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Countries > Comoros (Federal Islamic Republic) Comoros (Federal Islamic Republic) Flag

Languages   3 languages are spoken in Comoros (Federal Islamic Republic). We have 1241 products available for 2 of those languages.

Capital: Moroni
Population: 545,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Comoros (Federal Islamic Republic) Map


Historical perspective: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.


Location: Southern Africa, group of islands in the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique

Geographic coordinates: 12 10 S, 44 15 E

Map references: Africa

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

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 340 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)

Terrain: volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Kartala 2,360 m

Natural resources: negligible

Land use:
arable land: 35%
permanent crops: 18%
other:47% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: cyclones and tsunamis possible during rainy season (December to April); Mount Kartala on Grand Comore is an active volcano

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, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Desertification

Geography - note: important location at northern end of Mozambique Channel


Population: 614,382 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
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: 2.99% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 39.01 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:NEGL migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

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:0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 81.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 60.79 years
male : 58.56 years
female: 63.09 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate:5.26 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Comoran(s)
adjective: Comoran

Ethnic groups: Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava

Religions: Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%

Languages: Arabic (official), French (official), Comoran (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.3%
male: 64.2%
female: 50.4% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form : Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros
conventional short form: Comoros
local long form: Republique Federale Islamique des Comores
local short form: Comores

Data code: CN

Government type: independent republic

National capital: Moroni

Administrative divisions: 3 islands; Grande Comore (Njazidja), Anjouan (Nzwani), and Moheli (Mwali); note - there are also four municipalities named Domoni, Fomboni, Moroni, and Moutsamoudou

Independence: 6 July 1975 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 July (1975)

Constitution: 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: French and Muslim law in a new consolidated code

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
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
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
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
election results: President AZALI Assoumani elected president with 75% of the vote

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 (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: 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: 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]

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AL, CCC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador -designate Ahmed DJABIR (ambassador to the US and Canada and permanent representative to the UN)
chancery: (temporary) care of the Permanent Mission of the Federal and Islamic Republic of the Comoros to the United Nations, 336 East 45th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-8010
FAX : [1] (212) 983-4712

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Comoros; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Comoros

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


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 nearly 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 privati ze 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 reached in the late 1990s.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $424 million (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $710 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 40%
industry: 4%
services :56% (2001 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total : 144,500 (1996 est.)
by occupation: agriculture 80%, government 3%

Unemployment rate:20% (1996 est.)

revenues : $27.6 million
expenditures:$NA, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries: tourism, perfume distillation

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

Electricity - capacity: 16,000 kW (1991)

Electricity - production: 19 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita:17.67 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)

total value: $35.3 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: vanilla, ylang-ylang, cloves, perfume oil, copra
partners: France 46%, US 18%, Singapore 18%, Germany 9% (1999)

total value: $40.9 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods; petroleum products, cement, transport equipment
partners: France 34%, South Africa 14%, Kenya 7%, Pakistan 4% (1999)

Debt - external: $225 million (yearend 2000 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $10 million (2001 est.)

Currency: 1 Comoran franc (CF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: 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: calendar year


Telephones: 7,000 (2000)

Telephone system: 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: AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Radios: 90,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:NA Televisions: 1,000 (1997)


Railways: 0 km

total:880 km
paved: 673 km
unpaved :207 km (1996)

Ports and harbors: Fomboni, Moroni, Mutsamudu

Merchant marine:
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: 4 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2001)


Military branches: Comoran Security Force

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 145,509 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 86,455 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $6 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:3% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: claims French-administered Mayotte

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