Comoros

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Introduction - Comoros:

Country

Comoros

Background

Comoros has endured 19 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared independence from Comoros. In 1999, military chief Col. AZALI seized power. He pledged to resolve the secessionist crisis through a confederal arrangement named the 2000 Fomboni Accord. In December 2001, voters approved a new constitution and presidential elections took place in the spring of 2002. Each island in the archipelago elected its own president and a new union president took office in May 2002.

Location - Comoros:

Location

Southern Africa, group of islands at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique

Geographic coordinates

12 10 S, 44 15 E

Map references

Africa

Area

total: 2,170 sq km
land: 2,170 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area comparative

slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

340 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)

Terrain

volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Le Kartala 2,360 m

Natural resources

NEGL

Land use

arable land: 35.87%
permanent crops: 23.32%
other: 40.81% (2005)

Irrigated land

NA

Natural hazards

cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April); Le Kartala on Grand Comore is an active volcano

Environment current issues

soil degradation and erosion results from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing; deforestation

Environment international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography note

important location at northern end of Mozambique Channel

People - Comoros:

Population

711,417 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.6% (male 151,920/female 150,851)
15-64 years: 54.4% (male 191,096/female 196,120)
65 years and over: 3% (male 9,933/female 11,497) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 18.7 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.9 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

2.84% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

36.35 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

7.95 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.007 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.974 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.864 male(s)/female
total population: 0.985 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 70.66 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 78.86 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 62.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 62.73 years
male: 60.37 years
female: 65.15 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.97 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

0.12% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

NA

Hiv aids deaths

NA

Nationality

noun: Comoran(s)
adjective: Comoran

Ethnic groups

Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava

Religions

Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%

Languages

Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 56.5%
male: 63.6%
female: 49.3% (2003 est.)

Government - Comoros:

Country name

conventional long form: Union of the Comoros
conventional short form: Comoros
local long form: Union des Comores
local short form: Comores

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Moroni
geographic coordinates: 11 42 S, 43 14 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

3 islands and 4 municipalities*; Grande Comore, Anjouan, Domoni*, Fomboni*, Moheli, Moroni*, Moutsamoudou*

Independence

6 July 1975 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 6 July (1975)

Constitution

23 December 2001

Legal system

French and Islamic law in a new consolidated code

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Ahmed Abdallah SAMBI (since 26 May 2006)
head of government: President Ahmed Abdallah SAMBI (since 26 May 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: as defined by the 2001 constitution, the presidency rotates every four years among the elected presidents from the three main islands in the Union; election last held 14 May 2006 (next to be held by May 2010); prime minister appointed by the president; note - the post of prime minister has been vacant since May 2002
election results: Ahmed Abdallah SAMBI elected president; percent of vote - Ahmed Abdallah SAMBI 58.0%, Ibrahim HALIDI 28.3%, Mohamed DJAANFAMI 13.7%

Legislative branch

unicameral Assembly of the Union (33 seats; 15 deputies are selected by the individual islands local assemblies and 18 by universal suffrage; to serve for five years);
elections: last held 18 and 25 April 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CdIA 12, CRC 6; note - 15 additional seats are filled by deputies from local island assemblies

Judicial branch

Supreme Court or Cour Supremes (two members appointed by the president, two members elected by the Federal Assembly, one elected by the Council of each island, and others are former presidents of the republic)

Political parties and leaders

Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros or CRC [AZALI Assowmani]; Camp of the Autonomous Islands or CdIA (a coalition of parties organized by the islands presidents in opposition to the Union President); Front National pour la Justice or FNJ [Ahmed RACHID] (Islamic party in opposition); Mouvement pour la Democratie et le Progress or MDP-NGDC [Abbas DJOUSSOUF]; Parti Comorien pour la Democratie et le Progress or PCDP [Ali MROUDJAE]; Rassemblement National pour le Development or RND [Omar TAMOU, Abdoulhamid AFFRAITANE]

Political pressure groups and leaders

NA

International organization participation

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AMF, AU, COMESA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, ITSO, ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Representative to the US and Ambassador to the UN Mahmoud M. ABOUD
chancery: Mission to the US, 336 East 45th Street (2nd floor), New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 750-1637

Diplomatic representation from the us

the US does not have an embassy in Comoros; the ambassador to Madagascar is accredited to Comoros

Flag description

four equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), white, red, and blue with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist; centered within the triangle is a white crescent with the convex side facing the hoist and four white, five-pointed stars placed vertically in a line between the points of the crescent; the horizontal bands and the four stars represent the four main islands of the archipelago - Mwali, Njazidja, Nzwani, and Mayotte (a territorial collectivity of France, but claimed by Comoros); the crescent, stars, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam

Economy - Comoros:

Economy overview

One of the worlds poorest countries, Comoros is made up of three islands that have inadequate transportation links, a young and rapidly increasing population, and few natural resources. The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a subsistence level of economic activity, high unemployment, and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting, and forestry, contributes 40% to GDP, employs 80% of the labor force, and provides most of the exports. The country is not self-sufficient in food production; rice, the main staple, accounts for the bulk of imports. The government - which is hampered by internal political disputes - is struggling to upgrade education and technical training, privatize commercial and industrial enterprises, improve health services, diversify exports, promote tourism, and reduce the high population growth rate. Increased foreign support is essential if the goal of 4% annual GDP growth is to be met. Remittances from 150,000 Comorans abroad help supplement GDP.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$1.275 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$402 million (2005 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

3% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$600 (2005 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 40%
industry: 4%
services: 56% (2001 est.)

Labor force

144,500 (1996 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20%

Unemployment rate

20% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line

60% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

3% (2005 est.)

Budget

revenues: $27.6 million
expenditures: $NA (2001 est.)

Agriculture products

vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)

Industries

fishing, tourism, perfume distillation

Industrial production growth rate

-2% (1999 est.)

Electricity production

19 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

17.67 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004)

Oil consumption

720 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance

-$17 million (2005 est.)

Exports

$34 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Exports commodities

vanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), cloves, copra

Exports partners

Netherlands 35.7%, France 18.2%, Italy 12.7%, Singapore 7.8%, Turkey 4.9%, US 4.5% (2006)

Imports

$115 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Imports commodities

rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, cement, transport equipment

Imports partners

France 25.1%, UAE 10%, South Africa 6.5%, Pakistan 6.4%, Kenya 5.1%, China 4.8%, India 4.4%, Italy 4.2% (2006)

Debt external

$232 million (2000 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$24 million (2003 est.)

Currency code

Comoran franc (KMF)

Exchange rates

Comoran francs (KMF) per US dollar - 392.03 (2006), 395.6 (2005), 396.21 (2004), 435.9 (2003), 522.74 (2002)
note: the Comoran franc is pegged to the euro at a rate of 491.9677 Comoran francs per euro

Communications - Comoros:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

16,900 (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular

16,100 (2005)

Telephone system

general assessment: sparse system of microwave radio relay and HF radiotelephone communication stations
domestic: HF radiotelephone communications and microwave radio relay
international: country code - 269; HF radiotelephone communications to Madagascar and Reunion

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

NA

Internet country code

.km

Internet hosts

5 (2006)

Internet users

21,000 (2006)

Transportation - Comoros:

Airports

4 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2006)

Roadways

total: 880 km
paved: 673 km
unpaved: 207 km (1999)

Merchant marine

total: 121 ships (1000 GRT or over) 564,882 GRT/801,238 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 85, chemical tanker 1, container 1, livestock carrier 1, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 5, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 72 (Bangladesh 1, Bulgaria 1, Greece 10, India 1, Kenya 1, Kuwait 1, Lebanon 6, Nigeria 2, Norway 1, Pakistan 2, Philippines 1, Russia 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Saudi Arabia 3, Syria 4, Turkey 11, UAE 6, Ukraine 14, US 2) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Mayotte, Moutsamoudou

Military - Comoros:

Military branches

Comoran Defense Force: Comoran Security Force; Comoran Federal Police (2007)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 138,940
females age 18-49: 139,491 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 98,792
females age 18-49: 106,415 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

2.8% (2006)

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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