Chad Travel Information

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Facts About Chad

Background: Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of ethnic warfare as well as invasions by Libya before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually suppressed or came to terms with most political-military groups, settled a territorial dispute with Libya on terms favorable to Chad, drafted a democratic constitution, and held multiparty presidential and National Assembly elections in 1996 and 1997 respectively. In 1998 a new rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which continued to escalate throughout 2000. Despite movement toward democratic reform, power remains in the hands of a northern ethnic oligarchy.
Government type: republic
Capital: N'Djamena
Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Geography of Chad

Location: Central Africa, south of Libya
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 19 00 E
Area:
total: 1.284 million sq km
land: 1,259,200 sq km
water: 24,800 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 5,968 km
border countries: 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: 0 km (landlocked)
Climate: tropical in south, desert in north
Terrain: broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Djourab Depression 160 m
highest point: Emi Koussi 3,415 m
Natural resources: petroleum (unexploited but exploration under way), uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad)
Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 36%
forests and woodland: 26%
other: 35% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 140 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues
Environment - current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification.
Environment - international agreements:
party to: party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping
Geography - note: landlocked; Lake Chad is the most significant water body in the Sahel

More Geography

People of Chad

There are more than 200 ethnic groups in Chad. Those in the north and east are generally Muslim; most southerners are Christians or animists. Through their long religious and commercial relationships with Sudan and Egypt, many of the peoples in Chad's eastern and central regions have become more or less Arabized, speaking Arabic and engaging in many other Arab cultural practices as well. More than three-quarters of the Chadian population is rural.

Population: 9,826,419 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  47.73%
15-64 years:  49.46%
65 years and over:  2.81%
Population growth rate: 3.29% 
Birth rate: 48.28 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 15.4 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 95.06 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  50.88 years
male:  48.86 years
female:  52.98 years 
Total fertility rate: 6.56 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Chadian(s)
adjective: Chadian
Ethnic groups: Muslims, commonly referred to as "northerners" or "gorane" (Arabs, Toubou, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Kanembou, Baguirmi, Boulala, Zaghawa, and Maba); non-Muslims, commonly referred to as "southerners" (Sara, Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye, Moundang, Moussei, Massa) including nonindigenous 150,000 (of whom 1,000 are French)
note: ethnicity and regional background more commonly used to identify Chadians than religious affiliation
Religions: Muslim 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs (mostly animism) 25%
Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara and Sango (in south), more than 100 different languages and dialects
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French or Arabic
total population: 48.1%
male: 62.1%
female: 34.7% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Chad Map Economy History