Facts About The Comoros Islands
Officially known as the Union of the Comoros, the Comoros is an archipelago sovereign island nation which can be found in the Indian Ocean located off the Eastern coast of Africa with Mozambique to the North East and Madagascar to the North West. The capital of the Comoros is Moroni which is situated on the island of Grande Comore.
For centuries the Comoros played a major role in the world economy, as a stopping off point on the mercantile routes from the East towards Africa and to the West. It became independent from France on 6th July, 1975. In recent years the Comorian Government has made substantial efforts to improve the business climate, investment conditions and to encourage the entry of foreign investors. The Economic Citizenship program is part of this effort.
The Comoros ranks as the third smallest country by area in Africa. It has an area of just 719 square miles (1862 square kilometers) and this does not include the island of Mayotte whose sovereignty has been contested for some time. Nearly 800,000 people live in the Comoros (this does not include Mayotte) and the islands have very diverse culture and history. There are three official languages which are Comorian, French and Arabic.
Although there are many small islands, the Comoros is officially based on four major islands which are Grande Comore, Moheli, Anjouan and Mayotte. Mayotte is administered by the French as it was the only island to vote against independence in 1974. The country is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Francophonie. It is the only country in the world to have membership to all of these organizations.
The climate of the Comoros is usually mild and tropical and the amount of rainfall distinguishes the two major climatic seasons. The hottest month of the year is March which is in the rainy season and temperatures can be between 29° and 30°C (84-86°F) and fall to an average low of 19°C (66°F) in the dry season between May and November) when it feels a lot cooler.
The Politics Of The Comoros
Comoros is a federal presidential republic which means that the president is both head of government and head of state of the multi party system that exists. On 23 December 2001 the Constitution of the Union was ratified by a referendum leading to the election of executives in the months that followed.
98% of the Comoros population is Sunni Muslims. The Comorian legal system is derived from Islamic religious law and common law, but has also inherited some aspects of the French civil code. The Union of Comoros is considered by Freedom House as the only real “electoral democracy” of the Arab World. Comoros’ political framework is a federal presidential republic, whereby the President of the Comoros is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system.
The government exercises executive power and the Federal legislative power is vested in the parliament and the government. Legal system of the Comoros is based on Islamic Law along with inherited French legal code and a number of customary laws. Disputes are normally settled by village elders, civilian courts or kadis. Presidential elections and the resolution of constitutional questions are resolved by the Supreme Court which acts as a Constitutional Council. The court has two members which are selected by the president, one member elected by the council of each island and two members selected by the Federal Assembly.
The growth of the Comorian economy is one of the government’s top priorities. The leading sector of the economy in Comoros is agriculture which includes forestry, fishing and hunting. Nearly 80% of the population is employed in this sector and it contributes 40% to the country’s GDP and is responsible for most of the exports. The country is a large producer of vanilla and is the world’s top producer of ylang-ylang. The government is seeking to improve the transportation system, the health system as well of the education levels of the local population which includes technical training. The country is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).
The Comoros And Tourism
Visiting the Comoros can be a real adventure. You have to be prepared to accept that everything moves at a very slow pace in the country and that the facilities for tourists are far from exquisite. It is not the kind of place that you would go to for a beach and bikini holiday. The traditions of Islam are in evidence everywhere and women are expected to cover their bodies and show modesty. Alcohol is banned for everyone. That said it is possible to enjoy the natural beauty that exists in the Comoros and look forward to an unpredictable exotic safari. For further information please refer to the Comoros Tourism website.
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