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Chad

Chad lies in the central region of Africa. It borders Niger, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan, Cameroon and the Central African Republic. It gained its independence from France in 1960. Peace was only restored in this region in 1990 following three decades of civil warfare and frequent invasions by Libya. The years following independence were marked with instability as a result of the tension between the mainly Arab-Muslim north and the Black Africans and non-Muslims in the south. Chad, which is Africa’s fifth-largest nation, is a semi-desert country. Although Chad faces various health and infrastructure problems, it is working hard to improve the living conditions. Chad is rich in gold and uranium and has recently acquired its

status as an oil-exporting state. Hopefully, this wealth will boost economic growth, leading to some improvements in the living conditions of many Chadians. Chad’s capital city, N’Djamena, is becoming one of central Africa’s busiest cities. From the vibrant daily markets, to the National Museum, visitors can absorb every part of Chadian culture. Cities such as Sarh and Moundou are also attractive because of their various industries; the former has a reputation as a strong sugar-cane and cotton-growing region, and the latter is known for its Gala Brewery. Most of the people of Chad live in smaller villages in rural areas. In fact, the southern regions are more densely populated than the northern desert region. Although French and Arabic are the official languages of Chad, there are over 120 other ethnic languages that are spoken in this country.
CATEGORIES: Demographics - Quick Facts - Economy - Communications - Health Issues
Demographics
Country Flag: Chad's Flag

Three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; similar to the flag of Romania; also similar to the flags of Andorra and Moldova; design was based on the flag of France

Nationality: Chadian

Capital: N'Djamena

Population: 9,944,201 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 47.9%
  • 15-64 years: 49.3%
  • 65 years and over: 2.7% (2006 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.93% (2006 est.)

Literacy rate:

  • ages 15 and above can read and write.
  • 47.5% of the population is literate (male: 56%, female: 39.3%) (2003 est.)

Major religions: Muslim 51%, Christian 35%, animist 7%, other 7%

Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects

Quick Facts
Area:
  • total: 1.284 million sq km
  • land: 1,259,200 sq km
  • water: 24,800 sq km

Area comparative to Canadian province: slightly bigger than Ontario

Natural resources: petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt

Environmental Issues: desertification; inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution

Economy

Chad’s agricultural economy continues to improve as a result of the major foreign direct investment projects in the oil sector that started in 2000. Chad’s population, over 80%, relies greatly on subsistence farming and livestock raising. The country’s landlocked position, along with high energy costs and a history of instability hinder the economy’s development. The majority of Chad’s public and private sector investment projects rely mostly on foreign assistance and foreign capital. Chad’s discovery and exporting of oil in 2003/2004 allowed for a completion of a $4bn pipeline connecting its oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast. Commodities such as cotton, cattle, and gum Arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings.

Major industries:

  • textiles
  • oil
  • cotton
  • meatpacking
  • beer brewing
  • natron (sodium carbonate)
  • soap
  • cigarettes
  • construction materials

Agricultural products:

  • cotton
  • sorghum
  • millet
  • peanuts
  • rice
  • potatoes
  • manioc (tapioca)
  • cattle
  • sheep
  • goats
  • camels

Oil production: 225,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Railways: N/A

Road map: 33,400 km (paved: 267 km, unpaved: 33,133 km)

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc

Communications

Telephone lines in use: 13,000 (2004)

Cellular lines in use: 123,000 (2004)

Television Stations: 1 (2002)

Radio Stations: AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 5 (2002)

Internet users: 60,000 (2005)

Health Issues

HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 4.8% (2003 est.)

People living with HIV/AIDS: 200,000 (2003 est.)

More Information

For more informaiton, please visit:
https://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/cd.html