11 August 1960, Chad gains independence from France

Chad shares common borders with Libya on the north; Sudan on the east; the Central African Republic on the south; and Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger on the west.

The first known people to settle in Chad were the Sao hunter and pastoral societies who are renowned for developing the “lost wax” method of making bronze sculpture. By the 9th century, Chad experienced a development of Kanem state that lasted for more than 1000 years. In the early nineteenth century, the Fulani pastoral society, which was a victim of the Kanem slave trade, raided the Kanem city.

European interests, mainly French, developed in the late 19th century. Rabih Fadlallah opposition confronted French colonisation. Fadlallah’s army was finally defeated in 1900. However, formal colonial rule began in the early 1920s. Colonial rule was mainly concentrated on the south. When the French handed power back to the people of Chad, it was the southerners who were given power. After independence Chad did not experience meaningful development. Development remained divided between north and south (in favour of the south). As a result, the current history of Chad is a series of military coups that hampered the development of this country. Democratic rule was restored in the 1990s.

Further information:

  • For a broad overview of African independence go to our site’s coverage of African Independence (chronology and history)
  • Guides to resource sites with maps, and historical and geographic information. African Studies Center, Chad Page.
  • Lonely Planet, Chad Travel Information and Travel Guide - a vibrant travel site with a good brief history of Chad.
  • allAfrica.com, Chad - has all the breaking news on Chad.