Last week I wrote about student protests against austerity in Chad. The austerity measures, implemented since President Idriss Deby was inaugurated for his fifth term in August, are also affecting civil servants (French):
The government announced Tuesday, September 27 that it was cutting civil servants’ bonuses for a period of 18 months, provoking the anger of unions. It is one of the 16 emergency measures announced by the state to cope with the economic crisis the country is going through.
The measures include an 80% reduction in allowances and bonuses for civil servants.
As Twitter user Tinea commented, the austerity measures are “hard to swallow given the oil money wastefully spent.” From the perspective of many Chadians (I imagine), Chad’s oil revenues have provided only limited tangible benefits – some new infrastructure, but sometimes a higher cost of living as well. Add to that the budgetary impact of lower global oil prices (which were prompting austerity measures in Chad by late last year), and some Chadians may feel that high oil prices enrich the few, but low oil prices hurt the many.
For more on oil in Chad, the place to start is Celeste Hicks’ book Africa’s New Oil, in which Chad is the central case study.