005. Because it lacks power and adequate transportation, Chad is industrially one of the least developed countries in Africa. Cotton processing is the largest activity. Cottonseed oil is processed at Sarh and Moundou. Coton-Tchad, the state-owned company that produces and exports cotton, is the country's main manufacturing concern, and many of its subsidiary operations (including oil and soap) were being privatized in 2002.
Other enterprises include several modern slaughterhouses, a flour mill complex, a sugar refinery, and textile plants. There are also rice and peanut oil mills, a brewery, a soft-drink plant, a soap factory, and a cigarette factory. Factories at N'Djamena also produce bicycles and mopeds, radios, and perfume.
The construction sector was growing in 2002, with investment in roads and schools, among other public works projects. There was interest in building a cement factory in the Mayo Kebbi region in 2002, and plans to produce detergent and establish assembly plants for agricultural equipment. If electrical costs could be reduced, light industry could be further developed.
Oil exploration in Chad began in the 1970s in the northern Lake Chad Basin and the Doba Basin in southern Chad. Chad's full hydrocarbon potential has yet to be fully determined. The Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline, with estimated production at 225,000 barrels per day, was completed in 2003. There were plans in 2002 to build a refinery in N'Djamena, to make Chad self-sufficient in oil products. The development of Chad's petroleum sector is aimed in part at raising electricity output, which is crucial to Chadian industry. Only 2% of households in Chad are supplied with electricity.
The share of the industry in the GDP has dramatically increased to 35.6% in 2004, and was largely due to investment in the oil industry; agriculture accounted for 22.6% of the GDP, but was by far the largest employer; services came in first with a 41.7% share of the economy.
N'Djamena has an institute for cotton research, founded in 1939. The University of N'Djamena, founded in 1971, has faculties of sciences and of medicine and health. In 1987–97, science and engineering students accounted for 14% of college and university enrollments. There is a national telecommunications school in Sarh. Most research in Chad is dependent on foreign scientists and technicians; however, many foreign personnel were evacuated during the fighting of the early 1980s.
As of 2002, more than 80% of the population was employed in agriculture, either in subsistence farming, herding or fishing. Most local produce is sold directly to consumers or to intermediaries and barter is common. Company agents and intermediaries buy export crops at local markets or directly from the producers for sale to large companies. Distribution is largely unstructured, except for a few international and local companies. Most sell through retail points. A large portion of produce is transported by animals and carts, but trucks operate as well.
The country's domestic economy continues to rely heavily on foreign investment from the European Union for both private and public sector concerns. Business hours are 7:30 am 3:30 pm, Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 am to 1:00 pm, on Friday. Commercial hours are generally from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm. Offices are closed Friday afternoons during Muslim prayer time and on Sundays.
Cotton is Chad's primary export, making the economy's trade balance vulnerable to fluctuations in world cotton prices and the rising competition of synthetic materials. In 2000, exports totaled $172 million, and imports amounted to $223 million. Cotton accounted for 50% of exports that year, with cattle exports contributing 35%. Exports of textiles and fish products accounted for most of the remaining 15%. Leading imports in 1998 were machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs, and textiles.
In 2004, exports reached $365 million (FOB—free on board), while imports grew to $501 million (FOB). The bulk of exports went to the United States (67.8%), China (21.5%), Portugal (4.3%), and South Korea (1.4%). Imports mainly came from France (21.9%), Cameroon (16.1%), the United States (10.8%), Portugal (10.4%), Germany (6.4%), and Belgium (4.6%).
Normally Chad has a deficit in trade and services that is offset, or nearly offset, by foreign assistance, largely from France. France contributed over 30% of all international financial assistance to Chad between 1990 and 1996. Due to Chad's receipt of foreign aid, it was able to maintain a small budget surplus in 1998. Chad's current account deficits have ranged between 17% and 21% in recent years, figures deemed acceptable by international financial institutions for developing countries. Chad's levels of external debt have been moderate, and the country has in general met its repayment schedule.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported that in 2000 the purchasing power parity of Chad's exports was $172 million while imports totaled $223 million resulting in a trade deficit of $51 million.
|Balance on goods||-76.8|
|Balance on services||-144.6|
|Balance on income||-7.4|
|Direct investment abroad||-0.6|
|Direct investment in Chad||27.1|
|Portfolio investment assets||…|
|Portfolio investment liabilities||…|
|Other investment assets||0.6|
|Other investment liabilities||49.2|
|Net Errors and Omissions||-33.0|
|Reserves and Related Items||-5.5|
|(…) data not available or not significant.|
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that in 1994 Chad had exports of goods totaling $135 million and imports totaling $212 million. The services credit totaled $55 million and debit $199 million.
Exports of goods and services reached $2.3 billion in 2004, dramatically increasing from $547 million in 2003. Imports grew from $1.4 billion in 2003, to $1.5 billion in 2004. The impressive performance of the exports sector can be attributed to the newly established oil exploitations in southern Chad. The resource balance was consequently negative in 2003, reaching -$859 million, and positive in 2004, swelling at $759 million. The account balance was negative in both years, however, improving from -$1 billion in 2003, to -$786 million in 2004. Foreign exchange reserves (including gold) grew to $283 million in 2004, covering less than three months of imports.
As of 1999 there were six banks in Chad, including Banque de Developpement Tchadienne (BDT), Banque Tchadienne de Credits et de Depots (BTCD), Banque Meridien BIAO Tchad (BMBT, privately owned), Financial Bank Tchad, Banque Commercial du Chari (BCC), and the Banque Agricole du Soudan au Tchad (BAST). Estimated assets of Chad's banking system were about $100 million in 2002. Two major Chadian banks, BTCD and the BDT, were privatized in 1999. The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $189.2 million. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $202.7 million. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 6.5%.
There were no securities exchanges in Chad, but a financial market was planned between the member countries of the UDEAC (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo/Brazzaville, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea) to open by December 2000.
In 1986, there were three local companies and about a dozen French companies providing insurance in Chad. The domestic insurance companies operating in 1999 included Societe Mutuelle d'Assurances des Cadres (SMAC), Faugere and Jutheau (les Assureurs Conseils Tchadiens), and Star Nationale.
Customs duties are the principal revenue source. Privatization of government-owned enterprises continues under IMF restructuring plans. The government spent an estimated 20% of GDP in 1999, and has made incremental progress with structural reforms since 1995.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2005 Chad's central government took in revenues of approximately $765.2 million and had expenditures of $653.3 million. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately $111.9 million. Total external debt was $1.5 billion.
A graduated income tax is imposed on civil servants and others who are paid fixed salaries or who have sufficient income. A head tax is imposed on all other persons, the amount varying according to regional levels of prosperity. There is also a domestic turnover tax, and a corporate minimum tax. Further revenue is derived from business and professional licensing, from taxes on business transactions, real property, and profits, and from mining royalties.
In 1999, company taxes were 45% of corporate profit and 25% of rental properties income.
Customs duties, which are ad valorem, range from 5% on essential items to 30% for less essential products, in addition to an 18% value-added tax (VAT) applicable to all but the most basic goods. There is an extra tax on luxury products of 20% and automobiles had an excise tax of 51%. There are no quotas and import licenses are no longer required. Prohibited imports include live animals, arms and munitions, pornography, narcotics, illicit drugs, and explosives.
Under the investment code issued in 1987, the government officially encouraged foreign private investment on two conditions: that the enterprise benefit the local population and that local materials be processed as far as possible. The code offers full foreign ownership to companies in Chad, except in national security or strategic industries. Benefits include preferential export duties and taxes, restrictions on the import of similar competitive products, preference in financial assistance from the Development Bank of Chad, and possible exemption from the sales tax and other fees and taxes for 15 years. The present government took over by coup after years of civil war in 1990 (and subsequently has won two elections in which international observers have charged fraud and intimidation) and political turmoil, compounded by Chad's environmental difficulties, has delayed significant foreign investments.
By far the most ambitious and innovative foreign investment project underway is the $3.7 billion Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project, which entails drilling about 300 oil wells in Chad's Doha fields ($1.7 billion) and constructing a $2.2 billion, 1,070-km (670-mile) pipeline to carry the oil across Cameroon and out into the Atlantic to a floating storage and loading facility for shipment to Europe and the United States.
The Chad-Cameroon pipeline is the largest energy infrastructure project in Africa and has taken decades to bring about. Though the first discovery well in the Doha field was drilled in 1974, it was not until 1994 that Houston-based ExxonMobil determined that at least one billion barrels of oil could be extracted, making investment profitable. Four years later a complex agreement had been reached between the oil companies consisting of ExxonMobil (operator with 40% of private equity), ChevronTexaco (25% of private equity), and Petronas of Malaysia (35% of private equity), with Elf and Shell dropping out in 1999, the World Bank and other international financial institutions, and the Chad government.
The World Bank's contribution amounts to only 2.7% (including loans to Chad and Cameroon to finance their government's share in the project), but the sign of its support was essential for the participation of the other investors. The pipeline project has World Bank backing on condition that there not be environmental damage and that the revenue be put into social welfare and development projects.
The government of Chad agreed to give up some of sovereign control by having project management and expenditure overseen by an independent nine-member oversight committee, with four members from outside institutions and five representing Chad's religious, political, and community institutions. Revenues will go first to an escrow account in London, then to two commercial banks in Chad where the oversight committee is to see that 80% goes to priority areas (education, health, housing, and rural infrastructure) and 10% to a savings fund for the future, with the rest distributed according to a formula devised by the committee.
For their part, the oil companies have been obliged to make over 60 changes in the proposed pipeline route to accommodate social and environmental concerns and to offer a "Sears catalogue" of items (bicycles, sewing machines, plows, community wells) as compensation to villagers along the route. The Clinton administration put an Export-Import Bank loan guarantee of $158.1 million behind the pipeline and the Bush administration approved OPIC insurance up to $250 million for Houston-based Pride International, which is drilling oil wells for the project. The pipeline was due to begin operations in late 2004. Chad is expected to derive about $100 million a year in revenue from the sale of the oil from the three fields being developed, with a total of $2.5 billion over the estimated 28-year life of the project. Even before revenues began to flow, however, President Idriss Déby, in early 2003, dismissed the head of the oversight committee because the official opposed with the president's plans to use the revenue on such items as prisons and automobiles.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Chad in 1995 was only $7 million, or 0.6% of GDP, but from 1997 to 2000, the range was $15 million to $16 million. In 2001, FDI rose to $80 million as construction on the Chad-Cameroon pipeline got underway, eclipsing previous levels of foreign investment. Historically, Chad has depended upon FDI for over 50% of the capital in Chadian enterprises, the majority from France. Other sources of foreign investment include the United Kingdom, South Korea (gold mining), the Netherlands (MSI cellular telephone services), Egypt (Orascom cellular telephone services), Sudan (oil production and refining north of Lake Chad), and Libya (hotels and real estate investments).
The oil industry has dramatically increased the levels of capital inflows. Thus, in 2004, it is estimated that foreign direct investments grew to $537 million, or 12.5% of the GDP. US companies dominate investments in the oil sector, but France continues to lead the field in most other sectors—cotton, sugar, electricity, water, construction, transportation, and other small industries.
Foremost among governmental objectives are the expansion and improvement of the transportation and telecommunications network, the expansion and diversification of agriculture, and the attainment of food self-sufficiency. These goals were far from being met in 2003, but a steadily increasing trade balance reflects a growing economy. Petroleum reserves promise future rewards.
Net loans and grants from international financial institutions and UN organizations in 1994 totaled $109 million. Chad received a total of $238 million in economic aid in 1995, including $41 million from the World Bank, $13 million in concessional aid from the African Development Bank, and $6 million in concessional support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In 1997, Taiwan committed $125 million, and $30 million was given by the African Development Bank. Chad was $1.1 billion in debt in 2000.
In 2000, Chad negotiated a $48 million (subsequently augmented to $62 million) Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) with the IMF, which was due to expire in December 2003. In 2001, the IMF announced Chad qualified for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Chad began exporting oil in late 2003, and the country aims to use its oil revenue to alleviate poverty. CotonTchad, the cotton parastatal, was being privatized in 2002.
2003 and 2004 saw an explosive growth of the economy as a result of a booming oil sector. By 2005, this growth was expected to slow down however, as a result of diminished oil production levels, and an incapacity of the government to spend excess oil revenues on crucial public projects. Other sectors that are expected to perform well are cattle production and cotton, although predictions are more moderate for the latter. An area that poses major problems is energy production—energy prices in Chad are among the highest in the world and only a fraction of the population has access to electricity.
Social services were introduced in Chad very slowly and have been largely disrupted by warfare. Salaried workers are entitled to old age, disability, and survivorship benefits. There are no statutory benefits for sickness, but there is a 50% maternity benefit for employed women. Employed persons are covered by a work injury law that is funded by employer contributions. Family allowances are available for working parents, and there is a birth grant awarded for the first three births of the first marriage.
The position of women in Chad is a subordinate one. While property and inheritance laws do not discriminate against women, tradition and local custom favors men. Women generally receive less education than men, and do not have equal job opportunities. Rural women do most of the strenuous agricultural work in the fields, and girls are often married as young as 11 or 12. Female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation, is widespread. Domestic violence and abuse are common, and women have limited recourse. Child labor continues to be a major problem.
The government's human rights record remains poor. A pattern of arbitrary violence continues, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, beatings, and other abuse. Prison conditions are life-threatening. The government continues to hold political prisoners, and restricts freedom of speech and religion.
In 1987 Chad had 4 hospitals, 44 smaller health centers, 1 UNICEF clinic, and 239 other clinics—half under religious auspices. Many regional hospitals were damaged or destroyed in fighting, and health services barely existed in 1987. Public health care expenditures were estimated at 2.9% of GDP. As of 2004, it was estimated that there were fewer than 3 physicians, 15 nurses, and 2 midwives per 100,000 people.
All medicine, antibiotic, and vaccine imports must be authorized by the Ministry of Health. The most common diseases are schistosomiasis, leprosy, malaria, spinal meningitis, tuberculosis, and yaws, as well as malnutrition. Immunization rates in 1999 were very low for children up to one year of age: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 21%, and measles, 30%. In 2000, 27% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 29% had adequate sanitation.
Chad had a birth rate of 43 per 1,000 people in 1999. The infant mortality rate in 2005 was 93.13 per 1,000 live births. Maternal mortality has increased to one of the highest rates in Africa. Over 300 women died in childbirth or pregnancy per 100,000 live births. As of 2000, only 4% of married women (ages 15 to 49) used any form of contraception. In Chad, 60% of the women underwent female genital mutilation.
The average life expectancy in 2005 was estimated at 47.18 years. The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 4.80 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 200,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 18,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.
Forty thousand buildings and homes were destroyed during the civil war. According to the latest available figures, the total housing stock numbered 700,000, with 7.2 people per dwelling. In 2000, about 27% of the population had access to improved water systems and only 29% had access to improved sanitation systems.
The educational system is patterned on France's, and the primary language of instruction is French. Arabic is used in some schools. Private schools of an exclusively religious character (such as the catechism classes of Christian missions and the Muslim schools) receive no assistance from public funds, but the schools that conform to the officially prescribed educational programs are aided by government grants. Education is theoretically compulsory between ages 6 and 12. Primary education lasts for six years followed by either general secondary education, which lasts for another seven years, or technical and vocational secondary education, which last for six. The academic year runs from October to June.
Primary school enrollment in 2003 was estimated at about 61% of age-eligible students; 72% for boys and 49% for girls. The same year, secondary school enrollment was about 12% of age-eligible students; 17% for boys and 6% for girls. It is estimated that only about 25% of all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about 71:1 in 2000. The ratio for secondary school was about 32:1.
The University of N'Djamena (est. 1971) is the only university in the country. The university has four faculties—exact and applied sciences; law, economics, and business administration; letters, languages, and human sciences; and medicine. There is a zoological and veterinary institute at Farcha, a national communications college in Sarh, and a national college of administration in N'Djamena. In 2000, about 6,000 students were enrolled in some type of higher education program. The adult literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 25.5%, with 40.6% for men and 12.7% for women.
As of 2003, public expenditure on education was estimated at 2% of GDP.
Many of the libraries in Chad are the small private collections of research institutes in N'Djamena. The public library system includes a network of about 100 reading rooms. Among the largest are the Chadian National Institute for the Humane Sciences, with 3,200 volumes, and the Educational Documentation Center, with 3,300. Other notable libraries include the University of N'Djamena with about 12,000 volumes, the French Cultural Center in N'Djamena, with 12,000 volumes, and the United States Information Agency, also in N'Djamena, with 3,000 volumes.
The National Museum in N'Djamena was founded in 1962 and has an excellent collection on the natural history, archaeology, and ethnography of Chad. The Museum of Abéché, which was founded in 1962 and formally opened in 1984, features an ethnographical collection. Fort-Lamy houses the country's premiere historical and public affairs museum with exhibits chronicling its fight for independence.
Postal and telephone service are under the direction of the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications. There are direct telephone connections between N'Djamena and Paris and several African capitals. In 2003, there were an estimated 2 mainline telephones for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were approximately 8 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people.
The government-operated Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne and Tele-Tchad have broadcasting stations in N'Djamena that broadcast in French, Arabic, and seven African languages. Other radio stations are privately owned. In 2002, there were 2 AM and 4 FM radio stations and 1 television station. In 2003, there were an estimated 233 radios and 2 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were 1.7 personal computers for every 1,000 people and 2 of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet.
The government press agency publishes the daily news bulletin Info-Tchad (circulation about 1,500 in 1999). Other publications include the weekly N'Djamena Hehdo (1999 circulation 9,500), and the monthly Tchad Et Culture (3,500).
The Constitution and Transitional Charter ensure freedom of speech and the press, and the government is said to respect these rights. The Higher Council on Communications (mandated by the CNS) promotes free access to the media.
The Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture, and Industry at N'Djamena has branches at Sarh, Moundou, Bol, and Abéché. In rural areas, cooperatives promote the production and marketing of agricultural products. Fishermen and artisans also maintain cooperatives. Self-help tribal societies have grown rapidly, particularly in the larger towns, where members of ethnic groups act together to assist newcomers and to maintain links with those remaining in traditional areas. The Student Association of the University of Chad (AEUT) is one of the largest student organizations affiliated with the National Union of Chadian Students and Pupils (UGEST). Church youth organizations are active, as are chapters of scouting and Girl Guide organizations. Sports organizations are active as well, including chapters of the Special Olympics.
The three primary human rights groups within the country are the Chadian Association for the Promotion of Human Rights, The Association for the Promotion of Fundamental Liberties in Chad, and the Chadian Human Rights League. There are national chapters of the Red Cross Society, Caritas, and UNICEF.
Chad, a developing country, has gone through years of war and famine leaving its tourism industry very limited. Most visitors are attracted to the Zakouma National Park.
Visitors must have valid passports and visas. Visitors must check in with the National Police within 72 hours of arrival and obtain a registration stamp. Vaccination for yellow fever is recommended. There were approximately 20,960 tourist arrivals in Chad in 2003, a decrease from 2002 by 35%. This decline may be attributed to ongoing rebellion and civil unrest. The country had 802 hotel rooms with 1,274 beds in 2002.
In 2005, the US Department of State estimated the daily cost of staying in N'Djamena at $254. Daily expenses, estimated at $70 in smaller towns, were significantly lower.
Ngarta Tombalbaye (1918–75) was the first president of the independent Republic of Chad. Gen. Félix Malloum (b.1932) became chief of state after the 1975 coup, but was ousted in 1979. Goukouni Oueddei (b.1944) served (1979–82) as president and subsequently led a Libyan-backed rival government in northern Chad. Hissène Habré (b.1942), a Muslim military leader, seized the capital in 1982 and became president. Idriss Déby (b.1952) seized power in 1990 after a French-supported invasion from Sudan.
Chad has no territories or colonies.
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——. Roots of Violence: A History of War in Chad. Australia: Gordon and Breach, 1998.
Burr, Millard. Africa's Thirty Years War: Libya, Chad, and the Sudan, 1963–1993. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999.
Decalo, Samuel. Historical Dictionary of Chad. 3rd ed. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1997.
——. Historical Dictionary of Chad. [computer file] Boulder, Colo.: netLibrary, Inc., 2000.
Dun and Bradstreet's Export Guide to Chad. Parsippany, N.J.: Dun and Bradstreet, 1999.
Nolutshungu, Sam C. Limits of Anarchy: Intervention and State Formation in Chad. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996.
Zeilig, Leo and David Seddon. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Africa. Philadelphia: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2005.
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