N'djamena - Chad
N’Djamena (/əndʒɑːˈmeɪnɑː/; French: N'Djaména; Arabic: انجمينا Injamīnā) is the capital and largest city of Chad. A port on the Chari River, near the confluence with the Logone River, it directly faces the Cameroonian town of Kousséri, to which the city is connected by a bridge. It is also a special statute region, divided into 10 arrondissements. It is a regional market for livestock, salt, dates, and grains. Meat, fish and cotton processing are the chief industries, and the city continues to serve as the center of economic activity in Chad.
Following differences between Goukouni and Muammar Gaddafi and international disapproval of Libyan intervention, the Libyan troops left the capital and Chad in 1981. This opened the door to Habré, who marched on N’Djamena, occupying the city with little resistance in 1982 and installing himself as the new president. He was eventually dislodged in a similar fashion in 1990 by a former general of his, Idriss Déby, as of 2016 the head of state of Chad.
The city had only 9,976 inhabitants in 1937, but a decade later, in 1947, the population had almost doubled to 18,435. In 1968, after independence, the population reached 126,483. In 1993, it surpassed half a million with 529,555. A good deal of this growth has been due to refugees fleeing into N’Djamena for security, although many people fled N’Djamena, also depending on the political situation.
On April 13, 2006, a rebel United Front for Democratic Change attack on the city was defeated in the Battle of N’Djamena. The city was once again attacked on February 2, 2008, by UFDD and RFC rebels. (See Battle of N'Djamena (2008))
In Africa, education can be thought of as a luxury even though it is compulsory and free and has been since Chad's independence in 1960. Currently, not more than forty percent of elementary age children in Chad have an opportunity to attend classes and with N'Djamena's poor state stability it is even harder for children to get an education. After progressing through elementary school, some students go on to a university. N’Djamena has two universities: the University of N’Djamena with French as the language of instruction, built in 1971; and King Faisal University - Chad with Arabic as the language of instruction, built in 1991. Secondary schools include the long established Lycée Félix Éboué and Lycée technique commercial, Lycée Montaigne de N'Djamena (French international school), and the American International School of N’Djamena. Secondary school within Chad is mandatory, however only 68% of students over the age of 12 attend school. Of that 68%, 70% of these students attend school within N'Djamena. The American International School of N'Djamena is a popular choice within the city for secondary schools as international institutions are of a higher standard than public schools. Many of the students in international schools are children of executives, diplomats, and non-governmental organization employees.
Chad is a religiously diverse country. Estimates from Pew Research Center in 2010 found that 55.7% of the population was Muslim, while 22.5% was Catholic and a further 17.6% was Protestant. Among Muslims, 48% professed to be Sunni, 21% Shia, 4% Ahmadi and 23% just Muslim. A small proportion of the population continues to practice indigenous religions. Animism includes a variety of ancestor and place-oriented religions whose expression is highly specific. Islam is expressed in diverse ways; for example, 55% of Muslim Chadians belong to Sufi orders. Christianity arrived in Chad with the French and American missionaries; as with Chadian Islam, it syncretises aspects of pre-Christian religious beliefs. Muslims are largely concentrated in northern and eastern Chad, and animists and Christians live primarily in southern Chad and Guéra. The constitution provides for a secular state and guarantees religious freedom; different religious communities generally co-exist without problems.
The army has over 30,350 active personnel and 3,000,000 fit for military service. Military spending has fluctuated widely in recent history in response to local conditions, especially the 2005–2010 civil war and instability in neighboring countries. In 2009, while in civil war, Chad spent 4.2% of GDP on defense, which fell to 1.6% of GDP in 2011 before rising to 2.0% of GDP in 2013, when Chad began its military intervention in Northern Mali, as it worked with France and other African nations to bring back Mali's sovereignty over territory in the North.
ExxonMobil leads a consortium of Chevron and Petronas that has invested $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves estimated at one billion barrels in southern Chad. Oil production began in 2003 with the completion of a pipeline (financed in part by the World Bank) that links the southern oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast of Cameroon. As a condition of its assistance, the World Bank insisted that 80% of oil revenues be spent on development projects. In January 2006 the World Bank suspended its loan programme when the Chadian government passed laws reducing this amount. On 14 July 2006, the World Bank and Chad signed a memorandum of understanding under which the Government of Chad commits 70% of its spending to priority poverty reduction programmes.
The development of a Chadian film industry was hampered by the devastations of civil war and from the lack of cinemas, of which there is only one in the whole country. The first Chadian feature film, the docudrama Bye Bye Africa, was made in 1999 by Mahamat Saleh Haroun. His later film Abouna was critically acclaimed, and his Daratt won the Grand Special Jury Prize at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival. The 2010 feature film A Screaming Man won the Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, making Haroun the first Chadian director to enter, as well as win, an award in the main Cannes competition. Issa Serge Coelo directed Chad's two other films, Daresalam and DP75: Tartina City.
Beginning in the 7th millennium BC, human populations moved into the Chadian basin in great numbers. By the end of the 1st millennium AD, a series of states and empires had risen and fallen in Chad's Sahelian strip, each focused on controlling the trans-Saharan trade routes that passed through the region. France conquered the territory by 1920 and incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa. In 1960, Chad obtained independence under the leadership of François Tombalbaye. Resentment towards his policies in the Muslim north culminated in the eruption of a long-lasting civil war in 1965. In 1979 the rebels conquered the capital and put an end to the south's hegemony. However, the rebel commanders fought amongst themselves until Hissène Habré defeated his rivals. He was overthrown in 1990 by his general Idriss Déby. Since 2003 the Darfur crisis in Sudan has spilt over the border and destabilised the nation, with hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees living in and around camps in eastern Chad. An uneven inclusion into the global political economy as a site for colonial resource extraction (primarily cotton and crude oil), a global economic system that does not promote nor encourage the development of Chadian industrialization, and the failure to support local agricultural production has meant that the majority of Chadians live in daily uncertainty and hunger.
While many political parties are active, power lies firmly in the hands of President Déby and his political party, the Patriotic Salvation Movement. Chad remains plagued by political violence and recurrent attempted coups d'état. Since 2003 crude oil has become the country's primary source of export earnings, superseding the traditional cotton industry.