Several decades of civil war have prevented
Chad from developing economically. However, the deepest
causes of poverty are ancient: geographical isolation
and a desert climate with recurring drought. The civil
wars and the refugee streams have made the situation
worse. In the 1990s, large oil deposits were discovered
in the Doba region in the south. During the first years
of the 2000s, the oil provided Chad with new income
after a long-term dependence on cotton cultivation and
Much of all economic activity in Chad takes place
outside the official economy through agriculture for
self-catering, street trading and smuggling to
Major imports by Chad, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
Since Idriss Déby took power in 1990, the state's
budget deficit increased and the external debt grew. The
International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for cuts in the
public sector in exchange for loans. In 1994, the CFA
franc (currency in 14 Central and West African
countries) was devalued, leading to increased exports,
government revenues growing and growth accelerating.
High prices of cotton were also favored. Privatization
of state-owned companies also generated revenue,
although sales in sectors such as cotton, energy and
telecommunications were delayed.
Between 1990 and 2001, Chad's gross domestic product
(GDP) grew an average of just over 3 percent per year.
Increased oil recovery led to GDP growth of just over 8
per cent in 2002, close to 15 percent in 2003 and a
full 33 percent in 2004 before it slowed down and
stopped at 0.2 percent in 2006. That year oil
production fell, but in return agriculture went ahead.
After several weak years, growth accelerated again in
2010 by just over 4 percent. However, almost all growth
occurred in sectors other than oil.
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including TCD which represents the country of Chad.
Although foreign oil companies make the most of their
profits - Chad gets only 12.5 percent - oil is still the
country's most important export product, followed by
livestock and cotton. In 2010, oil accounted for about
90 percent of export earnings. Thanks to the oil, Chad
now has a surplus in commodity trade abroad, but in the
current account (trade in both goods and services) there
is still a deficit due to the high transport costs that
The deficits are covered by loans and assistance from
abroad. France is the largest donor, but even Libya,
Germany, the US and the EU have donated significant
sums. During certain periods, the economy has only been
started with external assistance.
The World Bank was involved in the development of the
Chadian oil industry and, in conjunction with it, set
rules for how Chad should use its oil revenues: 80
percent of the proceeds would go to education, health
care, rural development, infrastructure and water supply
and 10 percent to a fund. intended for future
generations. 5 percent of the oil money would be
invested in development projects in the Doba region
where the oil is extracted.
At the end of 2005, however, Parliament decided to
use funds from the Oil Fund to solve urgent financial
problems caused by the war against East rebels (see
Current Policy). The World Bank responded by freezing
the loans to Chad. The government then threatened to
stop oil recovery. Finally, a compromise was reached
which meant that 70 percent of all oil income,
including taxes, should go to poverty reduction. At the
same time, the Future Fund was abolished.
The settlement with the World Bank was a prerequisite
for Chad's future debt cancellation in accordance with
the IMF and the World Bank's program for the world's
poorest and most debt-burdened countries (HIPC). In
September 2008, however, the World Bank suspended its
support for the oil sector in Chad, citing the
government's use of oil revenues for the wrong things.
Shortcomings in economic policy, with, among other
things, resource-consuming investments in infrastructure
projects, have led to Chad not yet fulfilling the
requirements for debt write-offs according to HIPC.
Foreign debt at the end of 2010 amounted to just over $
Public procurement has been characterized by a lack
of transparency and laced with suspicions of corruption.
They have also led to a large budget deficit, in 2010 of
almost 13 percent of GDP.
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 730 (2018)
US $ 11,303 million (2018)
2.6 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
44.8 percent (2018)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
3.0 percent (2016)
The service sector's share of GDP
37.6 percent (2018)
3.0 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
48.3 percent (2018)
US $ 3 139 million (2017)
Central African Franc
US $ 135 million (1994)
US $ 212 million (1994)
- US $ 38 million (1994)
Commodity trade's share of GDP
43 percent (2018)
Main export goods
oil, livestock, cotton
Largest trading partner
USA, France, Cameroon, China