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  Geography
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Map of Comoros

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Comoros
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Unstable Comoros has endured 19 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared their 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 was sworn in on 26 May 2002.

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   Geography    Comoros
Location:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
12 10 S, 44 15 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,170 sq km
land: 2,170 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
340 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Le Kartala 2,360 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
NEGL
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 35.87%
permanent crops: 23.32%
other: 40.81% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April); Le Kartala on Grand Comore is an active volcano
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
soil degradation and erosion results from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
important location at northern end of Mozambique Channel

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   People    Comoros
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
651,901 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 42.8% (male 140,083; female 139,245)
15-64 years: 54.2% (male 174,216; female 179,050)
65 years and over: 3% (male 9,136; female 10,171) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18.6 years
male: 18.3 years
female: 18.9 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.94% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
38 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.63 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 77.22 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 85.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 68.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 61.57 years
male: 59.29 years
female: 63.91 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.15 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.12% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Comoran(s)
adjective: Comoran
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 56.5%
male: 63.6%
female: 49.3% (2003 est.)

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   Government    Comoros
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Union of the Comoros
conventional short form: Comoros
local long form: Union des Comores
local short form: Comores
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
independent republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Moroni
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
3 islands; Grande Comore (Njazidja), Anjouan (Nzwani), and Moheli (Mwali); note - there are also four municipalities named Domoni, Fomboni, Moroni, and Moutsamoudou
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
6 July 1975 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 6 July (1975)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
23 December 2001
note: a Transitional National Unity Government (GUNT) was formed on 20 January 2002 following the passing of the new constitution; the GUNT governed until the presidential elections on 14 April 2002
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
French and Sharia (Islamic) law in a new consolidated code
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President AZALI Assoumani (since 26 May 2002); note - following a 1999 coup AZALI was appointed president; in January 2002 he resigned his position to run in the 14 April 2002 presidential elections; Prime Minister Hamada Madi BOLERO was appointed interim president until replaced again by AZALI in May 2002 when BOLERO was appointed Minister of External Defense and Territorial Security; the president is both the chief of state and the head of government
head of government: President AZALI Assoumani (since 26 May 2002); note - following a 1999 coup AZALI was appointed president; in January 2002 he resigned his position to run in the 14 April 2002 presidential elections; Prime Minister Hamada Madi BOLERO was appointed interim president until replaced again by AZALI in May 2002 when BOLERO was appointed Minister of External Defense and Territorial Security; the president is both the chief of state and the head of government
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 April 2002 (next to be held NA April 2007); prime minister appointed by the president; note - AZALI has not appointed a Prime Minister since he was sworn into office in May 2002
election results: President AZALI Assoumani elected president with 75% of the vote
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Assembly of the Union (30 seats; half the deputies are selected by the individual islands' local assemblies and the other half by universal suffrage; deputies serve for five years); note - elections for the former legislature, the Federal Assembly (dissolved in 1999) were held on 1 and 8 December 1996; the next elections for the Assembly of the Union were scheduled to be held on 18 and 25 April 2004
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Forces pour l'Action Republicaine or FAR [Col. Abdourazak ABDULHAMID]; Forum pour la Redressement National or FRN (alliance of 12 parties); Front Democratique or FD [Moustoifa Said CHEIKH]; Front National pour la Justice or FNJ (Islamic party in opposition) [Ahmed RACHID]; Movement des Citoyens pour la Republique or MCR [Mahamoud MRADABI]; Mouvement Populaire Anjouanais or MPA (Anjouan separatist movement) [leader NA]; Mouvement pour la Democratie et le Progress or MDP-NGDC [Abbas DJOUSSOUF]; Movement pour le Socialisme et la Democratie or MSD (splinter group of FD) [Abdou SOEFOU]; Parti Comorien pour la Democratie et le Progress or PCDP [Ali MROUDJAE]; Rassemblement National pour le Development or RND (party of the government) [Omar TAMOU, Abdoulhamid AFFRAITANE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AMF, AU, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Mahmoud M. ABOUD (ambassador to the US and Canada and permanent representative to the UN)
chancery: (temporary) care of the Permanent Mission of the Union of the Comoros to the United Nations, 420 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022
telephone: [1] (212) 972-8010 and 223-2711
FAX: [1] (212) 983-4712 and 715-0699
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
the US does not have an embassy in Comoros; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Comoros
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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

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   Economy    Comoros
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
One of the world's 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, to privatize commercial and industrial enterprises, to improve health services, to diversify exports, to promote tourism, and to 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:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $441 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $700 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 40%
industry: 4%
services: 56% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
60% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
144,500 (1996 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 80%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20% (1996 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $27.6 million
expenditures: NA, including capital expenditures of NA (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, perfume distillation
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-2% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.27 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.78 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
700 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$28 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
vanilla, ylang-ylang, cloves, perfume oil, copra
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 45.5%, Germany 18.2%, US 12.1%, Madagascar 6.1% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$88 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods; petroleum products, cement, transport equipment
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 32.7%, Japan 14.2%, South Africa 10.6%, Kenya 5.3%, UAE 5.3%, Thailand 4.4% (2003 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$232 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$10 million (2001 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Comoran franc (KMF)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
KMF
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Comoran francs (KMF) per US dollar - 435.9 (2003), 522.741 (2002), 549.779 (2001), 533.982 (2000), 461.775 (1999)
note: prior to January 1999, the official rate was pegged to the French franc at 75 Comoran francs per French franc; since 1 January 1999, the Comoran franc is pegged to the euro at a rate of 491.9677 Comoran francs per euro
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Comoros
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13,200 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,000 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.km
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,000 (2003)

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   Transportation    Comoros
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 880 km
paved: 673 km
unpaved: 207 km (1999 est)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Fomboni, Moroni, Moutsamoudou
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 62 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 452,801 GRT/681,343 DWT
by type: bulk 9, cargo 31, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 1, livestock carrier 1, passenger 4, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 1, short-sea/passenger 2, specialized tanker 4
foreign-owned: Bahamas 1, Bulgaria 1, Cyprus 1, Greece 7, Honduras 1, India 1, Kenya 1, Lebanon 7, Liberia 1, Marshall Islands 3, Pakistan 4, Panama 2, Russia 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Saudi Arabia 2, Syria 4, Turkey 21, United Kingdom 1, United States 1, Yemen 2 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
4 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Comoros
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Comoran Security Force
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 154,843 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 91,825 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Comoros
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claims French-administered Mayotte

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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