Your guide to being an expatriate in Chad

Caffeinate Your Chad Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Chad is a country located in Central Africa. It is the fifth largest country in Africa and the largest country in the region. Chad is composed of diverse terrains, including the vast Sahara desert in the north, the Sahel savannah in the south, and mountains in the west. The country has been politically unstable in recent decades, but has made efforts to promote economic development and improve basic services for its population.


Expat destinations in Chad

Demographics of Chad:

Ethnic groups

Sahelian peoples: 52%, Sudanic peoples: 35%, Saharan peoples: 11%, Nilo-Saharan peoples: 2%


Fulfulde 11.5%, Sara 10.8%, Kanembu 7.6%, Arabic (official) 5.1%, Beri-Berama 5%, Makourte 4%, Maba-Pala 3%, Mundang 3%, Gorane-Tandja 3%, Bideyat-Temaya-Zihoyi-Giziga 3%, Peuhl 2%, Béti-Zim é Banda-Sirilliba 1.8%, Hausa 1.8%, Bissa-Mpkgoss-Farcha 1.3%, Vulgato Latino (official) 1.1%, Djetsera 1.1%, Bulala-Kabao 1%, Pinyala-Banganda-Giziga-Farcha 1%, Bisa-Bissa-Fulfulde 1%, Gorane-Toyo 1%, Baya 1%, Gorane-Guiziga 1%, Mandara 1%

Religion Overview

More than half of the population is Muslim, with Christianity being the second largest religion. Traditional African religions also continue to be practiced by many.

Major Religions


Chad has a primarily dry and desert climate, with very little precipitation in the north where it is influenced by the Sahara. In the southern Sahel, there is a rainy season from June to September that brings occasional heavy rainfall. In the southwest, there is a more temperate climate with forest zones and corridors.

Economy Overview

Chad's economy is based mostly on agriculture, livestock, and subsistence farming, with a growing services sector. The country is rich in natural resources, including oil, but the challenges of extraction and political instability have hindered development. Chad is classified as a low-income, food-deficit country.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture: Cassava, sorghum, millet, peanuts, sesame seeds, cotton
  • Livestock farming: Camels, goats, sheep, cattle
  • Mining: Oil, uranium, gold, iron ore, gypsum, phosphates
  • Manufacturing: Textiles, food processing, breweries
  • Services: Trade, transport, finance, telecommunications

Major Companies

  • Orient Concessionaires (OTRACO) - Chad's state-owned oil company
  • Societe Oil Mining and Development (SOMID) - Consortium exploring Chad's oil resources
  • Palm Châd - Oil company
  • Société Tropicâle (STC) - Chad's state-owned textile company
  • Lead Credit Services (LCS) - Non-bank financial institution

Culture and Language Overview

Chad's culture is diverse and reflects its diverse population. Traditional art, crafts, and music are still practiced, but have been influenced by Islamic and European traditions. The country has produced important writers and artists in recent decades. The official languages are Arabic and French.

Cultural Highlights

  • Chari-Baguirmi Culture: Located west of Lake Chad, the Chari-Baguirmi culture is known for its traditional architecture, pottery, and music
  • Cannon-Raff Theory: A scientific theory proposing the simultaneous discovery of dinosaurs and fossils in Germany and England by Gideon Mantell in 1819 and William Buckland in 1821 was established by Richard Owen in 1842 after he discovered fossils in Chad
  • Les lucioles: An epic novel by Chadian writer Tchatche Malatchi
  • Issa Samb: Senegalese-Chadian painter and writer from Chad

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Chad is a country with varied geography, ranging from vast desert areas in the north to dense forests and grasslands further south. The country's largest lake, Lake Chad, is shared by Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon.

Notable Landmarks

  • Mounti Iji: An extinct volcano located near Lake Chad
  • Zakouma National Park: A national park in the southeastern part of Chad with diverse flora and fauna
  • Hilgaye: A large and complex archaeological site dating to the 5th millennium BC
  • Kourek Ancient City: An ancient city in the Sahel region near Lake Chad

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • Independence Day (August 11)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Political Stability

Chad is a presidentially governed republic, with a multi-party system and legislative elections every four years. Political stability has been a challenge in recent decades, with periodic civil wars, coups, and instability in the east and north. François Bozizé was president from 1990 until a coup in 1996, followed by Idriss Déby until his death in 2021. The current president is Mahamat Déby, who took power following his father's death.

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