Subscribe now

World Mission

Chad

Basic info

  • Area: 1.284 million sq km
  • Population: 12,075,985
  • Infant mortality: 85.4 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Life expectancy: 50.6 years
  • Urbanisation: 23.1% of total population
  • Literacy: 22.3%

History

Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of civil warfare, as well as invasions by Libya, before peace was 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 insurgents. 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. In late 2015, the government imposed a state of emergency in the Lake Chad region following multiple attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram throughout the year; Boko Haram also launched several bombings in N'Djamena in mid-2015. DEBY in 2016 was reelected to his fifth term in an election that was peaceful but flawed. In December 2015, Chad completed a two-year rotation on the UN Security Council. In January 2017, DEBY completed a one-year term as President of the African Union.

Environment

The climate is tropical in the south, but desert in the north. The terrain is broad, with arid plains in the centre, desert in the north and mountains in northwest, lowlands in south.

Economy

Chad’s landlocked location results in high transportation costs for imported goods and dependence on neighboring countries. Oil and agriculture are mainstays of Chad’s economy. Oil provides about 60% of export revenues, while cotton, cattle, livestock, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings. The services sector contributes less than one-third of GDP and has attracted foreign investment mostly through telecommunications and banking. Nearly all of Chad’s fuel is provided by one domestic refinery, and unanticipated shutdowns occasionally result in shortages. The country regulates the price of domestic fuel, providing an incentive for black market sales. Although high oil prices and strong local harvests supported the economy in the past, low oil prices now stress Chad’s fiscal position and have resulted in significant government cutbacks. Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most of its public and private sector investment. Investment in Chad is difficult due to its limited infrastructure, lack of trained workers, extensive government bureaucracy, and corruption. Chad obtained a three-year extended credit facility from the IMF in 2014 and was granted debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in April 2015. In 2018, economic policy will be driven by efforts that started in 2016 to reverse the recession and to repair damage to public finances and exports. The government is implementing an emergency action plan to counterbalance the drop in oil revenue and to diversify the economy. Chad’s national development plan (NDP) cost just over $9 billion with a financing gap of $6.7 billion. The NDP emphasized the importance of private sector participation in Chad’s development, as well as the need to improve the business environment, particularly in priority sectors such as mining and agriculture. The Government of Chad reached a deal with Glencore and four other banks on the restructuring of a $1.45 billion oil-backed loan in February 2018, after a long negotiation. The new terms include an extension of the maturity to 2030 from 2022, a two-year grace period on principal repayments, and a lower interest rate of Libor plus 2% - down from Libor plus 7.5%. The original Glencore loan was to be repaid with crude oil assets, however, Chad's oil sales were hit by the downturn in the price of oil. Chad had secured a $312 million credit from the IMF in June 2017, but release of those funds hinged on restructuring the Glencore debt. Chad had already cut public spending to try to meet the terms of the IMF program, but that prompted strikes and protests in a country where nearly 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Multinational partners, such as the African Development Bank, the EU, and the World Bank are likely to continue budget support in 2018, but Chad will remain at high debt risk, given its dependence on oil revenue and pressure to spend on subsidies and security.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups(%)

Sara (Ngambaye/Sara/Madjingaye/Mbaye)

30.5

Kanembu/Bornu/Buduma

9.8

Arab

9.7

Wadai/Maba/Masalit/Mimi

7

Gorane

5.8

Masa/Musseye/Musgum

4.9

Bulala/Medogo/Kuka

3.7

Marba/Lele/Mesme

3.5

Religion

Religion(%)

Muslim

52.1

Protestant

23.9

Roman Catholic

20

none

2.8

animist

0.3

other Christian

0.2

Languages

  • 50%

    French

  • 50%

    Arabic