Welcome to Chad

To find out about Chad, click on the topic tiles and features, which give a picture of the country today and the challenges it faces. We haven't had chance to conduct a children's filming workshop, so there aren't any videos just yet. But there's lots of information for learning more about this vast land.



Many farmers in Chad rely on livestock – cattle, sheep, goats and camels – and some pastoralists wander far and wide to graze their animals.

Tourism & Communications

Nascent tourism industry

The tourist industry in Chad is only just beginning to grow and is mainly based around attracting visitors to the Zakouma National Park.


‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Geography & Wildlife

A changing landscape

Dominated by desert and arid areas, Chad is sometimes known as the ‘Dead Heart of Africa’. Drier weather conditions and the loss of trees have led to desertification, though environmental programmes are hoping to halt the expansion of desert areas.

Children's stories

Filming workshops

SOS Children's Villages have been running filming workshops to show children how to make their own films. This country has yet to be visited, but take a look at some videos made by children in nearby countries.

History & Politics

Instability and conflict

Created as one large state by the French in 1900, Chad has struggled to build a cohesive nation since independence. In recent times, the country has suffered from the presence of many armed groups and a lack of political stability.


Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Welcome to Chad

If you'd like to find out more about Chad, click on the topic tiles and features. These give an overview about the country and its people.

We haven't had the chance to conduct a children's filming workshop here, so there aren't any videos. But you'll still find lots of information.


Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Facts & Figures

In the top five by size

At 1.28 million square kilometres, Chad is the fifth largest country on the continent. With high population growth in recent decades, over half its population are under eighteen.

Chad map

Explore Chad

Explore the map of Chad to find out more about some of the country's geographical features and cities.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Lake Chad

Disappearing lake

Lake Chad is only a tenth of the size it was fifty years ago and remains at risk from overuse and drier weather patterns.


Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Child soldiers

Child soldiers

With widespread poverty and few educational opportunities, many children are lured into joining armed groups.

Climate & Agriculture

Changing weather

Farmers in Chad rely on annual rainfall for their crops and livestock rearing, but a changing climate means the rainy seasons are becoming less reliable.

Food & Daily life

Traditional lifestyles

Many Chadians lead a traditional farming lifestyle, either grazing livestock or in the south, growing food on smallholdings to feed their families.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.


A cotton exporter

Cotton is a key export for Chad, but the industry needs further investment.


The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

People & Culture

Large and complex

A large and complex state, with over 200 different ethnic groups, Chad’s peoples in the north, east and centre often lead nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles, while groups in the more fertile south tend to be settled.


Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?


Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Poverty & Healthcare

A poor country

Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. With high rates of poverty and malnutrition, life expectancy is just 48 years. One in five children die before their fifth birthday.

Economy & Industry

Oil wealth

Chad’s economy has been growing in recent years thanks to a period of stability and investment in the oil sector. But wealth from the oil industry has yet to benefit society as a whole.

Education & Jobs

Poor school attendance

Though primary school education is compulsory, many children fail to attend school in Chad due to poverty and cultural reasons. Literacy rates are therefore low, with only 46% of young people aged 15-24 able to read and write.

Poverty relief

Relieving poverty

Oil revenues earn Chad hundreds of millions of dollars each year, but not enough of the country’s wealth finds its way to the population.


A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.



Discarded rubbish is a common sight, but the capital of Chad is beginning to tackle this unsightly and unhygienic problem by banning the use of plastic bags.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Chad topics Facts & Figures Poverty & Healthcare Food & Daily life Poverty relief People & Culture Geography & Wildlife Climate & Agriculture Pastoralism Child soldiers Welcome to Chad Lake Chad Economy & Industry Cotton Education & Jobs Children's stories History & Politics Rubbish Chad map Tourism & Communications