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France and Comoros

Political relations

On 21 June 2013, President François Hollande of France and President Ikililou Dhoinine of the Comoros signed the “Paris declaration on friendship and cooperation between France and the Union of the Comoros” to reshape the bilateral relationship. A strengthened political dialogue was opened with the creation of a “High Joint Council” (HCP) which has met five times.

After a few tense months due to the decision of the Comoros authorities on 21 March 2018 to cease readmitting the country’s citizens who illegally entered Mayotte, the signing of a joint declaration by the respective Foreign Ministers of the two countries on 6 November 2018 breathed new life into our bilateral cooperation.

During President Azali’s official visit to France in July 2019, a renewed partnership framework document was signed, involving mutual commitments to effectively combat human tragedies at sea. It came with a development plan worth €150 million over three years in health, education and employment, especially youth employment.

The monitoring body for the framework document, the High-Level French-Comorian Committee, met in Moroni on 20 and 21 November 2019. Progress was discussed during a videoconference between the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and his Comorian counterpart, Mr Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, on 8 February 2021.

French presence

Consular section in Moroni (Grande-Comore); branch in Mutsamudu (Anjouan)
French community in the Comoros: 1,735 registered (March 2022), 61% are binationals.

Comorian community in France: approximately 400,000, including around 125,000 in Mayotte

Visits and meetings

21 June 2013: President Hollande received President Ikililou at the Élysée Palace to sign the declaration of friendship / 23 August 2014: President Hollande took part in the Indian Ocean Commission Summit in Moroni / 26 May 2016: Mr André Vallini attended the inauguration ceremony of President Azali / 4 October 2016: meeting of President Hollande with President Azali at the Élysée Palace, ahead of the fourth HCP, chaired for the Comoros by Mr Mohamed Bacar Dossar, Minister of Foreign Affairs / 12 September 2017: fifth HCP meeting, co-chaired by Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart, Mr Mohamed Souef / 11 April 2018: meeting between Mr Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Souef and President Azali in Moroni / 19 April 2018: meeting between Mr Mohamed Souef and Mr Jean Yves Le Drian in Paris / 24 August 2018: meeting between Mr Mohamed Souef and Mr Jean Yves Le Drian in Paris / 11 November 2018: President Azali Assoumani took part in the Paris Peace Forum and met with President Macron / 22-25 July 2019: President Azali Assoumani made an official visit to France – meeting with President Macron on 22 July 2019.
Meeting between President Azali Assoumani and Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris on 2 December 2019 (Comoros Donors Conference)
Meeting between the Minister of State, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, and Mr Mohamed Souef on 6 March 2020 during the IOC Summit
Video meeting between Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, on 8 February 2021
Minister Dhoulkamal took part in the IOC Council of Ministers in La Réunion on 26 November 2021 and in Paris on 23 February, organized under the French Presidency of the European Union (Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister Delegate, was head of the French delegation).

Economic relations

Exports from France to the Comoros: €36 million (2019 French Treasury figure)
French imports from the Comoros: €14 million (2019 French Treasury figure)

The volume of bilateral trade almost doubled between 2009 and 2019, rising from €25 million to €49 million. The Union of the Comoros is our 139th largest customer in the world.

Several major French companies are present in the Comoros, including Colas (operation of a quarry and gravel crushing), Lafarge (creation of a cement bagging plant), Bolloré, BIC-Comores (BNP Paribas), Air Austral-Ewa Air, Camusat (telecommunications manufacturer working on a coast surveillance project worth €25 million), Telco (subsidiary of the French-Malagasy group Telma (Free)), Eiffage (construction and public works) and InnoVent (solar power plants). Some 15 small companies specialized in trade are also present, originating in mainland France or La Réunion or belonging to binationals.
• Diaspora remittances to the Comoros are considerable (representing 18%-25% of GDP).
• The competent economic section is that of the Embassy of France in Madagascar.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

French cooperation with the Union of the Comoros is governed by a joint programming framework document for 2015-2020, with a total budget of €135 million. The renewed partnership framework document signed between France and the Comoros on 22 July 2019 aims to multiply French development assistance, bringing it to €150 million over 3 years in the sectors of health, education and employment, especially youth employment.

France is also active in cultural cooperation. Alliance Française branches are present on each of the three islands of the Union of the Comoros (Grande-Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli), with 3,000 learners enrolled for French classes. The Henri Matisse French school is under contract with the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), and has many pupils in Moroni. Lastly, cooperation provision also includes a Campus France office with a study-in-France programme, attached to the Madagascar Institut Français.

Other cooperation

On 27 September 2010, France and the Union of the Comoros signed a new Defence Partnership Agreement to develop the Comorian armed forces’ capabilities and which provides for cooperation in the field of maritime safety.

France has also placed two international technical experts (ITE) at the disposal of the Union of the Comoros, one specialized in the fields of airport security and air and border policing, and another attached to the Interior Ministry to support it in saving lives at sea.

Updated: August 2022