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 2021, Chad saw an economic rebound from the pandemic, with the country recording a GDP growth of 0.9%. However, the continued fallout of the health crisis, as well as Chad's political and security instability, hampered a stronger growth. The country should recovering throughout 2022 and 2023, with growth rates reaching 2.4% and 2.5%, as demand surges. 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 2021, the government continued implementing a series of fiscal measures put in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which have been effective. IMF has helped Chad through a facility of USD 183 million and a six months alleviation of the debt of the country. In 2021, the debt-to-GDP ratio decreased to 44%, and it should remain stable at 44.3% in 2022 and 42.8% in 2023. As for the country's inflation rate, it stood at 2.6% in 2021, and it is expected to reach 2.8% in 2022 and maintain that rate in 2023. In 2022,  the gradual removal of COVID-related spending and the expected increase of oil receipts will boost the government’s revenues. The current account deficit is expected to remain relatively stable, going from 5.2% in 2021 to 4.7% in 2022 and 5.8% in 2023. While export earnings are expected to increase over that period, growth in imports of goods and services to support development in the oil sector should to be quicker.

While it 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 (to 39.8% in 2019, according to the World Bank). In 2020, the unemployment rate in the country was at 2.3%.

Main Indicators 20202021202220232024
GDP (billions USD) 10.7311.8012.9513.5214.23
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -2.2-
GDP per Capita (USD) 653697743755772
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)
Inflation Rate (%) 4.5-
Current Account (billions USD) -0.81-0.540.11-0.32-0.66
Current Account (in % of GDP) -7.6-4.50.8-2.4-4.7

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% of the population - most of them are engaged in subsistence farming. Overall, the primary sector accounts for 46.3% 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. The pandemic, coupled with a deterioration of harvests, had a significant impact on agriculture in 2020, with an important loss in income and employment and an increase in food prices as a result of the supply chain disruption. However, 2021 showed signs of recovery in the sector, which should continue in 2022.

The industrial sector contributes 14.2% of GDP and employs 1.8% 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 43.8% of Chad’s GDP and for 23% 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 2021, however, tourism started to recover, 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.


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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 72.4% of GDP in 2020 (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 amountede to USD 2.67 billion, while exports reached USD 2.62 in 2020. As a result, Chad's trade balace came to a deficit of USD  520,000.

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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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, since 20 April 2021, when president Idriss Déby was killed, the National Assembly has been dissolved and its functions have been assumed by the Transitional Military Council, which is led by Deby’s son.

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

COVID-19 epidemic evolution
For the international outlook you can consult the latest situation reports published by the World Health Organisation as well as the global daily statistics on the coronavirus pandemic evolution including data on confirmed cases and deaths by country.
Sanitary measures
To find out about the latest public health situation in Chad and the current sanitary measures in force, please consult the Chadian government's platform, including updated information on the containment measures put in place and public health recommendations.
Travel restrictions
The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of new variants, evolves rapidly and differs from country to country. All travelers need to pay close attention to the conditions at their destination before traveling. Regularly updated information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related travel restrictions in place including entry regulations, flight bans, test requirements and quarantine is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
It is also highly recommended to consult COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on the daily basis by IATA.
The US government website of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention provides COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

The UK Foreign travel advice also provides travelling abroad advice for all countries, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.
Import & export restrictions
Information on all the measures applicable to the movement of goods during the period of health emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak (including possible import and export restrictions, if applicable), is available here.
For a general overview of trade restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the section dedicated to Chad on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
Information on the economic recovery plan put in place by the Chadian government to address the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on the country's economy is available here.
For an overview of the main economic policy measures (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) taken by the Chadian government to limit the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the section dedicated to Chad in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform. 
Support plan for businesses
Information on the local business support programme established by the Chadian government to help small and medium enterprises cope with the economic impacts of the COVID19 epidemic on their activity, is available here.
For a general overview of international SME support policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, please refer to the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.
Support plan for exporters
The country's official government sources do not provide information on specific programmes for exporting companies following the coronavirus epidemic outbreak.

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Latest Update: March 2023