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Introduction - Comoros:

BackgroundComoros 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:
LocationSouthern 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 coordinates12 10 S, 44 15 E

Map referencesAfrica

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

Area comparativeslightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries0 km

Coastline340 km

Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climatetropical marine; rainy season (November to May)

Terrainvolcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills

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

Natural resourcesNEGL

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

Irrigated landNA

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

Environment current issuessoil degradation and erosion results from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing; deforestation

Environment international agreementsparty 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 noteimportant location at northern end of Mozambique Channel

People - Comoros:
Population711,417 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 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 agetotal: 18.7 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.9 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate2.84% (2007 est.)

Birth rate36.35 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate7.95 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat 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 ratetotal: 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 birthtotal population: 62.73 years
male: 60.37 years
female: 65.15 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate4.97 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.12% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA

Hiv aids deathsNA

Nationalitynoun: Comoran(s)
adjective: Comoran

Ethnic groupsAntalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava

ReligionsSunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%

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

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

Government - Comoros:
Country nameconventional long form: Union of the Comoros
conventional short form: Comoros
local long form: Union des Comores
local short form: Comores

Government typerepublic

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

Administrative divisions3 islands and 4 municipalities*; Grande Comore, Anjouan, Domoni*, Fomboni*, Moheli, Moroni*, Moutsamoudou*

Independence6 July 1975 (from France)

National holidayIndependence Day, 6 July (1975)

Constitution23 December 2001

Legal systemFrench and Islamic law in a new consolidated code

Suffrage18 years of age; universal

Executive branchchief 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 branchunicameral 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 branchSupreme 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 leadersConvention 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 leadersNA

International organization participationACCT, 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 uschief 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 usthe US does not have an embassy in Comoros; the ambassador to Madagascar is accredited to Comoros

Flag descriptionfour 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 overviewOne 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 rate3% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $600 (2005 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 40%
industry: 4%
services: 56% (2001 est.)

Labor force144,500 (1996 est.)

Labor force by occupationagriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20%

Unemployment rate20% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line60% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices 3% (2005 est.)

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

Agriculture productsvanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)

Industriesfishing, tourism, perfume distillation

Industrial production growth rate-2% (1999 est.)

Electricity production19 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption17.67 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)

Oil production0 bbl/day (2004)

Oil consumption720 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exportsNA bbl/day

Oil importsNA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves0 bbl

Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance-$17 million (2005 est.)

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

Exports commoditiesvanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), cloves, copra

Exports partnersNetherlands 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 commoditiesrice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, cement, transport equipment

Imports partnersFrance 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 ratesComoran 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 yearcalendar year

Telephones main lines in use16,900 (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular16,100 (2005)

Telephone systemgeneral 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 stationsAM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stationsNA

Internet country code.km

Internet hosts5 (2006)

Internet users21,000 (2006)

Transportation - Comoros:
Airports4 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2006)

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

Merchant marinetotal: 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 terminalsMayotte, Moutsamoudou

Military - Comoros:
Military branchesComoran Defense Force: Comoran Security Force; Comoran Federal Police (2007)

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 138,940
females age 18-49: 139,491 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 98,792
females age 18-49: 106,415 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp2.8% (2006)

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