Regions of Chad

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There is a book with a more comprehensive description of the historic territorial subdivisions of Chad than I can hope to cover here. It is Répertoire de l'Administration territoriale du Tchad (1900-1994) , by Bernard Lanne (in French).

Ennedi region was split into Ennedi-Est and Ennedi-Ouest regions in 2012 (source [13]). They appear to be the same geographic areas as the departments of Ennedi Est and Ennedi Ouest, which existed from 2002 to 2008, when Ennedi Est was renamed Wadi Hawar. The new regions are assigned codes in Update 12 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (GEC, formerly FIPS 10-4), dated 2013-06-30. "Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, was issued on 2014-03-31, and contained codes for the two new regions, TD-EE and TD-EO. ISO 3166-2 incorporated the same codes on 2014-11-03.

Codes for the regions created in 2008 were assigned by ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-2 (2010-06-30) and by Update 1 to GEC (2010-08-20).

Codes for the regions of the 2002 reorganization were assigned by ISO 3166-2 Newsletter I-8 (2007-04-17) and by FIPS PUB 10-4 Change Notice 13 (2008-02-04).

Country overview: 

Short nameCHAD
ISO codeTD
GEC codeCD
LanguagesFrench (fr), Arabic (ar)
Time zone+1


In 1900, Chad was a territory, administered as part of French Kongo. On 1910-01-15, French Kongo's name was changed to French Equatorial Africa. During the period around World War II, Chad was called a military territory, and was subordinate to Ubangi-Shari-Chad. In one week in August, 1960, the four territories of French Equatorial Africa became independent, one by one. Chad was first, on 1960-08-11.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Tchad
  2. Dutch: Tsjaad, Republiek Tsjaad (formal)
  3. English: Republic of Chad (formal)
  4. Finnish: Tšad
  5. French: Tchad m, République f du Tchad (formal)
  6. German: Tschad m
  7. Icelandic: Tsjad
  8. Italian: Ciad m
  9. Norwegian: Tchad, Tsjad, Republikken Tsjad (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Chade, Tchad (Brazil), República f do Chade m (formal)
  11. Russian: Республика Чад (formal)
  12. Spanish: Chad, República f de Chad m (formal)
  13. Swedish: Tchad
  14. Turkish: Çad Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

after Lake Chad, which came from Bornu tsade: lake

Primary subdivisions: 

Chad is divided into 23 régions.

Barh el GhazelTD.BGBGCD2219260,865Moussoro
Ennedi EstTD.EEEECD2720113,862Am-Djarass
Ennedi OuestTD.EOEOCD2859,744Fada
Logone OccidentalTD.LOLOCD0808683,293Moundou
Logone OrientalTD.LRLRCD0909796,453Doba
Mayo-Kebbi EstTD.MEMECD1611769,178Bongor
Mayo-Kebbi OuestTD.MWMOCD2012565,087Pala
SilaTD.SISICD2521289,776Goz Beïda
Ville de N'DjamenaTD.NJNDCD2118993,492N'Djamena
Wadi FiraTD.BIWFCD0217494,933Biltine


Notes on census: Refugee population is not included. In addition, data for some zones in Sila and Tibesti regions could not be collected because they were insecure. These zones covered the sub-prefectures of Moudeina, Tissi, and parts of Mogororo and Adé in Sila, and the commune of Zouar in Tibesti. The estimated total uncounted population is 98,191.

Further subdivisions:

See the Departments of Chad page.

According to Ordinance no. 01/PR/2003 (2003-09-08), Chad was divided into 18 regions, 47 départements (departments), and 200 communes. By 2008, a series of decrees had increased the numbers of departments to 54, and replaced the communes with over 230 sous-préfectures (sub-prefectures). Before 2000, the prefectures were subdivided into sub-prefectures. There were 47 in 1982, 53 in 1990, and 108 in 2000.

Territorial extent: 

The Aozou strip, an area of some 100,000 sq. km. along the Libyan border, is claimed and occupied by Libya. It lies within Borkou, Ennedi, and Tibesti regions.

The UN LOCODE page  for Chad lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

Some of the prefectures are named for the major rivers of the area. The Mayo Kébi River drains into the Bénoué, and thus finally to the Gulf of Guinea. The Chari, and its tributaries, including the Logone (with two branches, Logone Occidental and Logone Oriental) and Bahr Salamat, flow into Lake Chad. The Batha is an intermittent river, ending at Lake Fitri. Lakes Chad and Fitri grow and shrink according to the amount of rainfall. Bas (Lower) means downstream. Moyen means middle. Chari is a local word meaning river.

Change history: 

According to source [4], in 1935 Chad was divided into ten départements (departments), with lower-level subdivisions (status not specified). These were the divisions at that time:

BaguirmiMassenyaMassenya, Bousso
KanemMaoMao, Bol
Mayo-KebbiBongorBongor, Fianga, Léré, Pala
OuaddaïAbéchéAbéché, Adré, Biltine
SalamatAm TimanAm Timan
  1. ~1941: Baguirmi and Bas-Chari departments merged to form Chari-Baguirmi (capital Fort-Lamy).
  2. 1947: Status of departments changed to régions (regions).
  3. 1960-08-11: Chad, formerly one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, became independent. At that time it already had a constitution (adopted 1958-10-04) under which administrative subdivisions had been created by law (1960-02-13). It was divided into préfectures which were subdivided into sous-préfectures. At the lowest administrative level were villages. If I correctly interpret the thick bureaucratese in which source [5] is written, villages were combined to form cantons or groupements de villages (groupings of villages); some cantons and villages were grouped to form postes administratives (administrative stations).
  4. 1960: Biltine prefecture split from Ouaddaï. The following list of divisions is based on source [11].
11 prefectures2,674,9901,271,000
  • Population: 1961 census.
  1. 1962-01-09: Logone prefecture split into Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, and Tandjilé.
  2. 1962-10-29: Lac prefecture split from Kanem.
  3. 1973-09-07: Name of national capital changed from Fort-Lamy to N'Djamena.
  4. 1973: Name of capital of Moyen-Chari changed from Fort Archambault to Sarh. The divisions at this point were as follows:
PrefectureHASCISOFIPSPopulationArea (km.²)Capital
Logone OccidentalTD.LOLOCD08455,4898,695Moundou
Logone OrientalTD.LRLRCD09441,06428,035Doba
SalamatTD.SASACD13184,40363,000Am Timan
14 prefectures6,279,9311,284,000


N'Djamena is considered part of Chari-Baguirmi in the table above, following the standards and most reference books. However, according to source [6], N'Djamena is administratively on the same level as the 14 prefectures, and its arrondissements are on a par with sub-prefectures. 1993 census data come from sources [7] and [8], which agree. They both show N'Djamena and Chari-Baguirmi as separate entities, with populations of 530,965 and 720,941, respectively.

An earlier version of the Universal Postal Union document, "UPU Address formats", gave postal abbreviations for the prefectures of Chad. In most cases, they were the same as the ISO 3166-2 codes. The exceptions were Kanem, KN; Logone Occidental, LOC; and Logone Oriental, LOR.

  1. 1999-09-01: By decree no. 355/PR/MISD/99, status of prefectures changed to departments. Batha department split into Batha Est and Batha Ouest departments; Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti department split into Borkou, Ennedi, and Tibesti departments; Chari-Baguirmi department split into Dababa, Baguirmi, and Hadjer Lamis departments; Bahr El Gazal department split from Kanem department; Monts de Lam department split from Logone Oriental department; Mayo-Kebbi department split into Kabia, Mayo Boneye, and Mayo-Dallah departments; Moyen-Chari department split into Lac Iro, Bahr Kôh, and Mandoul departments; Assongha and Sila departments split from Ouaddaï department; Tandjilé department split into Tandjilé Est and Tandjilé Ouest departments. These were the resulting divisions. A map of them can be found in source [9].
Bahr el GazalTD.BG03MoussoroTD.KA
Bahr KôhTD.BK04SarhTD.MC
Batha EstTD.BE05Oum HadjerTD.BA
Batha OuestTD.BO06AtiTD.BA
Hadjer LamisTD.HL12MassaguetTD.CB
KabiaTD.KB13Gounou GayaTD.MK
Lac IroTD.LI16KyabéTD.MC
Logone OccidentalTD.LO17MoundouTD.LO
Logone OrientalTD.LG18DobaTD.LR
Mayo BoneyeTD.MB20BongorTD.MK
Monts de LamTD.ML22BaïbokoumTD.LR
SalamatTD.SA24Am TimanTD.SA
SilaTD.SI25Goz BeïdaTD.OD
Tandjilé EstTD.TE26LaïTD.TA
Tandjilé OuestTD.TO27KéloTD.TA
  • Department: except for N'Djamena, which is a
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • Lic: The first two digits of license plates on vehicles
    registered in this division, according to source [10].
  • Old: Code for former prefecture containing this
    territory (see table above for key).
  1. 2002-10-17: Chad reorganized into eighteen régions (regions). The Constitution of Chad (1996-03-31) calls for the creation of decentralized "territorial collectivities", forming a hierarchical subdivision of the country. The primary subdivisions are régions (regions), which are to be divided into départements (departments), communes, and communautés rurales (rural communities). It took several steps to carry out this provision. Statutes for the regions, departments, and communes were embodied in organic law no. 002/PR/2000 (2000-02-16); for rural communities, in organic law no. 007/PR/2002 (2002-06-05). Decree no. 419/PR/MAT/02 of 2002-10-17 divided Chad into eighteen regions, of which one (N'Djamena) is governed by a special statute. Ordinance no. 01/PR/2003, creating decentralized territorial collectivities, gave the list of regions, departments, and communes formed. A future measure will create the rural communities. The new divisions include 17 regions, 47 departments, and 199 communes, plus the City of N'Djamena, a commune governed by a special statute. The following table shows the result when these laws took effect.
Logone OccidentalTD.LOLOCD08Moundou
Logone OrientalTD.LRLRCD09Doba
Mayo-Kebbi EstTD.MEMECD16Bongor
Mayo-Kebbi OuestTD.MWMOCD20Pala
Ville de N'DjamenaTD.NJNDCD21N'Djamena
Wadi FiraTD.BIWFCD02Biltine
  1. The above regions can best be described in terms of the prefectures that existed before 1999. Wadi Fira is the same as the old Biltine prefecture. The old Chari-Baguirmi prefecture corresponds to the new regions of Chari-Baguirmi (southern section), Hadjer-Lamis (northern section), and Ville de N'Djamena (capital area, west central). The old Moyen-Chari prefecture is now split into the new Mandoul (western) and Moyen-Chari (eastern) regions. The old Mayo-Kebbi prefecture is split into Mayo-Kebbi Est (northeastern) and Mayo-Kebbi Ouest (southwestern).
  2. 2008-02-19: Ordinance no. 002/PR/08, restructuring certain decentralized territorial collectivities, split the former Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti region into separate regions Borkou, Ennedi, Tibesti; split Sila region from Ouaddaï; and split Barh el Ghazel region from Kanem. Official documents seem to be using the terms région and gouvernorat interchangeably, and also equating département to préfecture.
  3. 2012-09-04: Ennedi region split into Ennedi Est and Ennedi Ouest. Previously, the HASC and GEC codes for Ennedi region were TD.EN and CD24, respectively.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Barh el Ghazel: Bahr el Gazal, Barh-el-Gazaal, Barh el Gazel (variant)
  2. Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti: B.E.T. (informal)
  3. Chari-Baguirmi: Bas-Chari (obsolete)
  4. Guéra: Baguirmi (obsolete)
  5. Mayo-Dallah: Mayo-Dala (variant)
  6. Mayo-Kebbi: Maio-Kebbi, Mayo-Kabbi, Mayo Kébbi, Mayo Kébi, Mayokerbi (variant)
  7. N'Djamena: Ndjamena, N'Djaména (variant); Nyamena (Spanish-variant); Yamena (Spanish)
  8. Ouaddaï: Ouadaï (obsolete)
  9. Wadi Fira: Biltine (obsolete)


  1. [1] Tableau des Codes des Circonscritions (sic), retrieved from the website of Comité de Promotion de l'Information Géographique au Tchad  (dated 2008-04; retrieved 2009-08-05).
  2. [2] "Deuxième recensement général de la population et de l’habitat (RGPH2, 2009): Résultats Provisoires", downloaded from Chad's Ministry of the Economy and Planning  website on 2009-11-30.
  3. [3] L'Évaluation des effectifs de la population des pays Africains, Tome I. Groupe de Démographie Africaine, Paris, 1982.
  4. [4] French Wikipedia article on administrative division of Chad  (retrieved 2005-04-19).
  5. [5] Report on decentralization in Chad from Centre d'Études et de Formation pour le Développement (dead link, retrieved from on 2003-11-09).
  6. [6] World Bank document on poverty, containing provisional results of the 1993 census (dead link, retrieved from on 2003-10-08).
  7. [7] Annuaire Statistique: 1995, a government publication, dated June 1998 (dead link, retrieved from on 2005-04-19).
  8. [8] Chinese Web page with Chad statistics (dead link, retrieved from on 2003-10-08).
  9. [9] PDF document  (map on page 16; retrieved 2005-04-19).
  10. [10] Decree N° 193/PR/MTPMHU/2001 (2001-04-03) (dead link, retrieved from on 2003-10-08).
  11. [11] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1964 edition.
  12. [12] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  13. [13] Ordonnance N° 027/PR/2012  (retrieved 2013-03-19).
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