Comoros Country Facts

By | June 3, 2024
القمر‎, Juzur al-Qamar
Capital city Moronic
Surface 2,235 km²
Population 890,000
Road network length 673 km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Right
License plate code COM

The Comoros or Comoros (Arabic: جزر القمر‎, Juzur al-Qumur), formally the Union of the Comoros (French: Union des Comores) is an archipelago in Africa. The country comprises three islands and is about the size of a small Dutch province. The country has more than 900,000 inhabitants and the capital is Moroni.

Geography

The Comoros are located east of the north coast of Mozambique and northwest of Madagascar. The capital Moroni is about 300 kilometers from the coast of Mozambique and 550 kilometers from the coast of Madagascar. The archipelago consists of 4 islands, the French island of Mayotte is also claimed by the Comoros. The three Comorian islands are Grande Comore, Mwali and Anjouan. The islands are mountainous, on Grande Comore is the volcano Mount Karthala, with 2361 meters the highest point in the country. On the other islands there are mountains between 700 and 1500 meters.

The Comoros has a tropical climate. The average maximum temperature in Moroni is between 28 and 31 °C all year round. There is a lot of precipitation, on average 2700 mm per year, with large monthly sums between December and July, and less but still quite a lot in the period August-November. The islands are prone to tropical cyclones.

Demographics

The population of the Comoros quadrupled between 1960 and 2010, from 200,000 to 800,000 inhabitants. It is therefore relatively densely populated.  The capital Moroni has more than 50,000 inhabitants. The country is diverse in ethnicities, with African, Arab and Austronesian populations. Most Europeans left the country after independence. There is talk of illegal migration to the nearby French island of Mayotte.

Comorian, a language related to Swahili, is spoken on the islands. This language is written in both Arabic and Latin, with the Arabic variant being the most commonly used. Arabic and French are also official languages. French is the administrative language of government and education as far as it is not about the Quran as Quran lessons are in Arabic.

Economy

The Comoros are a developing country, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. The majority of the population works in agriculture, mostly for their own food supply. The country has few raw materials, the main export products are spices. The country also exports scrap ships. The poor state of the economy is causing many Comorians to migrate to other countries, especially the French island of Mayotte is a popular destination.

History

The first inhabitants of the islands were Austronesian migrants who sailed to the Comoros by boat from islands in Southeast Asia. Next came migrants from the Persian Gulf, Malaysia and Madagascar, giving the islands a mixed population. The first Europeans on the islands were Portuguese in the 15th century. The islands became a resting place for ships on their way from Europe to South Asia and back. At the end of the 18th century, the slave trade started by rulers from Madagascar. The importance of the Comoros as a resting place for ships declined sharply after the opening of the Suez Canal. At the end of the 19th century, the islands began to be under French administration. The economy then consisted largely of plantations where sugar cane was grown. In 1908, the islands were placed under one administration and were administered from Madagascar.

In the 1970s, referendums were held on all four islands to gain independence. The island of Mayotte voted against and remained part of France, in 1975 the other three islands became independent and formed the Union of the Comoros. Since independence from France, the country has seen more than 20 coups d’état. The Comoros is therefore considered one of the most unstable island nations in the Indian Ocean.

Road Network

The road network is relatively large, with almost 700 kilometers of paved road, especially on the island of Grande Comore, where there is a ring road across the island. The road network on the other islands is very limited. There are no motorways on the Comoros, and the road network in the capital Moroni is not particularly developed, partly due to the mountainous environment. On the island of Moheli there is one short paved road, on the larger island of Anjouan there are more roads, often with many hairpin bends because of the mountainous character. The roads mainly serve the coastal regions. There are few roads inland on all islands. Most freight goes by sea.

Road numbering

The road network of the Comoros consists of Route Nationales and Route Régionales (RN and RR). Road numbers on the island of Grande Comore run from RN1 to RN5, and is zone 0. On the island of Anjouan they start with a 2, and is zone 2. On the island of Mohéli they start with a 3, and is zone 3.

Routes

  • RN1 Moroni – Mitsamiouli
  • RN2 Moroni – Nioumadzaha Mvoumbari
  • RN3 Mitsamiouli – Nioumadzaha Mvoumbari
  • RN4 Moroni – Chomoni
  • RN5 Panda – Nioumadzaha Mvoumbari

Signage

Little is known about any signage on the Comoros. It is obvious that signage is used that is also used in France, as the country was a colony of France until 1975.

 

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