The Union of the Comoros consists of a volcanic archipelago with three major islands Grand Comore, Moheli and Anjouan making up a land mass of 2,235km². The country has a contentious historical claim to the neighbouring archipelago of Mayotte, which remains an overseas department of France. In August 2017, Comoros was admitted into the Southern African Development Community as its 16th member state. It has a population of 821,625 and a GDP of US$1.3bn.
The government has survived more than 20 attempted coups since independence in 1975, the most recent being in 2013. Along with this persistent political instability, the country also holds one of the worst records of income inequality. Low education levels associated with a high rate of unemployment, and dependence on subsistence agriculture maintain this inequality.
Its agriculture sector is the main economic driver as it represents nearly half of GDP and 80% of jobs. Fisheries and tourism are underexploited, but there is a lack of adequate tourism infrastructure, and tourism only accounts for 5.8% of GDP. Mineral production consists of small quantities of common building materials extracted for domestic consumption.
Real GDP grew an estimated 2.9% in 2022, up from 2.2% in 2021 and is expected to grow by 3.5% in 2023 and 4.0% in 2024 supported by a four-year arrangement under the IMF’s extended credit facility for US$43m which was approved in 2023.
Sources: Who Owns Whom sector reports, CIA Factbook, African Development Bank, World Bank, Trading Economics, African Statistical Yearbook and IMF.