France and Comoros


Political relations

Although in disagreement on the issue of the island of Mayotte, over which the Union of the Comoros claims sovereignty, France and Comoros remain key partners. Human ties, as attested by the very many citizens with dual nationality, and neighbourly relations (migratory pressure on Mayotte) are key.

On 21 June 2013, the Presidents of France and the Comoros signed the “Paris declaration on friendship and cooperation between France and Comoros” to revive the bilateral relationship. A strengthened political dialogue was opened with the creation of a “High Joint Council” (HCP) which has so far met five times.

The fifth HCP meeting, on 12 September 2017, was an opportunity, as the French and Comoros Presidents wished (telephone call on 5 June 2017), to strengthen bilateral dialogue and agree a roadmap aimed at promoting human exchanges between the islands of the archipelago, in a legal framework and with enhanced safety for sea and air routes.

On bilateral cooperation, a joint commission met in Moroni on 15 and 16 December 2017, with elected officials from Mayotte invited to take part. The joint commission’s statement of conclusions sets out a list of actions to be implemented in priority sectors and which will be followed-up on a quarterly basis by a joint committee. It also decided to convene the sixth HCP in the first half of 2018 in order to agree on initiatives and projects to promote the common interests of the four islands of the archipelago of the Comoros and to discuss issues relating to better regional integration of Mayotte in various sectors, including those of sport and institutions.


  • 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 Mr Mohamed Souef and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Economic relations

In 2016, trade between the two countries was up 25%, standing at €49 million (€41 million of French exports and €8 million of French imports). The Comoros was thus France’s 133ʳᵈ-largest customer and 69ᵗʰ-largest trade surplus globally.

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, Camusat (telecommunications manufacturer working on a coast surveillance project worth €25 million) and Telco (subsidiary of the French-Malagasy group Telma (Free). Some 15 small companies specialized in trade are also present, originating in mainland France or La Réunion or belonging to binationals.

Migrant remittances to the Comoros are substantial, at about 23% of GDP.

The competent embassy economic service is that of the Embassy in Madagascar (Tananarive).


French cooperation with the Union of the Comoros is governed by a joint programming framework document. The document for the period 2015-2020 provides for a total budget of €135 million, including more than €25 million for implementation by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency) for projects that are already prepared and ready. Their implementation does, however, depend on the country’s ability to address its many handicaps: energy, isolation, maritime transport, subcontracting and compliance with contracts. At this stage, these weaknesses affect the volume of disbursements, which remains below the targets set.

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 providing for cooperation in the field of maritime safety.

France has also placed an international technical expert (ITE) at the disposal of the Union of the Comoros, specialized in the fields of airport security and air and border policing, and another ITE attached to the Central Bank of the Comoros.

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 the study-in-France centre (CEF) procedure, attached to the Madagascar Institut Français.

Updated: 28 December 2017

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