Idriss Déby


(pronounced "IH-driss DEH-bee")

"I am the president of all Chadians…any development effort is only possible in national unity."

The Republic of Chad became independent from the French Equatorial African Federation in 1960. It has a land area of 1,284,000 sq km (495,800 sq mi) and is bordered by Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Sudan. The country's official languages are Arabic and French, but more than 100 languages are spoken within the country. The largest ethno-linguistic group is the Sara peoples, accounting for about a quarter of the population. They are concentrated in the central parts of the southern river basins. Speakers of Niger-Congo languages live to the west of the Sara peoples. Saharan language speakers are concentrated in the Lake Chad region and Arabic speakers, divided among themselves by tribal rather than ethnic affiliations, predominate in the north and east. Tubu nomads reside in the Tibesti massif and Ennedi and Borkou plateaus. The country is as diverse religiously as it is linguistically with approximately 50% of the population practicing Islam, 30% Christianity, and 20% practicing traditional African religions. The population was estimated at 8,997,237 in 2002. Approximately one-fifth of the population is urban, with about one-half of these urban dwellers living in the capital of N'Djamena. Life expectancy was 51 years, with a literacy rate of 40% in 2001. The currency of Chad is the CFA franc. The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at US $1,030 (2001 estimate), and Chad's primary exports are raw cotton, cattle, and gum arabic. The country was expected to begin exporting petroleum exports in 2004. Principal trading partners are Portugal, Germany, and France.


Presidence de la Republique
Republic of Chad
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