A quick glance at a graph of Chad’s GDP for the last 10 years looks promising. Continual growth is a sign that a country is developing and finding new ways to make a profit. But the history of the economy of Chad is, if nothing, complex and will continue to be so because of a few factors.
The country found itself in a civil war beginning in 2004. According to the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass Amherst, “In 2004, as refugees from the Sudanese province of Darfur poured into Chad, fighting broke out between the Chadian army and pro-Sudanese militias, and the fighting reached the outskirts of the capital in 2006, when Déby won a third presidential election.” The economy began to recover after the war ended, and is expected to continually grow as years pass. The CIA World Fact Book reports that GDP growth in 2010 was 13%.
However, BBC recently ranked Chad as the world’s most corrupt state. It cites the country’s changing rules on how revenue can be spent. Transparency International also ranked Chad in the top 8 worst corrupt countries in 2010. The list says Chad is “as unstable as it is corrupt” and has “ambitious presidents aiming to stay in power longer…than allowed”. A state with such corrupt government leaders will not be able to reach its full economic potential. With leaders using revenue how they please, including for personal gain, the people will not see the money they need to improve public goods.
The government is trying to improve agricultural production around the country. The World Fact Book estimates at least “80% of Chad’s population relies on subsistence farming and livestock raising for its livelihood.”
With such a high portion of the population basing their lives on agriculture, any steps the government takes to improve the quality and technology of the practices could greatly help the economy.
All three of these factors could greatly affect the future of the economy of Chad. If the government learns to work together for the common good of the people, the economy can prosper and the public can see improvements to their quality of life.