Comoros 2004

Comoros People

Yearbook 2004

Comoros. In March, parliamentary elections were held on the three semi-autonomous islands of Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Mohéli) and Nzwani (Anjouan). In all the islands, the elections meant a great victory for the regional presidents’ parties, who got the majority of the votes.

The total population in Comoros is 869,612 people in 2020. The result of the federal parliamentary elections, held in April, was also a success for the regional presidents. Eighteen of Parliament’s 33 members were elected in direct elections, while the other 15 were taken from regional parliaments. The position of Union President Azali Assoumani weakened considerably. His party received only six of the 18 seats, while the other twelve went to the regional opposition parties. The opposition gained a three-quarters majority in the federal parliament and was expected to use its position to give the regions greater autonomy.

A new government, with representatives from both the Union president’s party and the opposition, took office in July. However, Azali Assoumani, who has ruled the country since the 1999 military coup, claimed that the time of turmoil and coups is over and that the country has now gained stability.

Comoros People


Archipelago located in north of Madagascar, between this large island and the African continent, in the Mozambique Channel, with an area of ​​2167 sq km. It consists of a volcanic chain, placed on a submarine base, isolated from depths of more than 1000 m., And includes 4 main islands, which follow one another from the SE. to the NW: Mayotte, Anjouan, Mohéli and Grande Comore. The latter, the closest to the African continent, is 310 km away. from Cape Delgado. The volcano of Grande Comore, Kartala, which reaches 2598 m., Is still active and the lava flows descend to the coasts. The other islands also show ancient craters, lava flows and scoriae. The islands are surrounded by coral reefs. The climate is regulated by the alternation of monsoons: from November to March the NW monsoon dominates., accompanied by rain and high temperatures; from April to October the SE monsoon, cooler and less humid. The annual amount of rain is considerable (more than 1000 mm.).

The population is made up of a mixture of African, Malagasy and Arab elements, the latter coming from the Arabian peninsula. Indigenous life owes most of its outward characteristics to Muslim civilization. The usual language is Zanzibar suaheli. The archipelago has 110,000 residents, That is 50 per sq. Km., While the density of Madagascar is only 5 residents per sq. km. There are 500 Europeans and assimilated people and a certain number of Hindus who trade with Zanzibar and Bombay. The whole of the archipelago, which bears the official name of Mayotte et dépendances, has as its capital Dzaoudzi (111 residents) On the island Mayotte.

France took possession of the Mayotte island in 1843 and established its protectorate in 1886 over the rest of the archipelago, which in 1912 was declared a French colony. The Comoros islands were aggregated to Madagascar in 1914.

The coasts of the Comoros, like those of all intertropical islands, are surrounded by coconut palms; and therefore the manufacture of copra oil forms one of the industries of the archipelago.

Hildebrandt, who explored this archipelago, insisted (Zeitschr. Der Gesellsch. Für Erdkunde, XI, 1876) on the particular vigor of the vegetation that once covered it with a single forest, favored by the particular climatic conditions. In fact, the temperature fluctuates between a minimum of + 10 ° Comoros and a maximum of + 33 ° Comoros and the rains, although particularly intense from January to April, are not lacking in almost any month of the year. The forest has a beautiful series of tree species, often rising up to 40 m. above the ground and has a frankly tropical physiognomy, thanks to some arborescent ferns (Alsophila Boivinii, Cyathea Hildebrandtii), two species of palms, a certain number of epiphytic orchids and piperaceae and a rich cryptogams florula.

As regards the origin of the flora, despite the small distance that separates the most important island of the archipelago (Anaziga) from the African coast, the by far greater affinities are those interceding with the flora of Madagascar. The great equatorial current which, moving from Australia, reaching the East African coast, turns northwards and goes up the Mozambique channel, in fact functions as a barrier against the possible transport of seeds from the continent to the Comoros, while a local countercurrent and superficial, which is produced during the southern monsoon, favors, like a regurgitation, the passage of seeds from Madagascar to the archipelago.

The action of man has strongly degraded the primitive forests, which today cover only one sixth of the original surface. The Grande Comore, due to the nature of its soil, is very arid; the three remaining islands are fertile and are suitable for various crops (maize, cassava, rice). Sugar cane predominates among the export crops, and the main industry is the manufacture of sugar and rum (3000 tons of sugar and 80,000 liters of rum). Coffee is also successfully grown, especially in Anjouan, vanilla and ylang-ylang.

The fauna of the Comoros is very poor. There are also some mammals as two lemurs (Lemur macaco and L. fulvus), a viverride (Viverricula Schlegeli), three insectivores (Centetes ecaudatus, Crocidura madagascariensis and Pachyura coquereli), which indicate faunística undoubted affinity with Madagascar. Out of less than fifty species of birds, half are Malagasy, half a dozen Africans.

The region lends itself little to cattle breeding; instead there are numerous herds of goats in the Grande Comore. The trade is done by means of sailing boats with Zanzibar and Madagascar, with Europe by means of the steamships of the Messageries Maritimes.