A landlocked Sahelian country in central Africa, Chad is grappling with security challenges associated with conflicts in bordering countries as well as the impacts of climate change, in particular accelerated desertification and the drying up of Lake Chad.
Due to the Sudan crisis and the constant arrival of new refugees and returnees, the Chadian government estimates that up to 600,000 refugees and returnees could arrive in Chad by the end of 2023. Chad used to host some 450,000 refugees from Sudan, the Central African Republic and Nigeria.
Poverty and vulnerability are pervasive in Chad, with 42.3% of the population living below the national poverty line. Extreme poverty ($2.15 /day per capita, PPP 2017) also remains high in the country and has increased significantly, rising from 31.2% in 2018 to 34.9% in 2021 and 35.4% in 2023.
Chad’s score on the World Bank’s Human Capital Index is 0.30. This means that a child born today will be 70% less productive in adulthood than a child who received a quality education and benefited from appropriate health services. Moreover, 20% of Chadian children will not make it to their fifth birthday, and 40% of children suffer from stunting, which can have long-term implications for their cognitive development. Between the ages of 4 and 18, on average, children in Chad spend no more than five years in school.
With 856 deaths for every 100,000 live births, Chad has one of the highest maternal mortality rates, a phenomenon aggravated by the high number of early pregnancies (164.5 births per 1,000 adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19).
Following the death of President Idriss Déby Itno on the front line on April 20, 2021, a transitional military council, led by his son Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno assumed power. The country’s constitution was suspended, and an 18-month transition period (April 2021 to September 2022) was put in place. The Inclusive and Sovereign National Dialogue, which was held from August 20 to October 12, 2022, concluded with the decision to extend the political transition by two years. Sworn in as president of the transition on October 10, General Mahamat Deby Itno formed a government of national unity on October 14.
On October 20, the opposition protested against the decision to extend the transition period and allow the transition president to stand as a candidate in elections. Chad's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has put the death toll from the bloody October crackdown on opposition protests against the extension of the transition period at 128.
Meanwhile, the National Commission in charge of the Referendum Organization (Conorec) has begun revising the electoral rolls and has announced that the constitutional referendum will be held on December 17, 2023. The presidential election is scheduled for October 2024.
- Once an agrarian economy, Chad joined the ranks of oil-producing countries in 2003 and since then its economy has been heavily dependent on oil.
- In 2023, Chad's economy should grow by 3% (-0.2% per capita), after moderate growth due to flooding and insecurity in 2022. Non-oil GDP growth is expected to reach 2.2%, thanks to increased public investment. Industry, driven by the oil sector, should be the main contributor to growth.
- Inflation is set to jump from 5.8% in 2022 to 13.2% in 2023, with food inflation expected to reach 13.9%, mainly due to the war in Sudan, with trade disruptions reducing supply and causing shortages, while demand for goods from refugees has increased. Chad officially declared a "food and nutrition emergency" on June 1, 2022.
- Over the period 2024-2025, growth is expected to average 2.8% (-0.3% per capita), driven by moderating oil prices and the lingering effects of the Sudan crisis. Non-oil GDP should increase by 2.9% over the same period.
- Inflation is expected to remain high at 10.1% and 7% in 2024 and 2025 respectively, assuming that borders with Sudan remain closed for security reasons and that agricultural production remains low due to the already observed effects of climate change.
- This outlook is subject to multiple downside risks, including falling oil prices, political instability in the upcoming elections, rising insecurity and climatic shocks. A prolonged war in Sudan beyond 2023 would worsen the humanitarian crisis, weigh on public finances and increase inflationary pressures.
Last Updated: Sep 29, 2023