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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Comoros  
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Comoros

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   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 has 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.
   Geography    Comoros
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southern Africa, group of islands in 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
total: 2,170 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 2,170 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
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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%
permanent crops: 18%
other: 47% (1998 est.)
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
   People    Comoros
Population:
Definition Field Listing
614,382 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 42.9% (male 132,013; female 131,282)
15-64 years: 54.2% (male 164,245; female 168,793)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 8,588; female 9,461) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.99% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
39.01 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
NEGL migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
81.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 60.79 years
female: 63.09 years (2002 est.)
male: 58.56 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.26 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.12% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
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: 57.3%
male: 64.2%
female: 50.4% (1995 est.)
   Government    Comoros
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros
conventional short form: Comoros
local short form: Comores
local long form: Republique Federale Islamique des 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 Muslim 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 - AZALI Assoumani became president on 6 May 1999 after a bloodless coup on 30 April 1999; on 16 January 2002, President AZALI resigned his position to run in the 14 April 2002 presidential elections; during that time, Prime Minister Hamada Madi BOLERO served as interim president
election results: President AZALI Assoumani elected president with 75% of the vote
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 14 April 2002 (next to be held NA April 2007); prime minister appointed by the president
head of government: Prime Minister Hamada Madi BOLERO (since NA November 2000); note - on 16 January 2002, President AZALI resigned his position to run in the 14 April 2002 presidential elections; Prime Minister Hamada Madi BOLERO was appointed interim president and Djaffar SALIM interim deputy prime minister
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral legislature consists of the Senate (15 seats - five from each island); members selected by regional councils for six-year terms) and a Federal Assembly or Assemblee Federale (42 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - the Federal Assembly was dissolved following the coup of 30 April 1999
elections: Federal Assembly - last held 1 and 8 December 1996 (next to be held NA)
note: the constitution stipulates that only parties that win six seats in the Federal Assembly (two from each island) are permitted to be in the opposition, but if no party accomplishes that, the second most successful party will be in the opposition; in the elections of December 1996 the FNJ appeared to qualify as opposition
election results: Federal Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RND 39, FNJ 3, independent 1
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
Front National pour la Justice or FNJ (Islamic party in opposition) [Ahmed Abdallah MOHAMED, Ahmed ABOUBACAR, Soidiki M'BAPANOZA]; Rassemblement National pour le Development or RND (party of the government) [Ali Bazi SELIM]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, CCC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Ahmed DJABIR (ambassador to the US and Canada and permanent representative to the UN)
telephone: [1] (212) 972-8010 and 223-2711
FAX: [1] (212) 983-4712 and 715-0699
chancery: (temporary) care of the Permanent Mission of the Federal and Islamic Republic of the Comoros to the United Nations, 420 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022
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
   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 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
purchasing power parity - $424 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $710 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 40%
industry: 4%
services: 56% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
60% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3.5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
144,500 (1996 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 80%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
20% (1996 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $27.6 million
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, perfume distillation
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-2% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
19 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 89.47%
hydro: 10.53%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
17.67 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$35.3 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
vanilla, ylang-ylang, cloves, perfume oil, copra
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 46%, US 18%, Singapore 18%, Germany 9% (1999)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$44.9 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods; petroleum products, cement, transport equipment
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 34%, South Africa 14%, Kenya 7%, Pakistan 4% (1999)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$225 million (yearend 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 per US dollar - 557.09 (January 2002), 549.78 (2001), 533.98 (2000), 461.77 (1999), 442.46 (1998), 437.75 (1997)
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
   Communications    Comoros
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
7,000 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
NA
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: HF radiotelephone communications to Madagascar and Reunion
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
90,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
1,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.km
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
1,500 (2001)
   Transportation    Comoros
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 880 km
paved: 673 km
unpaved: 207 km (1996)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Fomboni, Moroni, Moutsamoudou
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 139,779 GRT/205,369 DWT
ships by type: cargo 6
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Malta 1, Pakistan 1, Turkey 1 (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
4 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2001)
   Military    Comoros
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Comoran Security Force
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 145,509 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 86,455 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$6 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
3% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Comoros
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claims French-administered Mayotte; the island of Anjouan (Nzwani) has moved to secede from Comoros again after recent military coup

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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