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Comoros (2005)

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Comoros 2005 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: 42.8% (male 144,075/female 143,175)

15-64 years: 54.2% (male 179,541/female 184,488)

65 years and over: 3% (male 9,407/female 10,561) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)
Airports 4 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2004 est.)
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
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 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 of 2002.
Birth rate 37.52 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $27.6 million

expenditures: NA, including capital expenditures of NA (2001 est.)
Capital Moroni
Climate tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)
Coastline 340 km
Constitution 23 December 2001
Country name conventional long form: Union of the Comoros

conventional short form: Comoros

local long form: Union des Comores

local short form: Comores
Death rate 8.4 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $232 million (2000 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: 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
Disputes - international claims French-administered Mayotte
Economic aid - recipient $10 million (2001 est.)
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, 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.
Electricity - consumption 22.17 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 23.84 million kWh (2002)
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 (KMF) per US dollar - 396.21 (2004), 435.9 (2003), 522.74 (2002), 549.78 (2001), 533.98 (2000)

note: 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 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 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
Exports 0 kWh (2002)
Exports $28 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports NA
Exports - commodities vanilla, ylang-ylang, cloves, perfume oil, copra
Exports - partners US 43.8%, France 18.6%, Singapore 16.5%, Turkey 4.8%, Germany 4.5% (2004)
Fiscal year calendar year
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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 40%

industry: 4%

services: 56% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $700 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 12 10 S, 44 15 E
Geography - note important location at northern end of Mozambique Channel
Highways total: 880 km

paved: 673 km

unpaved: 207 km (1999 est)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA
Imports 0 kWh (2002)
Imports $88 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports NA
Imports - commodities rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods; petroleum products, cement, transport equipment
Imports - partners France 23.5%, South Africa 11.1%, Kenya 7.5%, UAE 7.2%, Italy 4.9%, Pakistan 4.7%, Mauritius 4.2%, Singapore 4.1% (2004)
Independence 6 July 1975 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate -2% (1999 est.)
Industries tourism, perfume distillation
Infant mortality rate total: 74.93 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 83.48 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 66.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.5% (2001 est.)
International organization participation ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AMF, AU, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (observer), ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO
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: 35.87%

permanent crops: 23.32%

other: 40.81% (2001)
Languages Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Legal system French and Sharia (Islamic) law in a new consolidated code
Legislative branch unicameral Assembly of the Union (33 seats; 15 deputies are selected by the individual islands' local assemblies and the 18 by universal suffrage; deputies serve for five years);

elections: last held 18 and 25 April 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)

election results: NA
Life expectancy at birth total population: 61.96 years

male: 59.65 years

female: 64.33 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 56.5%

male: 63.6%

female: 49.3% (2003 est.)
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
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine total: 79 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 452,801 GRT/681,343 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 55, chemical tanker 1, container 1, livestock carrier 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 35 (Bulgaria 1, Germany 1, Greece 7, India 1, Jordan 1, Kenya 1, Lebanon 3, Nigeria 1, Norway 1, Pakistan 1, Philippines 1, Russia 2, Syria 3, Turkey 6, Ukraine 4, United Kingdom 1) (2005)
Military branches Comoran Security Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $11.6 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 3% (2004)
National holiday Independence Day, 6 July (1975)
Nationality noun: Comoran(s)

adjective: Comoran
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 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Political parties and leaders 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 NA
Population 671,247 (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 60% (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 2.91% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Mayotte, Moutsamoudou
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
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: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
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
Telephones - main lines in use 13,200 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 2,000 (2003)
Television broadcast stations NA
Terrain volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills
Total fertility rate 5.09 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 20% (1996 est.)
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