Chad’s population estimated at 12 Million, is concentrated in the southwest of the country and only 21% live in urban areas. The capital, N’djamena is located on the southeastern tip of Chari River by the Cameroonian border. French and Arabic are the official languages, with many local dialects.
There are over 110 recognised ethnic groups; the main groups being Baguirmi, Sara, Toubous, Ngambayes, Goulayes, Hadjarais, Kanembous, Zaghawas, Ouaddaï, Arab and others. It is mainly a low-lying country whit average elevation ranging between 290 and 320m above sea level.
The lowest part of the country at 120m is the bodolé depression which is situated to the southwest of Faya Largeau. Three mountain belts dissect Chad: the Ouaddaï massif to the east on the Sudaneese border (500-1000m); the Guera massif in central Chad (1.600m); and the Tibesti massif to the extreme north, where several summits exceed 3.00m (see map. Page 7).
There are three distinct climatic zones. From north to south:
Desert zone with low precipitation (between 50-250mm) and high evaporation, vegetation is restricted to cases;
Savanna zone whith rain fail ranging between 200-500mm. falling mainly during June to September
Tropical zone averaging 500-1.200mm or precipitation which mainly fall during April to September. The area a characterised by savanna, progressing to true forest in the far south.
Lake Chad is the country’s largest body of water covering some 25 000Km2, it is located on Chad’s western border close to Nigeria and Niger. Although its average depth ranges from only 4-7m, under normal precipitation conditions it has an estimated capacity of 35. 000 million m3. The size of this important Lake has considerably decreased over years due to climate changes.
The lake is fed by two permanent rivers, the Chari and its tributaries, and the Logone. These provide the lake with 95% of its total yearly recharge. The Chari 91.200km in length) and the Logone (790Km) constitute the major part of the primary hydrography network of Chad. The country’s third largest river, Batha flows into Lake Fini.
Chad’s paved highways extend for 1.300Km and the main routes connect N’Djamena to Mongo and Dandi to the north. The capital is also connected by paved roads to the southern region of the country, as well as to the port of Douala in Cameroon and to the port of Harcourt in Nigeria.
The southwest has an extensive network to dirt roads that are in very good condition. A large number of dirt roads also cover most of the southern half or the country although many are often unusable during the rainy season between June and October.
However, during this season most commodities are transported along the Chari and Logone Rivers. Navigable sections extend from N’Djamena to Saha along the Chari and to Bongor along the Logone.
Air France, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Sky, Ifriqiya, Egypt Air, Sudan airways and Turkis airlines provide regular passenger and airfreight service to Europe and other destinations from N’Djamena. The capital is also connected by air to most of the surrounding African capitals and most of Chad’s other major towns have air strips.
The African Financial Community Franc (CFA) is the common currency in the six member states of both the Monetary Union of Central Africa states (UMEAC) and the Customs and Economic Union Of Central African States.
The six members are: Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The CFA has a fixed exchange rate whit the Euro of €1=CFA 653, which is guaranteed by the French Treasury. Any foreign exchange and international capital movements must be made through the Central Bank., the post Office Administration or a chartered bank, except where prior permission has been obtained.