What you need to know about Moroni
Moroni is the largest city, federal capital and seat of the government of the Union of the Comoros, a sovereign archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean. In Comorian, Moroni translates as “in the heart of the fire”, perhaps alluding to the city’s location at the foot of Mount Karthala, an active volcano. Moroni is the capital of the semi-autonomous island Grande Comore, the largest of the three main islands of the republic. The city’s estimated population in 2003 was 41,557 residents. Moroni, which lies along the Route Nationale 1, has a port and several mosques such as the Badjanani Mosque.
- The Comorian Franc is the currency of Comoros. Our currency rankings show that the most popularComorian Franc exchange rate is the USD to KMF rate. The currency code for Francs is KMF.
- The franc (French: franc comorien; sign: CF; ISO 4217 code: KMF) is the official currency of Comoros. It is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes, although no centime denominations have ever been issued.
- Moroni features a tropical rainforest climate (Af ), with generally heavy precipitation throughout the year—only October sees on average less than 100 mm (4 in) of rain (roughly 98 mm (3.9 in)). The average annual rainfall is 2,700 millimetres (110 in) and it rains during all months of the year. The monsoon season lasts from November to April.
- Humidity is in the range of 69 to 79 percent. Moroni’s average temperatures throughout the year are relatively constant with a high in the range of 32–34 °C (90–93 °F) and a low in the range of 14–20 °C (57–68 °F). The region experiences frequent cyclones and as the islands are located more than 10 degrees below the equator in the western part of the Indian Ocean, the climate is generally termed as “maritime tropical”.
- The most common language in the Comoros is Comorian, or Shikomori. It is a language related to Swahili, with four different variants (Shingazidja, Shimwali, Shinzwani and Shimaore) being spoken on each of the four islands. Arabic and Latin scripts are both used, Arabic being the more widely used, and an official orthography has recently been developed for the Latin script.
- Arabic and French are also official languages, along with Comorian. Arabic is widely known as a second language, being the language of Quranic teaching. French is the administrative language and the language of all non-Quranic formal education.
- There are 15 physicians per 100,000 people. The fertility rate was 4.7 per adult woman in 2004. Life expectancy at birth is 67 for females and 62 for males
- After independence in 1975, the French withdrew their medical teams, leaving the three islands’ already rudimentary health care system in a state of severe crisis. French assistance was eventually resumed, and other nations also contributed medical assistance to the young republic. Despite improvements in life expectancy and the infant mortality rate, the Comoros in 1993 continued to face public health problems characteristic of developing countries.
- The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for the Comoros is 340. This is compared with 225.3 in 2008 and 449.9 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 105 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5’s mortality is 35. In the Comoros the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 9 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women 1 in 71.
- Life expectancy at birth was estimated at fifty-six years in 1990, up from fifty-one years in 1980. The crude birthrate was forty-eight per 1,000 and the crude death rate, twelve per 1,000 according to 1989 statistics. All three of these figures were close to the averages for sub-Saharan Africa. The rate of infant mortality per 1,000 live births was eighty-nine in 1991, down from 113 in 1980. The 1990 average rate for sub-Saharan Africa was 107.
- The Comoros is one of the world’s poorest countries. Economic growth and poverty reduction are major priorities for the government. With a rate of 14.3%, unemployment is considered very high. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting, and forestry, is the leading sector of the economy, and 38.4% of the working population is employed in the primary sector.
- High population densities, as much as 1000 per square kilometre in the densest agricultural zones, for what is still a mostly rural, agricultural economy may lead to an environmental crisis in the near future, especially considering the high rate of population growth. In 2004 the Comoros’ real GDP growth was a low 1.9% and real GDP per capita continued to decline. These declines are explained by factors including declining investment, drops in consumption, rising inflation, and an increase in trade imbalance due in part to lowered cash crop prices, especially vanilla.
- Fiscal policy is constrained by erratic fiscal revenues, a bloated civil service wage bill, and an external debt that is far above the HIPC threshold. Membership in the franc zone, the main anchor of stability, has nevertheless helped contain pressures on domestic prices.
- The Comoros has an inadequate transportation system, 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 contributes 40% to GDP, employs 80% of the labour force, and provides most of the exports. The Comoros is the world’s largest producer of ylang-ylang, and a large producer of vanilla.
- The government is struggling to upgrade education and technical training, to privatise commercial and industrial enterprises, to improve health services, to diversify exports, to promote tourism, and to reduce the high population growth rate.
- The Comoros claims the Banc du Geyser and the Glorioso Islands as part of its exclusive economic zone.The Comoros is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).
- Almost all of the educated populace of the Comoros have attended Quranic schools at some point in their lives, often before regular schooling. Here, boys and girls are taught about the Qur’an, and memorise it. Some parents specifically choose this early schooling to offset French schools children usually attend later. Since independence and the ejection of French teachers, the education system has been plagued by poor teacher training and poor results, though recent stability may allow for substantial improvements.
- Pre-colonization education systems in Comoros focused on necessary skills such as agriculture, caring for livestock and completing household tasks. Religious education also taught children the virtues of Islam. The education system underwent a transformation during colonization in the early 1900s which brought secular education based on the French system. This was mainly for children of the elite. After Comoros gained independence in 1975, the education system changed again. Funding for teachers’ salaries was lost, and many went on strike. Thus, the public education system was not functioning between 1997 and 2001. Since gaining independence, the education system has also undergone a democratization and options exist for those other than the elite. Enrollment has also grown.
Traditional Comorian women wear colourful sari-like dresses called shiromani, and apply a paste of ground sandalwood and coral called msinzano to their faces. Traditional male clothing is a colourful long skirt and a long white shirt.