7 facts you didn’t know about Chad

Officially the Republic of Chad, this desert filled country has several regions; a desert zone in the north, the arid Sahelian belt in the centre and the fertile Sudanian Savanna in the South. 

With a population of 15 million people – 22.4 per cent of it being urban – Chad is the world’s 22nd-largest country.

Referred to as the “Dead Heart of Africa”, Chad is surrounded by Libya to the North, Sudan to the East; Niger, Nigerian and Cameroon to the West and the Central African Republic to the South. Its capital city, N’Djamena, is the largest city and currently the most expensive city to live in Africa.

The official languages spoken in Chad are French and Arabic. Among many other interesting facts about Chad, Its President General Idriss Déby Itno has been the President of Chad since December 2, 1990.

Here are more interesting facts about Chad:

1. Chad is named after its most popular lake, Lake Chad.

Lake Chad used to be the seventh largest lake in the world and the fourth largest in Africa. However, due to advanced desertification and low rainfall, it has shrunk to less than 10% of its former size and volume. Lake Chad is however the largest lake in the Chad Basin. Lake Chad is a freshwater lake that touches base with Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger.

2. Crude oil is its economic driver

Photo: Economic times

After cotton brought significant wealth to the nation, its main economic driver has been crude oil. Found in 2003, the first pipeline runs through Cameroon, connecting the Doba Basin to the port of Kribi. It produces 94,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

3. Chad is the 5th largest country in Africa

Ounianga lakes, Chad

Chad is the fifth largest country in Africa. The first four largest countries are: Algeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Libya, respectively. Chad is also the largest landlocked country in Africa.

With a land area of 1, 259, 200 square kilometres, Chad is the world’s 22nd largest country by land area. It is smaller than Peru and larger than South Africa.

4. The Dead Heart of Africa

Chad is sometimes referred to as the “Dead Heart of Africa” because majority of the country’s area is categorized as desert. The Saharan desert region covers approximately the northern third of Chad.

Ounianga Serir, Northern Chad, photo by Isa Boutriau6

5. Has an untapped gold and uranium reserve

Despite the country’s predicament, Chad is blessed with gold and uranium reserves. With inadequate attention given to the sector, these resources remain untapped. Chad was recently ranked bottom in the world for the ease of doing business by the International Finance Corporation and this could make it difficult for the country to fully utilise its resources.

6. Its staple food are grains

Grains are a staple food for Chadians. This includes millet, sorghum, and millet, which is used to prepare one of its main dishes, Boule – a thick grain porridge. The northern part generally grows maize while the southern areas consume millet.

7. Its national symbol is a goat and lion

The goat and lion are the main national symbols of Chad. Adopted in 1970, the goat on the left of the country’s coat of arms represents the northern part of the nation, while the southern part is represented by the lion. The wavy lines on the shield are representative of Lake Chad, and the sun rising over it represents a new beginning. At the bottom of the shield is the medal for the National Order of Chad

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