Geography

Chad is a landlocked country in central Africa, located to the south of Libya, to the east of Niger and Nigeria, to the north of Cameroon and the Central African Republic, and to the west of Sudan. The modern borders are remnants of European colonialism; the result of negotiations between the French, English and Germans in the 1880s. But this area called Chad has a rich and relatively well-known history. The first homonid remains were found there as part of the recent "Toumaï" discovery, and it is undoubtedly one of the cradles of humanity. It has also been the seat of three large saharan kingdoms: the Kanem Bornou, the Baguirmi and the Ouaddaï.

It was a French colony from 1900 until its independence on August 11, 1960. Today, Chad has a surface area of 1.300.000 km². It is two and a half times the size of France. Its population exceeds 9 million, with a rural majority (81%) and and extremely young age demographic: half the country is less than 15 years old.

The different languages spoken in Chad include Sara (28%), Sudanese Arab (12%), Mayo Kobbi (11%), Karem Bornou (9%), and Ouaddai (9%)... The religious community is mainly Muslim (54%), Christian (35%) and animist (8%).

Chad is basically a large basin encircled by two rows of mountains and plateaus. In north, the Tibesti mountains reach a height of 11,250 feet at the Mt. Emi Koussi volcano. In the east, the sandy Ouaddaï plateau culminates at 4,300 feet. Lake Chad constitutes the lowest zone. The two main rivers are the Chari, and the Logone, both tributaries of Lake Chad.

The southern Sahara lies to the north of Chad, and is mountainous and volcanic. This Tibesti plateau, an enormous sparsely populated expanse, is well known for the transhumant breeding of livestock (cattle, sheep, and goats).

More half of the population lives in the Chari and Logone valleys. Major crops include the groundnut, millet, gum arabic and cotton. The only major resource in this landlocked country is its petroleum, thus it depends heavily on international aid and assistance.