The archipelago of
After being absent from the political scene for 10 years, Azali Assoumani won the 2016 presidential elections. His Government introduced a series of fiscal and structural reforms. The national congress convened in February 2018 to assess conditions after 42 years of independence recommended an overhaul of the system of a rotating presidency among the islands. The yes vote in the July 2018-referendum on constitutional reform that expands the power of the presidency means that it is likely that presidential elections will be held ahead of schedule in 2019.
Projected at 2.7% in 2018, growth should remain stable in relation to 2017, buttressed by steady remittances from the diaspora and certain positive developments in the private sector, (such as the arrival of Turkish Airways). By contrast, political uncertainty, persistent difficulties in the financial sector and the recurrence of power outages are some of the factors that hobble economic activity. Nevertheless, growth is projected to increase steadily to around 3.1 percent over the period 2019-2020, buoyed by remittances from the diaspora that should continue to support private consumption, as well as public investments in infrastructure projects, particularly the construction of the Mutsamudu-Sima roadway and the El-Marouff Hospital. In the medium term, the reconstruction of the Galawa Hotel, which was the country’s largest before its demolition, and the building of a second landing station for submarine fiber optic cables should boost the private sector.
The capacity of the State to repay its debts could be impaired by a combination of various internal factors related to the grand scale of the infrastructure program and the expected increase in non-concessional debt; as well as by external factors, such as the tightening of financial conditions associated with the hike in interest rates in a number of developed economies and the fact that international investors are becoming increasingly
According to the last household survey conducted in 2014, almost 18% of the population lives below the international poverty line set at $1.9 per capita per day. The incidence of poverty, which varies considerably from one island to another, seems highest in rural areas and on the island of Mohéli. There is considerable inequality, with a Gini index of 44.9.
The Comoros, which was ranked 158 (out of 188) on the U.N.’s Human Development Index in 2016, must focus its efforts on combating hunger and malnutrition.
In 2012, almost 30% of children under the age of five suffered from chronic malnutrition and stunted growth.
Furthermore, infant mortality remains high, with a rate of 69 per 1,000 births for children under the age of one and 52.2 per 1,000 births for children under the age of five, recorded in 2017.
The maternal mortality rate in 2015 was 335 per 100,000 births.
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2019