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N'Djamena ( , Arabic نجامينا Nijāmīnā), population 721,000 (2005), is the capital city of Chadmarker. It is also the largest city in the country. A port on the Chari River, near the confluence with the Logone River, it directly faces the Cameroonianmarker town of Koussérimarker, to which the city is connected by a bridge. It is also a special statute region, divided in 10 arrondissements. It is a regional market for livestock, salt, date, and grain. Meat, fish and cotton processing are the chief industries, and the city continues to serve as the centre of economic activity in Chad, despite the violent civil conflicts.


N'Djamena was founded as Fort-Lamy by Frenchmarker commander Émile Gentil on May 29, 1900, and named after Amédée-François Lamy, an army officer who had been killed in the Battle of Kousséri a few days earlier. During the Second World War, the French relied heavily upon the airport to move troops and supplies.

Its name was changed to N'Djamena (taken from the Arab name of a nearby village, Niǧāmīnā, meaning "place of rest") by the President François Tombalbaye on April 6, 1973, as part of his authenticité program of Africanization. It was occupied by Libyamarker during the 1980-1 Libyian intervention as part of the Chadian–Libyan conflict, the and associated Transitional Government of National Unity.

Fort Lamy received its first bank branch only in 1950, when the Bank of West Africa finally opened a branch there.

The city was partly destroyed during the Chadian Civil War, in 1979 and again in 1980. Many southern, Chadian inhabitants fled at the time, but the population has since regrown strongly. The city had only 9,976 inhabitants in 1937, but a decade later, in 1947, the population had almost doubled at 18,435. After independence in 1968 the population reached 126,483. In 1993 it surpassed half a million with 529,555. A good deal of this growth has been down 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. (See Battle of N'Djamena )

The city was once again attacked on February 2, 2008, by UFDD and RFC rebels. (See Battle of N'Djamena )


The population growth is shown below:-

  • 1937: 9,976
  • 1940: 12,552
  • 1947: 18,375
  • 1958: 53,000
  • 1960: 60,000
  • 1970: 130,000
  • 1993: 529,555
  • 2000: 728,000
  • 2005: 721,000
  • 2008: 860,000 (est.)
  • 2009: 993,492

A variety of religions are practiced in the city, but with a clear Islamic predominance. The main ethnic groups are Ngambaye (16.41%), Chadian Arabs (11.08%), Hadjerai (9.15%), Daza (6.97%), Bilala (5.83%), Kanembu (5.80%), Maba (4.84%), Kanuri (4.39%), Gor (3.32%), Kuka (3.20%), Sara (2.24%), and Barma (2.10%).


The cathedral in N'Djamena, Chad, as it was before it was severely damaged during the civil war.

N'Djamena is located at 12°6'47" N, 15°2'57" E, on the confluence of the Chari and Logone rivers.

While primarily an administrative center, the city includes the Nassara Strip commercial centre and residential areas such as Mbololo, Chagoua, Paris Congo and Moursal. The main commercial avenue of the city is the Avenue Charles de Gaulle.

Tourism and culture

Attractions in the city include the Chad National Museum, a cathedral and several mosques. Views of sunset across the Chari River can also be spectacular. N'Djamena was named Capital of Islamic Culture for 2009. N'Djamena is also home to the Chad National Museum.


N'Djamena have two universities: University of N'Djamena in French as a studying language built 1971 and King Faisal University - Chad in Arabic as a studying language built 1991, a number of secondary schools (including the long established Lycée Félix Éboué and Lycée technique commercial), and the American International School of N'Djamena.


N'Djamena is the home of the National Assembly of Chad, along with many political organisations and parties, and every national ministry. The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are also in N'Djamena, along with every major embassy in Chad, including the French and US. It is sometimes considered within the region of Chari-Bagrimi, although separate.


The city is the eastern terminus of the Trans-Sahelian Highway, and is linked to East Africa by the Ndjamena-Djibouti Highway. The Tripoli-Cape Town Highway also passes through N'Djamena, making it a key Central African location in the Trans-African Highway network. Ndjamena is linked by road bridge to Kousserimarker in Cameroonmarker.

N'Djamena International Airportmarker (IATA code NDJ) is located on the outskirts of the city.

Historically, N'Djamena's main link to the exterior was by river boat up the Chari and Logone rivers but these now carry little trade.

The city has no railway links, however railways are proposed in the AfricaRail project.



The following pictures are undated but were all probably taken in the 1960s.Image:Ciad-N'Djamena.jpg |Boulevard in N'Djamena.Image:Fort Lamy, Chad, street.jpg|Streets of N'Djamena.Image:Fort Lamy, Chad, beach.jpg|Beach on Chari River at N'Djamena.Image:Hut in Fort Lamy, Chad.jpg|Temporary radio station used by NOAA near N'Djamena.

Twin cities


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