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Comoros (2001)

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Comoros 2001 year

Administrative divisions 3 islands; Grande Comore (Njazidja), Anjouan (Nzwani), and Moheli (Mwali); note - there are also four municipalities named Domoni, Fomboni, Moroni, and Moutsamoudou
Age structure 0-14 years:
42.81% (male 127,955; female 127,267)

15-64 years:
54.26% (male 159,560; female 163,949)

65 years and over:
2.93% (male 8,326; female 9,145) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)
Airports 4 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

914 to 1,523 m:
3 (2000 est.)
Area total:
2,170 sq km

2,170 sq km

0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC
Background 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 the 2000 Fomboni Accord, a confederal arrangement that the Organization of African Unity has yet to recognize.
Birth rate 39.52 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$48 million

$53 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997)
Capital Moroni
Climate tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)
Coastline 340 km
Constitution 20 October 1996
Country name conventional long form:
Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros

conventional short form:

local long form:
Republique Federale Islamique des Comores

local short form:
Currency Comoran franc (KMF)
Death rate 9.35 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $197 million (1997 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US the US does not have an embassy in Comoros; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Comoros
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Deputy Permanent Representative Mahmoud Mohamed ABOUD (acting)

(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

[1] (212) 972-8010

[1] (212) 983-4712
Disputes - international claims French-administered Mayotte; the island of Anjouan (Nzwani) has moved to secede from Comoros
Economic aid - recipient $28.1 million (1997)
Economy - overview 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, is the leading sector of the economy. It 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. Continued 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.
Electricity - consumption 15.8 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 17 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Le Kartala 2,360 m
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
Ethnic groups Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava
Exchange rates Comoran francs per US dollar - 524.41 (January 2001), 533.98 (2000), 461.77 (1999), 442.46 (1998), 437.75 (1997), 383.66 (1996)

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
Executive branch chief of state:
President AZALI Assoumani (since 6 May 1999); note - the interim government of President Tajiddine Ben Said MASSOUNDE, which had assumed power on 6 November 1998 upon the death of President Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim, was overthrown in a bloodless coup on 30 April 1999

head of government:
Prime Minister Hamada MADI (since late November 2000)

Council of Ministers appointed by the president

president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 6 and 16 March 1996 (next to be held NA); prime minister appointed by the president

President AZALI claimed a one-year term at the time of the coup; but elections, promised for spring 2000, were not held

election results:
results of the last presidential election before the coup were: Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim elected president; percent of vote - 64.3%
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $7.9 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities vanilla, ylang-ylang, cloves, perfume oil, copra
Exports - partners France 50%, Germany 25% (1998)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description green with a white crescent in the center of the field, its points facing downward; there are four white five-pointed stars placed in a line between the points of the crescent; the crescent, stars, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam; 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 design, the most recent of several, is described in the constitution approved by referendum on 7 June 1992
GDP purchasing power parity - $419 million (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


56% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $720 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 0.5% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 12 10 S, 44 15 E
Geography - note important location at northern end of Mozambique Channel
Highways total:
880 km

673 km

207 km (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $55.1 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods; petroleum products, cement, transport equipment
Imports - partners France 38%, Pakistan 13%, South Africa 8%, Kenya 8% (1998)
Independence 6 July 1975 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate -2% (1999 est.)
Industries tourism, perfume distillation, textiles, furniture, jewelry, construction materials, soft drinks
Infant mortality rate 84.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.5% (1999)
International organization participation ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, CCC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, InOC, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land NA sq km
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)
Labor force 144,500 (1996 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 80%
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

30% (1993 est.)
Languages Arabic (official), French (official), Comoran (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Legal system French and Muslim law in a new consolidated code
Legislative branch 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 (43 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - the Federal Assembly was dissolved following the coup of 30 April 1999

Federal Assembly - last held 1 and 8 December 1996 (next to be held NA)

election results:
Federal Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RND 39, FNJ 3, independent 1

the constitution stipulates that only parties that win six seats in the Federal Assembly (two from each island) are permitted to be in opposition, but if no party accomplishes that, the second most successful party will be in opposition; in the elections of December 1996 the FNJ appeared to qualify as opposition
Life expectancy at birth total population:
60.41 years

58.2 years

62.68 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


50.4% (1995 est.)
Location Southern Africa, group of islands in the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Map references Africa
Maritime claims exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine total:
2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 19,122 GRT/29,817 DWT

ships by type:
cargo 2 (2000 est.)
Military branches Comoran Security Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP NA%
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
141,120 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
83,920 (2001 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 6 July (1975)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April); Le Kartala on Grand Comore is an active volcano
Natural resources NEGL
Net migration rate NEGL migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Political parties and leaders 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 NA
Population 596,202 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 3.02% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Fomboni, Moroni, Moutsamoudou
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios 90,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%
Sex ratio 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:
0.98 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
sparse system of microwave radio relay and HF radiotelephone communication stations

HF radiotelephone communications and microwave radio relay

HF radiotelephone communications to Madagascar and Reunion
Telephones - main lines in use 6,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular NA
Television broadcast stations 0 (1998)
Terrain volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills
Total fertility rate 5.32 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 20% (1996 est.)
Waterways none
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