COMORAN Facts & Figures

Size: 863 square miles

Population: 798,000

Capital: Moroni

Currency: Comorian Franc

Weather / Climate:

The Comoro Archipelago enjoys a tropical maritime climate, characterized by slight daytime temperature variations throughout the year of around 26 °C (78.8 °F) at sea-level and by abundant precipitation: 2,679 mm (105.5 in) a year. The average temperature of the sea water is 25 °C (77 °F). There are two seasons in the Comoros: the hot and humid season flowing in from the north-west from November to April and the dry season from May to October. The climate on Mayotte is, nevertheless, noticeably warmer and drier. The climate is also characterized by important local variations in temperature and precipitation according to altitude, relief and the degree of exposure to the elements. Annual precipitation therefore varies in the region of 1,000 to 6,000 mm (39.4 to 236.2 in) and the absolute minimum of 0 °C (32 °F) is reached on the summit of Karthala.

The hot, dry season is caused by a vast low pressure area which extends over a large part of the Indian Ocean and Central Africa. This low pressure favours gusty winds and cyclones. The last cyclone was "Gafilo" which passed close to the Comoros on the 5th of March 2004 causing great material damage. During the hot and humid season it can rain as much as 200 mm (7.9 in) in twenty-four hours. The dry season is calmer. The low pressure moves towards the continent of Asia (this is the Monsoon, the wind blowing from the south-east) and an anticyclone forms below the Comoros. This still does not prevent the islands from having a few gusts of wind, but their intensity is a lot less than during the hot season.

The two winds that bring the two different seasons are called the Kashkasi (in November) and the Kusi.

Taken from wikipedia

COMORAN languages

Though in the contested island of Mayotte the sole official language is French, the "Union of the Comoros" has three official languages: Comorian, Arabic, and French.

Comorian(Shikomor) is the most widely used language on the Comoros (independent islands in the Indian Ocean, off Mozambique and Madagascar) and Mayotte. It is a set of Swahili dialects but with a much stronger Arabic influence than standard Swahili. Each island has a different dialect; that of Anjouan is called Shindzuani, that of Mohéli Shimwali, that of Mayotte Shimaore, and that of Grande Comore Shingazija. No official alphabet existed in 1992, but Arabic and Latin scripts were both used.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comorian_language

COMORAN people

The Comorians inhabiting Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Mohéli (86% of the population) share African-Arab origins. Islam (See Islam in Comoros) is the dominant religion, and Quranic schools for children reinforce its influence. Although Arab culture is firmly established throughout, a small minority are Christian.

Population density figures conceal a great disparity between the republic's most crowded island, Nzwani, which had a density of 470 persons per square kilometer in 1991; Ngazidja, which had a density of 250 persons per square kilometer in 1991; and Mwali, where the 1991 population density figure was 120 persons per square kilometer. Overall population density increased to about 285 persons per square kilometer by 1994. By comparison, estimates of the population density per square kilometer of the Indian Ocean's other island microstates ranged from 241 (Seychelles) to 690 (Maldives) in 1993. Given the rugged terrain of Ngazidja and Nzwani, and the dedication of extensive tracts to agriculture on all three islands, population pressures on Comoros are becoming increasingly critical.

The age structure of the population of Comoros is similar to that of many developing countries, in that the republic has a very large proportion of young people. In 1989, 46.4 percent of the population was under fifteen years of age, an above-average proportion even for sub-Saharan Africa. The population's rate of growth was a relatively high 3.5 percent per annum in the mid 1980s, up substantially from 2.0 percent in the mid-1970s and 2.1 percent in the mid-1960s.

The Comorian population has become increasingly urbanized in recent years. In 1991 the percentage of Comorians residing in cities and towns of more than 5,000 persons was about 30 percent, up from 25 percent in 1985 and 23 percent in 1980. Comoros' largest cities were the capital, Moroni, with about 30,000 people, and the port city of Mutsamudu, on the island of Nzwani, with about 20,000 people.

Migration among the various islands is important. Natives of Nzwani have settled in significant numbers on less crowded Mwali, causing some social tensions, and many Nzwani also migrate to Maore. In 1977 Maore expelled peasants from Ngazidja and Nzwani who had recently settled in large numbers on the island. Some were allowed to reenter starting in 1981 but solely as migrant labor.

The number of Comorians living abroad has been estimated at between 80,000 and 100,000; during the colonial period, most of them lived in Tanzania, Madagascar, and other parts of East Africa. The number of Comorians residing in Madagascar was drastically reduced after anti-Comorian rioting in December 1976 in Mahajanga, in which at least 1,400 Comorians were killed. As many as 17,000 Comorians left Madagascar to seek refuge in their native land in 1977 alone. About 100,000 Comorians live in France; many of them had gone there for a university education and never returned. Small numbers of Indians, Malagasy, South Africans, and Europeans (mostly French) live on the islands and play an important role in the economy. Most French stepped out after independence in 1975.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_comoros

COMORAN food

Anyone who decides of visiting the beautiful country of Comoros must know that here they can find a culinary paradise. This thing is possible only because of all the people like French, Arabs or other African people, that came on this lands and left their mark over the Comoros cuisine. A typical Comoros meal should always contain rice and meat, seasoned with one of the many locally produced ingredients like vanilla, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Also very famous in this country are fish dishes like the one called “Langouste a la vanille” a very rich dish made with lobster boiled in vanilla sauce. Anyone who wants to try a very stodgy dish can always have a stew made with all kind of Indian ingredients and vegetables like curries, chapattis, Lentil soups and a large variety of pickles. On this island there can be easily found and used in cooking any dish all kind of exotic ingredients and fruits like peppers, maize, chiles, tomatoes, bananas, pineapples, limes and oranges.

Preparation methods for Comoros cooking imply using methods like baking, boiling, roasting, spicing or mashing. Comoros cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Comoros cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Comoros cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Comoros is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Comoros’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Comoros dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Taken from http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Comorian_Cuisine

Places to go in COMOROS

Comoran products can be purchased at Moroni on Ngazidja (Grande Comore). These include gold, pearl and shell jewellery, woven cloth, embroidered skull-caps (koffia) and slippers, carved chests, panels and portes-croix (lecterns), pottery and basketry. Most items can be bought in the villages where they are made.

The capital Moroni on Ngazidja (Grande Comore) is a charming, peaceful town containing a few broad squares and modern government buildings, as well as old, narrow, winding streets and a market place. There are numerous fine mosques including the Vendredi Mosque, from the top of which there is an attractive view.

Itsandra - fishing village, 6km (4 miles) from Moroni, has a lovely beach, and there are opportunities to see dances performed by the local men. The town was once the ancient capital of the island, complete with royal tombs and a fortress.

Mahore (Mayotte) - French-administered island is surrounded by a coral reef and has good beaches and excellent scuba-diving facilities. Tourists may explore the lagoon (claimed to be the largest in the world) by dugout canoe. The town of Dzaoudzi contains some old fortifications worthy of a visit; Pamanzi is a forested islet, 5km (3 miles) offshore, fragrant with a wealth of vegetation; at Sulu a waterfall plunges straight into the sea, and find the remains of an old mosque at Tsingoni.

Mitsamiouli - a town in the north of the island, Mitsamiouli is known both for its good diving facilities and for having the best Comoran dancers.

Mwali (Mohéli) is the smallest of the main islands, travellers can see dhows (Arab sail boats) being built on the beach at Fomboni.

Nzwani (Anjouan) is notable for its waterfalls and abundant vegetation. The main town of Mutsamudu is built in Swahili-Shirazi style, complete with 17th-century houses with carved doors, twisting alleyways, mosques and a citadel. The ancient capital of Domoni is also worth a visit. The best beaches are in the Bimbini area. There are perfume distilleries at Bambao.

The more energetic can climb to the top of Mount Karthala and then descend into the crater of this active volcano. The crater is claimed to be the largest still active anywhere in the world. It is usual to make one overnight stop at the shelter provided.

Dziani Boundouni is a sulphurous crater lake at the centre of the sparsely populated island of Mwali (Mohéli), which can be reached on day-walks from its capital, Fomboni. Owing to political instability, visitors are advised to check the latest travel advice before contemplating a trip to Mohéli.

There are many excellent beaches on all the islands and Galawa Beach on Grande Comore has a diving school. Other good beaches include Bouni, Chomoni (near a sheltered bay), Itsandra and the palm-fringed Planet Plage. Pirogue (canoe) races are occasionally staged in the lagoon that surrounds Mahore. Sailing boats and canoes are available for hire in many ports.

There is excellent diving in the archipelago. The Trou du Prophète in Misamiouli on Ngazidja, Niumashuwa Bay on Mwali and Pamanzi islet off Mahore are particularly fine.

The Comoros islands' distinctive (and protected) green turtle can be seen in the marine reserve off Mohéli's southern coast. Trips by motorised pirogues (canoes) can be arranged with local fishermen from Niumashuwa. Giant turtles may be seen at Niumashuwa Bay.

Taken from www.worldtravelguide.net

Doing business in COMOROS

Comoros is one of the world's poorest countries. Economic growth and poverty reduction are major priorities for the government. With a rate of 14.3%, unemployment is considered very high. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting, and forestry, is the leading sector of the economy, and 38.4% of the working population is employed in the primary sector. High population densities, as much as 1000 per square kilometer in the densest agricultural zones, for what is still a mostly rural, agricultural economy may lead to an environmental crisis in the near future, especially considering the high rate of population growth. The Comoros' real GDP growth was a low 1.9% in 2004 and real GDP per capita was continuing declining annually in 2004. These declines are explained by factors including declining investment, drops in consumption, rising inflation, and an increase in trade imbalance due in part to lowered cash crop prices, especially vanilla.[45]

Fiscal policy is constrained by erratic fiscal revenues, a bloated civil service wage bill, and an external debt that is far above the HIPC threshold. Membership in the franc zone, the main anchor of stability, has nevertheless helped contain pressures on domestic prices.[46]

Comoroshas an inadequate transportation system, 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 contributes 40% to GDP, employs 80% of the labor force, and provides most of the exports. Comoros is the world's largest producer of ylang-ylang, and a large producer of vanilla.[47]

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.[citation needed]

The Comoros claims the Banc du Geyser and the Glorioso Islands as part of its exclusive economic zone.[citation needed]

Comorosis a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA)

Taken from wikipedia

COMOROS: useful links

www.ksu.edu/sasw/comoros/

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13229685

www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel.../comoros

km.embassyinformation.com/

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