Comoros

10 Mar 2015

 

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 labour 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 50% to GDP, employs 80% of the labour force, and provides most of the exports. Export income is heavily reliant on the three main crops of vanilla, cloves, and ylang-ylang; and Comoros' export earnings are easily disrupted by disasters such as fires. 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, privatize commercial and industrial enterprises, improve health services, diversify exports and promote tourism. Remittances from 150,000 Comorans abroad help supplement GDP. 

The international donor community currently plays a modest role in the country’s development. According to the OECD statistics, Comoros received approximately US$25 million in development assistance in 2005.

France was by far the largest donor contributing almost $17 million followed by UN agencies (including the World Bank) with over $7 million and the EC with over $4 million. Further, the economy is also significantly dependent upon remittances from the estimated 150,000-strong Comorian Diaspora in France and elsewhere.

Economic development in the past two decades has been hindered by a combination of recurrent political crises, macro-economic imbalances, and external shocks. A gradual recovery of the economy is observed since 2008. Real GDP is driven by agriculture and services increased by 0.6% in 2008, 1.1% in 2009 and 2.1% in 2010.

 

Essential Information     

Area: 2,170 sq km
Population:795,000 (July 2011 est.)
Capital:Moroni
Principal Towns:Fomboni, Moutsamoudou, Domoni
Languages: Arabic and French are the official languages while Comoran, a blend of Swahili and Arabic, is also spoken.
Gross Domestic Product (purchasing power parity):$872 million (2012 est.)


Gross Domestic Product (official exchange rate):$595 million (2012 est.)
 
GDP per capita: $1,300 (2012 est.)
 
Reserves: 6.2 months of imports of goods and services (2009 est.)
Climate: The coast has a moderate climate with temperatures ranging from 13 to 32°C. The summer months of June to September can be hot and humid with daytime temperatures registering between 27 and 32°C; these can be exceeded, for brief periods, when the hot, dry sirocco wind blows from the south. The Sahara desert is hot and arid with daytime temperatures reaching 43°C while night temperatures fall to 10°C or less.


Currency: Comoros Franc (KMF) = nearly 0.00281 US Dollar (USD)


Visa Requirements: A valid passport and onward/return ticket are required. A three-week entry visa, which may be extended, may be obtained from the airport on arrival. Travellers should obtain the latest details from the nearest Mission of the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros.

 

Comoros' National Day 6 July

 

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Diplomatic representation of Comoros in Switzerland

 

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