Chad is a landlocked independent republic which lies to the west of Sudan and forms part of the landlocked West African Region. The capital city is N’djamena. Other major towns are Sarh and Faya-Largeau.

The official language is French but in the north Arabic is widely spoken. The local currency is the CFA-franc. (US$ / CFA Franc – current exchange rate).

The Chad oil industry and mining industries are set to become key sectors in the economy of the country. Little of the country’s mineral resources have so far been tapped. However, several recent oil finds indicate that Chad possesses considerable oil potential. Although it currently produces no oil, Exxon plans to develop three fields in the country’s Doba Basin with up to 300 wells. The downstream oil industry has 3 international oil companies as well as local oil companies active in the marketing and distribution of petroleum products.

Electricity is provided by the parastatal utility Societe Tchadienne d’Electricite et d’Eau (STEE).

The agricultural industry employs the majority of the population with cotton as the country’s main export. Output is dependent on weather conditions and the security situation. The manufacturing industry in Chad is little developed and focuses on cotton processing.

The international time zone for Chad is Greenwich +1 and the international dialling code is +235. The principal airlines that fly to Chad are Air Afrique, Air France, Ethiopian Airlines and Sudan Air. All nationals except those of Germany and France require visas in order to visit Chad.

An underdeveloped infrastructure, in which there are no railways, poor roads and rivers that are not entirely navigable throughout the year, creates a serious obstacle to economic development.

Proof of a yellow fever vaccination is required upon entry into Chad. The state of health, current immunisation status, location and the local disease situation lead to the risk of contraction of cholera, hepatitis A, malaria, meningitis, schistosomiasis, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and yellow fever in Chad. A risk assessment prior to arrival in the country is recommended.

Shaun Bakamoso

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