Chad is the fifth largest country in Africa but the second largest in central Africa. Chad is a land locked country that is bordered by Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger. It got its name from its famous Lake Chad in the northern parts of the country and has been said to be a far idea from the beaten path.
In July 2003 Chad joined the ranks of the world’s crude oil producers. This followed the construction of a 1 070 kilometres export pipeline. The pipeline stretches from the oil fields of Doba Basin of southern Chad through Cameroon to a new terminal in Kribi. The Doba Basin development is handled by a consortium consisting of ExxonMobil (40%), Petronas, the Malaysian state oil company (35%), and ChevronTexaco (25%). According to Gas journal Chad ranks as the tenth largest oil reserve holder in Africa with 1.5 billion proven barrels of reserves from 1st January 2013. The country recorded a staggering 115,000 barrels of crude oil per day in 2011. Exporting almost all of this via Chad-Cameroon Pipeline.
Skills and Labour in Chad
Chad like most of the African countries is plagued by a shortage of skilled labour in most sectors, despite the increasing pool of university graduates able to fill entry-level management and administrative positions. Skilled workers still represent a very small group of the total labour pool in the country. Eighty percent of the countries labour force is estimated to be engaged in fishing, farming, and herding.
With the current Chadian businesses operating in the informal economy, the country’s Ministry of Labour and Employment is in the process of reviewing the current labour code, which will include provisions for the informal economy. Chadian current labour law is derived from the French law which provides strong protection for Chadian workers and priority is given to Chadian nationals. Labour unions in the country operate independently from the government.
Working and living in Chad
Ranked the seventh poorest country by the United Nations in their Human Development Index, Chad is not what someone would call an ideal place to look for work. As a country that has an overload of semi-skilled and unskilled labour, the country outsources most of its labour force to work on projects. Despite the country being known for its agricultural sector, particularly subsistence farming as its main source of economic output the discovery of crude oil has changed this. This has given Chad a new lease on life. The oil operation is run by Exxon Mobil Corporation, which is also now the primary employer of expatriates in the country. Most of the country’s expats and in Chad are also employed by NGOs, government or are ambassadors. Majority of expatriates are based in N’Djamena, the capital city of Chad.
Chad has a stringent policy when it comes to giving permits. If you plan to expatriate your skills to Chad, start applying for your permit well in advance. For any expat worker to start the process of acquiring a permit they will have to submit proof of their secured employment in the country. In addition to this, the company of employment will have to proof that the position could not be filled by a Chadian national. All employment documents will have to be translated to the country’s official languages Arabic or French.