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Republic of Chad

République du Tchad
جمهورية تشاد
Ǧumhūriyyat Tšād
Coat of arms of Chad
Coat of arms
Motto: "Unité, Travail, Progrès"  (French)
"Unity, Work, Progress"
Anthem: "La Tchadienne"
The Chadian Hymn
Location of Chad
and largest city
Official languages French
Ethnic groups
Sara 27.7%
Arab 12.3%
Mayo-Kebbi 11.5%
Kanem-Bornou 9%
Ouaddai 8.7%
Hadjarai 6.7%
Tandjile 6.5%
Gorane 6.3%
Fitri-Batha 4.7%
other 6.4%
unknown 0.3%
Demonym(s) Chadian
Government Presidential republic
• President
Idriss Déby
Albert Pahimi Padacké
• from France
August 11, 1960
• Total
1,284,000 km2 (496,000 sq mi) (21st)
• Water (%)
• 2009 estimate
10,329,208 (74th)
• 1993 census
• Density
8.0/km2 (20.7/sq mi) (212th)
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
• Total
$18.261 billion (123rd)
• Per capita
$1,743 (150th)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
• Total
$9.535 billion (130th)
• Per capita
$910 (151st)
HDI (2011) Increase 0.328
low · 183rd
Currency Central African CFA franc (XAF)
Time zone UTC+1 (WAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (Not observed)
Calling code 235
ISO 3166 code TD
Internet TLD .td

Chad (French: Tchad; Arabic: تشاد, officially called Republic of Chad), is a landlocked country in Central Africa. The capital is N'Djamena. (A capital is the city where the government is.) It was owned by the French until 1960. It suffers from poverty, illness, drought, and armed conflicts. In 2011, the population of Chad was 11,525,000.

Arabic and French are the official languages. Islam and Christianity are the most widely practiced religions.


Chari River
View of Chari River

Chad is the world's 21st-largest country. It is slightly smaller than Peru and slightly larger than South Africa. To the north is Libya, to the south is the Central African Republic, to the east is Sudan, and to the west are Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger.

The country's capital is 1,060 kilometres (660 mi) from the nearest seaport Douala, Cameroon. Due to this distance from the sea and the country's largely desert climate, Chad is sometimes called the "Dead Heart of Africa".

Lake Chad is the largest wetland in Chad and the second largest in Africa. Lake Chad was 330,000 square kilometres (130,000 sq mi) 7000 years ago. Now it is 17,806 square kilometres (6,875 sq mi). Chad's highest peak is the Emi Koussi in the Sahara.

The region's tall grasses and large amount of marshes make it good for birds, reptiles, and large mammals. Chad's major rivers are the Chari and Logone.


Chad regions map-numbered 2008-02
Regions of Chad

Since February 2008, Chad is divided into 22 regions. Before it was divided into 14 prefectures.

The regions are:

  1. Batha
  2. Chari-Baguirmi
  3. Hadjer-Lamis
  4. Wadi Fira
  5. Bahr el Gazel
  6. Borkou
  7. Ennedi
  8. Guéra
  9. Kanem
  10. Lac
  11. Logone Occidental
  1. Logone Oriental
  2. Mandoul
  3. Mayo-Kebbi Est
  4. Mayo-Kebbi Ouest
  5. Moyen-Chari
  6. Ouaddaï
  7. Salamat
  8. Sila
  9. Tandjilé
  10. Tibesti
  11. N'Djamena


The largest cities in Chad are:

  1. N'Djamena - 704,200
  2. Moundou - 136,900
  3. Sarh - 100,100
  4. Abéché - 72,500
  5. Kélo - 41,500
  6. Koumra - 35,400
  7. Pala - 34,600
  8. Am Timan - 28,200
  9. Bongor - 27,100
  10. Mongo - 27,100


Chad's official languages are Arabic and French, but over 100 languages and dialects are spoken. Due to the important role of Arab traders and merchants, Chadian Arabic has become a lingua franca, a language for all to use.


Attending primary school is required in Chad. Still only about 50% of children attend school. Adult literacy is only 35%.

The University of N'Djamena provides higher education.

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