A largely semi-desert country, Chad is rich in gold and uranium and stands to benefit from its recently-acquired status as an oil-exporting state.
Chad’s post-independence history has been marked by instability and violence, stemming mostly from tension between the mainly Arab-Muslim north and the predominantly Christian and animist south.
Chad became an oil-producing nation in 2003, with the completion of a $4bn pipeline linking its oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast.
However, Africa’s fifth-largest nation suffers from inadequate infrastructure, and internal conflict. Poverty is rife, and health and social conditions compare unfavourably with those elsewhere in the region.
- The Republic of Chad
- Capital : N’Djamena
- Population 11.8 million
- Area 1.28 million sq km (495,800 sq miles)
- Major languages French, Arabic
- Major religions Islam, Christianity
- Life expectancy 49 years (men), 52 years (women)
- Currency CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc