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.
Central Africa, south of Libya
petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt
Population - distribution
the population is unevenly distributed due to contrasts in climate and physical geography; the highest density is found in the southwest, particularly around Lake Chad and points south; the dry Saharan zone to the north is the least densely populated
French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects
N'DJAMENA (capital) 1.26 million (2015)
- Conventional long form
- Republic of Chad
- Conventional short form
- Local long form
- Republique du Tchad/Jumhuriyat Tshad
- Local short form
- Geographic coordinates
- 12 06 N, 15 02 E
- Time difference
- UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
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 about one-third of GDP and has attracted foreign investment mostly through telecommunications and banking.
- External debt stocks
- US$ 1,617,003,000
- Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
- Real Interest Rate
- Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
- Current Account Balance
- US$ -37,744,638
- Labor Force, Total
- Employment in Agriculture
- Employment in Industry
- Employment in Services
- Unemployment Rate
- Imports of goods and services
- US$ 3,651,511,384
- Exports of goods and services
- US$ 2,877,700,233
- Total Merchandise Trade
- FDI, net inflows
- US$ 600,219,799
- Commercial Service Exports
- US$ 23,405,782
cotton, sorghum, millet, peanuts, sesame, corn, rice, potatoes, onions, cassava (manioc, tapioca), cattle, sheep, goats, camels
oil, cotton textiles, brewing, natron (sodium carbonate), soap, cigarettes, construction materials
- oil, livestock, cotton, sesame, gum arabic, shea butter
- US 56.7%, India 16%, Japan 11% (2015)
- machinery and transportation equipment, industrial goods, foodstuffs, textiles
- France 16.5%, China 14.2%, Cameroon 11%, US 6.4%, India 6%, Belgium 5.7%, Italy 4.8% (2015)
- Country Risk Rating
- A high-risk political and economic situation and an often very difficult business environment can have a very significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is very high.
- Business Climate Rating
- The business environment is very difficult. Corporate financial information is rarely available and when available usually unreliable. The legal system makes debt collection very unpredictable. The institutional framework has very serious weaknesses. Intercompany transactions can thus be very difficult to manage in the highly risky environments rated D.
- Exploitation of new oilfields
- Development potential of agricultural sector
- Return of internal political climate more conducive to reforms
- Excessive reliance on oil
- Business climate not conducive to thriving private sector and high level of corruption
- Geographic isolation
- Worsening security conditions at both national and regional level (role of Boko Haram)
After a sharp recession in 2016, activity is expected to recover slowly in 2017. Admittedly, oil exploitation will remain dominant (one fifth of GDP) and face persistent difficulties associated with oil price weakness. Nonetheless, a moderate price increase and the exploitation of new oilfields in the south of the country, especially the one in Bongor, will help give activity a leg up. Meanwhile, growth is likely to be driven by the non-oil sector. Trade and transport (22% of GDP), still hampered by the worsening security conditions in the country and on its borders, will pick up. The agricultural sector (12% of GDP) is expected to drive growth, given the government's desire to support cotton production as a way of diversifying the economy, despite low world prices. With its five-year development plan (2016-2020), the government is demonstrating its resolve to rebalance the economy by taking full account of the country's agricultural potential. This plan also includes components designed to improve human capital, governance and social protection. However, public investment projects will continue to be constrained by weak government resources.
Finally the rising commodity prices and the disruption of trade with neighboring countries (Cameroon and Nigeria) in connection with the difficult security context will push up inflation.
The public deficit is expected to decrease in 2017. The end to 2016 election spending will relieve the burden on the public accounts. Oil tax revenues will increase thanks to revenues from the exploitation of the new oilfields, but will still not be enough to finance the economy. Fiscal assistance from the various financial donors will, moreover, continue to be a significant income item. Specifically, in November 2016, the IMF scheduled the transfer of USD 61 million under the ECF program due to end in November 2017. The budget restructuring will thus also be carried by spending cuts.
The increase in the issuance of securities on the regional market and payment arrears due to the contraction in oil revenues explain the rise in the debt in the past few years. On the other hand, Chad reached completion point under the HIPC initiative in April 2015. However, the debt cancellation related to a relatively reasonable amount of debt. Given the depreciation of the CFA franc in 2015, the HIPC initiative had only a limited impact on the debt ratios.
The current account deficit is expected to decline in 2017, but will remain high. On the one hand, the trade surplus will increase on account of the increase in exports, primarily of oil, and the relative stability in the past of the currency against the US dollar (key trading partner).
The central bank's foreign exchange reserves will remain stable, at a worrying level of less than one month of imports.
The parliamentary elections, initially planned for June 2015, were finally postponed to a later date. The presidential elections were held in April 2016 in a tense atmosphere. Idriss Déby, president since 1991, was re-elected with almost 60% of the votes cast for a fifth five-year term. The results of this poll, together with the unstable economic, social and security climate of recent years, are starting to trigger tensions between the opposition and the government.
The main risks come from the armed conflict with the terrorist Boko Haram sect. Established mainly in northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad area, Boko Haram has conducted a growing number of suicide attacks in this region since 2015. As a result, a state of emergency was declared in November 2015 in the Lake Chad region and then extended for 6 months in April 2016.
In order to eradicate its influence in the region, the military cooperation between the four countries bordering the Lake Chad region (Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad) and France remains strong. Chad is very active in fighting this terrorist group, specifically through numerous offensives during 2016. In addition, the security problems derive also from the increase in poverty associated with the loss of 90% of Lake Chad's water area in a few decades, pushing some young people to join Boko Haram. Lake Chad is a key region for the agricultural sector with fishing and the environment providing a livelihood for over 50 million people. To prevent the lake from drying out completely, an infrastructure plan is being discussed and some countries have increased their bilateral commitments, in particular France, which has committed to tripling its financial aid by 2020.
Governance remains worrying to the extent that Chad is among the countries with the most difficult business climate (183rd out of 190 countries in the World Bank's latest Doing Business Index). Corruption in Chad is also endemic.