Landlocked Chad's economic development suffers from its geographic remoteness, drought, lack of infrastructure, and political turmoil. About 85% of the population depends on agriculture, including the herding of livestock. Of Africa's Francophone countries, Chad benefited least from the 50% devaluation of their currencies in January 1994. Financial aid from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and other sources is directed largely at the improvement of agriculture, especially livestock production. Because of lack of financing, the development of oil fields near Doba, originally due to finish in 2000, was delayed until 2003. It was finally developed and is now operated by Exxon Mobil Corporation.
Economic statistics for Chad must be treated with caution. Significant trade with neighbouring countries, e.g. exports of camels and other livestock to neighbouring states, such as Libya, and imports of manufactured goods, are conducted "informally" and probably not fully recorded.
This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of Chad at market prices estimated by the International Monetary Fund with figures in millions of CFA Francs.
Current GDP per capita of Chad grew 23% in the Sixties reaching a peak growth of 80% in the Seventies. But this proved unsustainable and growth consequently scaled back to 30% in the Eighties. Finally, it shrank by 40% in the Nineties.
Mean wages were $0.68 per manhour in 2009.
Structure and sectors
In 2000, Chad's nominal GDP was estimated at just over $1.43 billion with per capita income at approximately $188. Oil production started in 2003; by 2008, oil accounted for 47 percent of GDP and oil revenues had risen to 41 percent of GDP. Economic growth has been subdued in 2007 and 2008, with a ¼ percent growth in real GDP in 2007 due to weak non-oil growth, marked by weak agricultural production, and a sharp decline in oil production owing to technical problems in several fields. Real GDP in 2008 is expected to decline by ½ percent because of a further drop in oil production and the impact of the 2008 February rebel attack on economic activity over the first half of the year. Positive growth rates are not expected until 2010. Cotton, cattle and gum arabic are Chad’s major exports. More than 80% of the work force is involved in agriculture (subsistence farming, herding, and fishing). Like many other developing countries, Chad has a small formal sector and a large, thriving informal sector. Government statistics indicate the following distribution: Agriculture—38% (farming—23%, livestock—12%, fishing—3%); industry—13%; and services—45%. Chad is highly dependent on foreign assistance. Its principal donors include the European Union, France, and the multilateral lending agencies.
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