Chad is a landlocked country situated in Central Africa and bordered by Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria. The capital city is N’Djamena. Abeche and Sarh are other major cities.
Chad gained its independence from France in 1960 and thirty years of tribal violence followed. In 1990 Idriss Déby, who enjoyed good relations with Libya and Sudan, gained power after a lengthy military offensive launched from bases in Chad and Sudan. Déby declared himself President.
President Déby began to implement multiparty democracy, a process which was hampered by civil unrest and dissension among politicians. The process gained impetus in 1992 when opposition parties were legalised. This was followed by the establishment of a transitional legislature in 1993.
1996 saw the holding of democratically contested presidential elections in which 77% of the voting population cast their ballot. President Idriss Déby won with a majority of 69%. He appointed several opposition leaders to cabinet positions. President Déby was reelected in 2001 for another non-renewable five year term.
Isolated actions threaten political stability in the country. These are usually instances of soldiers expressing their dissatisfaction with the programme of their reintegration into civilian society. Some analysts have stated that the government should speed up the disarmament process (which has been slow) in order to guarantee a lasting peace.
Chad enjoys good relations with its neighbours, especially Libya.
Chad is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Union (CEMAC), a regional organisation aiming for economic integration.
Chads economy has historically been one of the poorest in the world, but recent progress in the oil sector is likely to change this. The Chad-Cameroon pipeline was inaugurated in October 2003 and oil looks set to become the countrys main foreign currency earner. The government has undertaken efforts to ensure proper use of the oil revenue and to avoid the experience of other oil-rich countries whose people still live in poverty.
Cotton and livestock are important export products and in 2002, agriculture accounted for 35.8% of GDP. Industry and services made up 17.5% and 46.7% of GDP respectively and GDP totaled US$2 billion. Chad relies heavily on the contributions of international donors. Donors have attached conditions to aid and as a result economic reforms have been implemented and transparency has improved.
Chad attracted US$80 million worth of foreign direct investment in 2001 and there has been increased investment in the oil sector. Despite the resulting economic development, the pressures of inflation have served to negate much of the progress made.
Agriculture provides employment for 80% of the countrys labour force with most farming taking place at a subsistence level. Cotton and livestock are the two most important products both earn significant foreign revenue for the country. The effective development of the agricultural sector is hampered by harsh environmental conditions and a lack of infrastructure.
The oil sector has the potential to change the future of Chad. The Doba Oil Basin is the centre of oil-sector construction and production estimates have been set at up to 250 000 barrels a day. This should result in annual government revenues of between $80 and $100 million. Construction on the Chad-Cameroon pipeline has begun in earnest, at a cost of $3.5 billion. A consortium of oil companies and the World Bank have provided the funding for the project. An oil refinery is planned to produce refined products.
Manufacturing and processing accounted for 14% of Chads GDP in 2001. The countrys primary industries consist of cotton-ginning, textiles and sugar refining. The processing of agricultural products is a sector that has recently experienced growth.
The mining sector in Chad remains largely undeveloped although preliminary studies suggest that there is much potential. Highly prospective areas for gold, bauxite, uranium, silver and alluvial diamonds have been identified. The 1995 Mining Code regulates the industry and provides incentives for foreign investors.
The government encourages foreign investment and has implemented various reforms to improve investment conditions.
Investment opportunities have arisen in the telecommunications, cotton and power sectors. Privatisation is occurring in these sectors and foreign firms are encouraged to participate in the tender process.
The construction of the Doba oil facility has led to increased interest in the petroleum sector. The construction sector offers short term opportunities as a result of the Doba facility.
Chads legislation guarantees the right to establish and own business enterprises and protects all property rights. As a member of CEMAC and in compliance with an IMF structural adjustment programme, Chad has simplified and streamlined the customs process. Investment incentives can be negotiated within CEMAC constraints.
Limited infrastructure presents a significant obstacle to investment as do the scarcity of skilled labour and the pervasive presence of corruption. Energy is very expensive and there are recurring shortages. Another retarding factor is the absence of a stock exchange in Chad. As a result of Chads colonial history and francophone status, French companies are often granted preferred access to opportunities in the country.
Chads most important export products include cotton, cotton textiles and livestock. They export these products to countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Costa Rica, France, Portugal, Germany and Thailand.
Although Chad has largely achieved food self-sufficiency foodstuffs still constitute most of the countrys imports. Other import products include machinery and transportation equipment and industrial goods. Chad also imports petroleum products although this is expected to change in the near future as the country starts to exploit its own resources. According to the World Bank, the country spent $28 million on fuel and energy in 2000. The countries that provide these products to Chad include Nigeria, France, Cameroon and India.
Communications and Infrastructure
Chads infrastructure is very poor. There is no railway system and roads are often impassable (especially in the rainy season). The countrys landlocked situation makes the route to the sea through the Benue River in Cameroon invaluable. International donors have provided funds for the purpose of solving these infrastructure problems.
Telephones are scarce although the situation is improving. Limited Internet access and mobile coverage is available. The supply of electricity is poor and effective transmission is limited to urban areas.
Medical facilities in the country are somewhat limited although satisfactory in urban areas. There is a risk of the 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.
The HIV/Aids situation in the country has received the attention of the government and the World Bank. The World Bank has stated that the HIV/Aids infection rate is 5%. The organisation has provided funding for the country in order to carry out HIV/Aids education and treatment programmes.
Direct flights to Chad are available twice a week from Paris. Congo, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Bombay and Thailand also offer direct flights. Travel specialists advise flying when travelling domestically as it is the most reliable form of transport.
Bus services are available. The poor condition of roads in the rainy season can make buses dangerous. Visitors are advised not to travel at night as there have been instances of banditry along the roads.
Visitors require a valid visa and proof of a yellow fever vaccination. Travel in the country is regulated by the government as a result of political violence. Visitors might require an official travel authorisation, especially if wanting to travel in the northern and western regions of Chad.
The government has made improvements in the legislation governing investment. A foreign investor is allowed to establish and own an enterprise. The process of applying for a license in this regard has been shortened to a maximum of fifteen days. Property rights are guaranteed by legislation. The Ministry of Trade provides a facility for the registration of trade marks and copyrights.
The country has a number of chambers of commerce and industry and details of these can be found via our Organisation Search, as can details of relevant government departments. MBendis Company Search allows interested parties to find details of many companies in the country.
Instances of corruption have been reported in the judiciary, the procurement offices of government and in various commercial areas. Expropriation is not common but there is a clause in the Investment Code which states that property can be expropriated after five years if it has not been used or developed.
Isolated incidents of political violence do occur. These are not likely to have a direct effect on the conducting of business.
Chads economic future is largely dependant upon the exploitation of oil resources. It is expected that the Doba Oil project should be finished in 2004. The facility is expected to generate between $80 and $100 million dollars in much-needed revenue for the government.
There is no evident threat to political stability in the country. Multiparty democracy is almost in its tenth year and appears to be thriving. Some analysts have expressed concerns that regional conflicts could affect Chad.
International Finance Corporation, African Union, World Trade Organisation, Union douaniére et économique de l’Afrique centrale, Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, Economic Community of Central African States
Bolobo Field, Chad Cameroon Pipeline, Kanem Field, Kome Field, Kumia Field, Miandoum Field, Sedigi Field
|Accommodation (16):||Hotel Kempinski, Hotel La Palmeraie, Hotel Le Sahel Sarl, La Tchadienne Novotel, Tropical Hotel, Auberge la Metropole, Auberge le Boukarou, Aurora Hotel, Hotel l’Hirondelle, Hotel Le Central, La Metropole, La Palmeraie, Le Meridien Chari, Le Sahel, Novotel N’Djamena La Tchadienne|
|Attractions (18):||Abu Telfane Faunal Reserve, Aouzou Cave Paintings, Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve, Bardai Cave Paintings, Binder-Lere Faunal Reserve, Centre Artisanal, Chad National Museum, Fada Archei Faunal Reserve, Grand Marche, Lake Chad, Lake Fitri Ramsar Wetland, Manda National Park, Massaguet Pastoral Reserve, Ouadi Rime Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve, Sao-Kotoko Museum|
|Restaurants:||ShanghaiI Restaurant Chinois|