The World Factbook (1990)/Chad


World Factbook (1990) Chad.jpg

 See regional map VII


Total area: 1,284,000 km²; land area: 1,259,200 km²

Comparative area: slightly more than three times the size of California

Land boundaries: 5,968 km total; Cameroon 1,094 km, Central African Republic 1,197 km, Libya 1,055 km, Niger 1,175 km, Nigeria 87 km, Sudan 1,360 km

Coastline: none—landlocked

Maritime claims: none—landlocked

Disputes: Libya claims and occupies a small portion of the Aozou Strip in far north; exact locations of the Chad-Niger-Nigeria and Cameroon-Chad-Nigeria tripoints in Lake Chad have not been determined since the boundary has not been demarcated, border incidents have resulted

Climate: tropical in south, desert in north

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

Natural resources: small quantities of crude oil (unexploited but exploration beginning), uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad)

Land use: 2% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 36% meadows and pastures; 11% forest and woodland; 51% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; drought and desertification adversely affecting south; subject to plagues of locusts

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


Population: 5,017,431 (July 1990), growth rate 2.1% (1990)

Birth rate: 42 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 22 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NEGL migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 136 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 38 years male, 40 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 5.3 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Chadian(s); adjective—Chadian

Ethnic divisions: some 200 distinct ethnic groups, most of whom are Muslims (Arabs, Toubou, Fulbe, Kotoko, Hausa, Kanembou, Baguirmi, Boulala, and Maba) in the north and center and non-Muslims (Sara, Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye, Moudang, Moussei, Massa) in the south; some 150,000 nonindigenous, of whom 1,000 are French

Religion: 44% Muslim, 33% Christian, 23% indigenous beliefs, animism

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

Literacy: 25.3%

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

Organized labor: about 20% of wage labor force


Long-form name: Republic of Chad

Type: republic

Capital: N'Djamena

Administrative divisions: 14 prefectures (préfectures, singular—préfecture); Batha, Biltine, Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti, Chari-Baguirmi, Guéra, Kanem, Lac, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mayo-Kébbi, Moyen-Chari, Ouaddaï, Salamat, Tandjilé

Independence: 11 August 1960 (from France)

Constitution: 22 December 1989

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

National holiday: National Day (founding of the Third Republic), 7 June (1982)

Executive branch: president, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral National Consultative Council (Conseil National Consultatif)

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President Hissein HABRÉ (since 19 June 1982)

Political parties and leaders: National Union for Independence and Revolution (UNIR) established June 1984 with Habré as President; numerous dissident groups (most significant opponents have returned to the government since mid-1986)

Suffrage: universal at age NA

Elections: President—last held 10 December 1989 (next to be held December 1996); results—President Habré was reelected without opposition

Communists: no front organizations or underground party; probably a few Communists and some sympathizers

Other political or pressure groups: NA

Member of: ACP, AfDB, CEAO, Conference of East and Central African States, EAMA, ECA, EC (associate), FAO, G-77, GATT, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, IDA, IDB—Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, ILO, IMF, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, ITU, Lake Chad Basin Commission, NAM, OAU, OCAM, OIC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Mahamat Ali ADOUM; Chancery at 2002 R Steet NW, Washington DC 20009; telephone (202) 462-4009; US—Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires, Julius WALKER; Embassy at Avenue Felix Eboue, N'Djamena (mailing address is B. P. 413, N'Djamena); telephone [235] (51) 32-69 or 35-13, 28-62, 23-29, 32-29, 30-94, 28-47

Flag: three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; similar to the flag of Andorra which has a national coat of arms featuring a quartered shield centered in the yellow band; also similar to the flag of Romania which has a national coat of arms featuring a mountain landscape centered in the yellow band; design was based on the flag of France


Overview: The climate, geographic location, and lack of infrastructure and natural resources potential make Chad one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. Its economy is slowly recovering from the ravaging effects of prolonged civil war, conflict with Libya, drought, and food shortages. In 1986 real GDP returned to its 1977 level, with cotton, the major cash crop, accounting for 43% of exports. Over 80% of the work force is employed in subsistence farming and fishing. Industry is based almost entirely on the processing of agricultural products, including cotton, sugarcane, and cattle. Chad is still highly dependent on foreign aid, with its economy in trouble and many regions suffering from shortages.

GDP: $902 million, per capita $190; real growth rate 7.0% (1988)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -3.0% (1987)

Unemployment rate: NA

Budget: revenues $61 million; expenditures $85 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1988 est.)

Exports: $432 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—cotton 43%, cattle 35%, textiles 5%, fish; partners—France, Nigeria, Cameroon

Imports: $214 million (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—machinery and transportation equipment 39%, industrial goods 20%, petroleum products 13%, foodstuffs 9%; partners—US, France

External debt: $360 million (December 1989)

Industrial production: growth rate -7.0% (1986)

Electricity: 38,000 kW capacity; 70 million kWh produced, 14 kWh per capita (1989)

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

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

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $178 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $1.2 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $28 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $71 million

Currency: Communauté Financière Africaine franc (plural—francs); 1 CFA franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Communauté Financière Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1—287.99 (January 1990), 319.01 (1989), 297.85 (1988), 300.54 (1987), 346.30 (1986), 449.26 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Highways: 31,322 km total; 32 km bituminous; 7,300 km gravel and laterite; remainder unimproved

Inland waterways: 2,000 km navigable

Civil air: 3 major transport aircraft

Airports: 71 total, 55 usable; 4 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 24 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: fair system of radiocommunication stations for intercity links; 5,000 telephones; stations—3 AM, 1 FM, limited TV service; many facilities are inoperative; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Air Force, paramilitary Gendarmerie, Presidential Guard

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,163,312; 603,923 fit for military service; 50,255 reach military age (20) annually

Defense expenditures: 3.5% of GDP (1987)