Economic and Political Overview

flag Chad Chad: Economic and Political Overview

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline | COVID-19 Country Response


Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

In 2022, Chad saw an economic rebound from the pandemic, with the country recording a GDP growth of 3.2%. The country should continue growing in 2023 and 2024, with rates remaining stable at 3.4%. The slight rise in oil price and the start of production at new fields should help the country continue to overcome the impact of the crisis. Gold’s prices are another factor likely to contribute to the good performance of the Chadian economy this year.

In 2022, general government balance closed at 0.8% of GDP in 2022, as the gradual removal of COVID-related spending and the increase of oil receipts boosted the government’s revenues. However, the country's account balance is expected to decrease to a deficit of 2.4% in 2023 and 4.7% in 2024. Following a large fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF has helped Chad through a facility of USD 183 million and a six months alleviation of the debt of the country. In 2022, the debt-to-GDP ratio decreased to 44.7%, and it should decrease to 38.3% in 2023 and 34.3% in 2024. As for the country's inflation rate, it increased to 4.9% in 2022, and it is expected to reach 3.1% in 2023 and remain stable at 3.1% in 2024.

While the country records a high level of schooling, Chad is still dominated by poverty and strong social inequalities. However, in the past few years, the percentage of poor people has reduced, but the crisis the country now experiences has raised the poverty rate, which reached 42% in 2022. That same year, the unemployment rate in the country was at 1.9%.

Main Indicators 202020212022 (E)2023 (E)2024 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 10.7611.8011.9111.9612.58
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -2.1-
GDP per Capita (USD) 655698684668682
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 54.155.950.443.740.1
Inflation Rate (%) 4.5-
Current Account (billions USD) -0.79-0.540.34-0.17-0.62
Current Account (in % of GDP) -7.3-4.52.8-1.4-4.9

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database , Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

Agriculture and livestock breeding are important economic activities that employ 75.1% of the population - most of them are engaged in subsistence farming. Overall, the primary sector accounts for 54% of Chad’s GDP (World Bank). Main crops grown are sorghum, millet, and berebere, with minor production of cotton, sugarcane and peanut. A vast part of Chad’s landscape is a desert landscape, and the country’s most fertile croplands (the areas with an average annual rainfall of 800 millimetres or more) are in the Soudanian, which accounts for about 10% of the total land area. In 2022, the agricultural sector showed signs of recovery following a deterioration of harvests and an increase in food prices felt throughout the sector during the previous year.

The industrial sector contributes 10.9% of GDP and employs 1.9% of the active workforce. The petroleum sector dominates the economic activity – accounting for about 60% of export revenues - and attracts the bulk of foreign direct investments. Processing of cotton and cottonseed oil are other major industries. In an effort to diversify the economy and make it less dependent on global oil prices, the government of Chad has launched its national development plan (PND). However, high costs of energy and transport prevents the emergence of a robust industrial sector in the country.

The services sector is estimated to account for 35.7% of Chad’s GDP and for 23.1% of total employment. While Chad has great potential for tourism, insecurity and infrastructure deficit have been hampering the sector’s growth. Nevertheless, even though tourism is a relatively minor industry, it was severely impacted by the pandemic. In 2022, however, tourism experienced a significant recovery, especially in the Zakouma National Park area, which attracts the highest number of visitors in the country.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 75.1 1.9 23.1
Value Added (in % of GDP) 54.0 10.9 35.7
Value Added (Annual % Change) 0.8 0.3 -4.4

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Find more information about your business sector on our service Market Reports.

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BEAC (XAF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 16.6816.8816.3816.5014.63

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Find out all the exchange rates daily on our service Currency Converter.

Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


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Foreign Trade in Figures

The country is relatively open to foreign trade, which accounted for 83% of GDP in 2021 (World Bank, latest available). However, Chad remains rather closed to imports, with duties averaging 15.1%. Chad has adopted the common external tariffs of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and the Community of Sahel and Sahara States (CEN-SAD). It has also been a member of the WTO since 1996. Despite free trade between CEMAC countries, trade within the area is low due to non-tariff barriers.

Main export destinations are the United States, India, China, and France and key exports are cotton, livestock, and acacia. Chad imports transport machinery and equipment, industrial products, foodstuffs, and textiles mainly from France, China, Cameroon, and India.

The trade balance is heavily dependent on oil, which reached an average of 89% of total exports in 2018, according to the AfDB. The decline in crude oil prices has severely affected the country’s trade balance. According to the WTO, imports of goods amounted to USD 2.5 billion in 2021, while exports reached USD 2.7. As for services, imports totalled USD 2 billion, while exports amounted to USD 223 million. As a result, Chad's trade balance came to a deficit of USD 1.6 billion.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 1,9342,5502,6662,6752,745
Exports of Goods (million USD) 1,5003,1603,2052,6232,560
Imports of Services (million USD) n/a1,6681,7441,5232,054
Exports of Services (million USD) 0271279201223
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 39.738.037.842.044.2
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 33.936.236.726.738.8
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 73.674.274.668.783.0

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank , Latest Available Data


To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.


Main Services

0.2 bn USD of services exported in 2018
1.7 bn USD of services imported in 2018

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization
Ministry of Finance and Budget
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chadians Abroad and International Cooperation
Ministry of Health and National Solidarity
Statistical Office
National Institute for Statistics, Economical Studies and Demography
Central Bank
Bank of Central African States
Stock Exchange
Central African Stock Exchange - BVMAC
Search Engines
Google Chad
Economic Portals
Fortune of Africa Chad
Journal du Tchad
Le Pays

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Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Mahamat Déby (since 20 April 2021)
Prime Minister: Albert Pahimi Padacké (since 26 April 2021)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: October 2024 (to be confirmed)
Legislative: October 2024 (to be confirmed)
Main Political Parties
Chad is a one-party dominant state, with the nationalistic Patriotic Salvation Movement holding power. Although opposition parties are allowed, they are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power. There are around 60 political parties in the country (of which 15 are represented in the National Assembly), including:

- Rally for Democracy and Progress
- National Rally for Development and Progress
- Federation, Action for the Republic (radical and federalist)
- Chadian Action for Unity and Socialism (Marxist)
- National Union for Democracy and Renewal (socialist)
- Union for Renewal and Democracy
- Action for Renewal of Chad
- People's Movement for Democracy in Chad
- National Democratic and Federal Convention
- National Democratic and Social Convention
- Rally for the Republic - Lingui
- National Rally for Democracy in Chad
- National Union
- Rally of Democratic Forces in Chad

Type of State
Chad is a democratic republic.
Executive Power
The president of Chad is the head of state and is elected directly by the people for a renewable five-years term (the constitutional provision which limited the president's term to maximum two mandates was removed in 2005). The president appoints the prime minister and the cabinet (known as Council of State). The president has a strong influence on the legislative power, as he can dissolve the National Assembly in the situation of persistent conflicts between the executive and the legislative branches or if twice within a year the National Assembly rejects the government’s program.
Legislative Power
The legislative power in Chad is vested both in the parliament and the government. The parliament is unicameral, with the 188 deputies of the National Assembly elected by universal suffrage every four years (while the president of the assembly is elected by the deputies every two years). The deputies, as well as the members of the executive, may propose legislation, and once it is approved by the Assembly, the president can decide to either sign or reject the law within 15 days. However, on 20 April 2021, when president Idriss Déby was killed, the National Assembly was dissolved and its functions were assumed by the Transitional Military Council, which was led by Deby’s son. On 10 October 2022, however, the Council was also dissolved and replaced by a transitional administration appointed by Mahamat Déby.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Not Free
Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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COVID-19 Country Response

Travel restrictions
Regularly updated travel information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related entry regulations, flight bans, test and vaccines requirements is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
To find information about the current travel regulations, including health requirements, it is also advised to consult Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on a daily basis by IATA.
Import & export restrictions
A general overview of trade restrictions which were adopted by different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
For the general overview of the key economic policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) undertaken by the government of Chad please consult the country's dedicated section in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
For an evaluation of impact of the Covid pandemic on SMEs and an inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience, refer to the OECD's SME Covid-19 Policy Responses document.
You can also consult the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.


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Latest Update: September 2023