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Mayotte

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Major Cities of Mayotte in the continent of Africa

MamoudzouKoungouDzaoudziDembeniSadaPamandziBandrabouaMtsamboroTsingoniOuanganiChiconiBandreleChironguiAcouaBoueni

Mayotte Photo Gallery
Mayotte Realty



THE MAYOTTE COAT OF ARMS
Coat of Arms of Mayotte.svg
Location Mayotte Africa.svg
Location of Mayotte within the continent of Africa
Mayotte-CIA WFB Map.png
Map of Mayotte
Flag of Mayotte.jpg
Flag Description of Mayotte:The Mauritius flag was officially adopted on January 9, 1968.

Designed by the College of Arms in Britain, red is symbolic of the country's independence, yellow the bright future, green the fertile land of the island, and blue the Indian Ocean.

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Background of Mayotte

Mayotte, southeasternmost island of the Comoros archipelago and an overseas département of France, situated in the Mozambique Channel of the Indian Ocean, about 193 miles (310 km) northwest of Madagascar. The capital city, Mamoudzou, is located on the eastern coast of the island. Pamandzi, an islet lying about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) east of Mayotte, is connected by a 1.2-mile causeway to the rocky outcrop known as Dzaoudzi, site of a city and port. Area 144.5 square miles (374.2 square km). Pop. (2007) 186,452.

A volcanic mountain range forms a north-south chain on Mayotte island, with summits from 1,600 to 2,000 feet (500 to 600 m) in elevation. Protected waters for shipping and fishing are created by surrounding coral reefs some distance from the shore. The climate is warm, humid, and maritime, and average monthly temperatures range from 75 °F (24 °C) in August to 81 °F (27 °C) in December. The island’s average annual rainfall is 200 inches (5,000 mm). The vegetation comprises lush green tropical forest.


Geography of Mayotte

The main island, Grande-Terre (or Mahoré), geologically the oldest of the Comoros, is 24 miles (39 km) long and 13 miles (22 km) wide, slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC. Its highest point is Mount Benara at 2,165 feet (660 m) above sea level.

Because of the volcanic rock, the soil is relatively rich in some areas. A wide fringing coral reef encircling the islands ensures protection for ships and a habitat for fish. Activities for tourists include hiking and diving. Sea turtles come to roost on the southern beaches. In August to September, humpback whales can be found with their calves in the lagoon.

The climate is tropical; with a hot and humid, rainy season during the northeastern monsoon season (November to May); the dry season (May to November) is cooler. The area is prone to cyclones during the rainy season.

The terrain is generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks.

The territory of Mayotte encompasses the largest coral lagoon in the world, more than 1,000 square kilometers in size. Like other coral reefs worldwide, the health of Mayotte's reefs has declined in the past twenty years. Natural threats include cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish, but most of the damage is being caused by the increasing population of the islands. Increased runoff from agriculture, overfishing, direct damage due to people walking on the shallow reef flats, and water pollution are taking a toll on the coral and other sea life.


Location: Southern Africa, island in the Mozambique Channel, about one-half of the way from northern Madagascar to northern Mozambique
Geographic coordinates: 12 50 S, 45 10 E
Map references: Africa

Area:

total: 375 sq km
land: 375 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 185.2 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November)
Terrain: generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Benara 660 m

Natural resources: NEGL

Land use:

arable land: NA%
permanent crops: NA%
permanent pastures: NA%

forests and woodland: NA%

other: NA%

Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: cyclones during rainy season
Environment—current issues: NA

Environment—international agreements:

party to: NA
signed, but not ratified: NA

Geography—note: part of Comoro Archipelago

Demography of Mayotte

Population: 141,944 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 46% (male 33,067; female 33,016)
15-64 years: 52% (male 40,009; female 33,380)
65 years and over: 2% (male 1,214; female 1,258) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 5.16% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 46.96 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)
Death rate: 9.22 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 13.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.2 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 71.13 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 59.58 years
male: 57.21 years
female: 62.02 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.48 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Mahorais (singular and plural)
adjective: Mahoran

Ethnic groups: NA
Religions: Muslim 99%, Christian (mostly Roman Catholic)
Languages: Mahorian (a Swahili dialect), French
Literacy: NA


The People

Most of the people are Mahorais of Malagasy origin and are Sunni Muslim and strongly influenced by French culture; there is a substantial Roman Catholic minority. French is the official language, but most of the people speak Comorian (closely allied to Swahili); there are some villages along the Mayotte coast in which a Malagasy dialect is the main language. Births greatly exceed deaths and the population is growing rapidly. Moreover, nearly 50 percent of the population is less than 15 years of age, portending high rates of natural increase well into the 21st century. The principal cities and towns are Mamoudzou, Koungou, and Dzaoudzi.


Economy of Mayotte

Economy—overview: Economic activity is based primarily on the agricultural sector, including fishing and livestock raising. Mayotte is not self-sufficient and must import a large portion of its food requirements, mainly from France. The economy and future development of the island are heavily dependent on French financial assistance, an important supplement to GDP. Mayotte's remote location is an obstacle to the development of tourism.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$63 million (1997 est.) GDP—real growth rate: NA% GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$600 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: NA% Labor force: NA Unemployment rate: 38% (1991 est.)

Budget:

revenues: $NA
expenditures: $73 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1991 est.)

Industries: newly created lobster and shrimp industry Industrial production growth rate: NA% Electricity—capacity: NA kW Electricity—production: NA kWh Electricity—consumption per capita: NA kWh Agriculture—products: vanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), coffee, copra

Exports:

total value: $3.64 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: ylang-ylang (perfume essence), vanilla, copra

partners: France 80%, Comoros 15%, Reunion

Imports:

total value: $131.5 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: building materials, machinery and transportation equipment, metals, chemicals, rice, clothing, flour
partners: France 66%, Africa 14%, Southeast Asia 20%

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA, $NA
note: extensive French financial assistance

Currency: 1 French franc (F) = 100 centimes Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1—6.0836 (January 1998), 5.8367 (1997), 5.1155 (1996), 4.9915 (1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993) Fiscal year: calendar year


    • Agriculture is the principal occupation on Mayotte and is confined to the central and northeastern plains; cash crops include vanilla, ylang-ylang, coffee, and coconuts. Cassava (manioc), bananas, corn (maize), and rice are grown for subsistence. The island’s main exports are ylang-ylang extract, vanilla, coffee, and copra. Rice, sugar, flour, clothing, building materials, hardware, cement, and transport equipment are imported. Mayotte’s major trading partner is France, and the economy is in large part dependent on French aid. A road system links the principal towns on Mayotte island, and an international airport is located at Dzaoudzi.


Government and society of Mayotte

  • Politics

Politics of Mayotte takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic French overseas community, whereby the president of the General Council is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Mayotte has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.

Mayotte also sends one deputy to the French National Assembly and two senators to the French Senate.

The head of state is President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, as represented by prefect Philippe Boisadam. The head of government is President of the General Council Saïd Omar Oili.

The General Council has nineteen members, elected for a three-year term in single-seat constituencies. Parliamentary elections were held in Mayotte in March 2004. The Mahoran branch of the Union for a Popular Movement won the most seats, despite gaining fewer votes than the Mahoré Departementalist Movement.

Defense is the responsibility of France; a small contingent of French forces is stationed on the island.

Mayotte is a member of the Indian Ocean Commission, with a separate membership rather than as part of the Comoros.

  • Administrative divisions

Mayotte is divided into 17 communes. There are also 19 cantons, each of which corresponds to one of the communes, except for the commune of Mamoudzou, which is divided into three cantons. There are no arrondissements.


Country name:
conventional long form: Territorial Collectivity of Mayotte
conventional short form: Mayotte

Data code: MF
Dependency status: territorial collectivity of France
Government type: NA
National capital: Mamoutzou
Administrative divisions: none (territorial collectivity of France)
Independence: none (territorial collectivity of France)
National holiday: National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)
Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system: French law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President of France Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Philippe BOISADAM (since NA)
head of government: President of the General Council Younoussa BAMANA (since NA 1977)
cabinet: NA
elections: prefect appointed by the president of France on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; president of the General Council elected by the members of the General Council for a six-year term

Legislative branch: unicameral General Council or Conseil General (19 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms)

elections: last held NA March 1997 (next to be held NA March 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; note—only nine of the 19 seats were subjected to voting in March 1997; after the election, seats by party :were as follows: MPM 8, RPR 5, independent candidates 5, local PS 1
note: Mayotte elects 1 member of the French Senate; elections last held 24 September 1995 (next to be held 24 September 2001); results—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—MPM 1; Mayotte also elects 1 member to the French National Assembly; elections last held 25 May and 1 June 1997 (next to be held as a special election on NA May 2002); results—percent of vote by party—UDF/FD 51.7%, RPR 48.3%; seats by party—UDF/FD 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Tribunal Superieur d'Appel)

Political parties and leaders: Mahoran Popular Movement or MPM [Younoussa BAMANA]; Mahoran Rally for the Republic or RPR [Mansour KAMARDINE]; Democratic Front or FD [Youssouf MOUSSA]; Association for French Mayotte or Association Pour Mayotte Francaise [Didier BEOUTIS]; Socialist Party or PS (local branch of French Parti Socialiste); Union for French Democracy or UDF [Henri JEAN-BAPTISTE]

International organization participation: FZ
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territorial collectivity of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territorial collectivity of France)
Flag description: the flag of France is used


      • Mayotte is an overseas département of France. From 1976 into the 21st century, Mayotte had a special status with France as a collectivité territoriale (territorial collectivity), conceived as being midway between an overseas territory and an overseas département. Its status was changed to collectivité départementale (departmental collectivity) in 2001 and then to overseas département in 2011. Mayotte’s status as an administrative unit of France is disputed by Comoros, which has claimed Mayotte since Comoros’s declaration of independence from France in 1975.

Mayotte is represented in the French National Assembly by a deputy and in the French Senate by two senators. It is administered by a French-appointed prefect and an elected General Council. The judiciary is modeled on the French system.

Mayotte has several small hospitals and some dispensaries. Major illnesses include malaria, parasitic diseases, and tuberculosis. The educational system includes both traditional Islamic schools, in which the Qurʾān is studied, and primary and secondary schools established by the French.

Culture of Mayotte

There is a common desire to remain French in order to preserve social equality and receive financial aid. However, Mahorans feel that they share in Comorean culture, along with certain Malagasy traits, and are united by their practice of Islam. Their French identity as an overseas collectivity is somewhat precarious, however. The status of the island within the French republic is considered provisional and will be reviewed in 2010.

Mahorans, who have family ties to the inhabitants of the other Comorian islands, especially Ndzuani and the northeastern part of Madagascar, are faced with immigration from the neighboring islands, where the standard of living is lower. Ngazidja men come to marry Mahoran women to obtain French citizenship and gain the right to enter France. Poor farmers from Nzwani arrive clandestinely. Despite this migratory pressure, violent social reactions are rare.


  • Culture

There is a common desire to remain French in order to preserve social equality and receive financial aid. However, Mahorans feel that they share in Comorean culture, along with certain Malagasy traits, and are united by their practice of Islam. Their French identity as an overseas collectivity is somewhat precarious, however. The status of the island within the French republic is considered provisional and will be reviewed in 2010.

Mahorans, who have family ties to the inhabitants of the other Comorian islands, especially Ndzuani and the northeastern part of Madagascar, are faced with immigration from the neighboring islands, where the standard of living is lower. Ngazidja men come to marry Mahoran women to obtain French citizenship and gain the right to enter France. Poor farmers from Nzwani arrive clandestinely. Despite this migratory pressure, violent social reactions are rare.

  • Housing

The typical two-room house is built of cob (earth mixed with rice straw), coconut fronds, or raffia. A program of social housing put in place in 1975 encourages the construction of houses made of earthen bricks and cement painted in bright colors. Two-thirds of the population lives in houses made out of solid materials, and three-fourths of houses have electricity. Televisions are more numerous than refrigerators.

  • Cuisine

The food of the common people is similar throughout the Comorian Islands, with rice the staple of the daily diet, along with manioc and other root vegetables, plantains, fresh and dried fish, and milk from grated coconuts. Products imported from France and South Africa are more common in Mayotte, which has several supermarkets.

  • Activities

Sports, music, and dance are the most common activities sponsored by associations. Local television broadcasts their special events, such as the deba or the wadaha. The deba is a Muslim prayer that is sung and danced with the head and hands by veiled young girls covered in gold and flowers. The wadaha, the dance of the pestles, is an exercise in manual dexterity and seduction, conducted to a vigorous musical rhythm.

The Great Wedding ceremony arusi is a festival. These events reveal the degree to which Mahorans want to preserve their ancient social values and affirm their social position in a way that is specific to the local culture. These ceremonies provide an opportunity for entertainment (music and dance), as well as social interaction.

Oral literature is being assembled and transcribed, though young fiction authors have begun to write in French. Traditional pottery has become scarce, but painting has begun to appear, practiced by wazungu artists and Mahoran youth.

Theater in native languages (Comorian or Mayotte-Malagasy) is performed in villages, combining humor and social criticism in such areas as parent-child relations, marriage and polygamy. Contemporary music blends Comorian and Malagasy styles with Creole and European genres.

  • Religion

Sunni Islam is the major religious affiliation, accompanied for part of the population by a cult of possession of Mahoran spirits known as patros and Malagasy ones known as trumba. Islam is practiced in mosques. Worship of spirits takes place in holy places (ziara): on sites where houses once stood, in the ruins of former mosques, and at the tombs of sheikhs. There, spirits of the earth or of ancestors are summoned and partially Islamized rituals are performed.


  • Languages
The native languages of Mayotte are:

Shimaore, a dialect of the Comorian language (a close relative of Swahili) Kibushi, a western dialect of the Malagasy language (the language of Madagascar) heavily influenced by Shimaore and Arabic Kiantalaotsi, another western dialect of the Malagasy language also heavily influenced by Shimaore and Arabic Arabic, essentially learned in the Qu'ranic schools Kibushi is spoken in the south and northwest of Mayotte, while Shimaore is spoken elsewhere. Other non-native languages are also present in Mayotte:

French, the language imported by the French colonizers Various dialects of the Comorian language essentially imported by immigrants who have arrived since 1974. French, the only official language, is the language used by the administrators and the school system. It is the language most used by television and radio stations as well as in commercial announcements and billboards. Despite this, Mayotte is one of the French overseas territories where the knowledge of French is the least developed. In the 2002 census, only 55 percent of people older than 15 years old declared they could read and write French, although this figure was higher than those who can read and write Shimaore (41 percent) or Arabic (33 percent).

With the mandatory schooling of children and the economic development implemented by the French state, the French language has progressed significantly on Mayotte in recent years. A survey conducted by the Ministry of National Education showed that while first and second language speakers of French represented 56.9 percent of the population in general, this figure was only 37.7 percent for the parents but reached 97.0 percent for the pupils themselves (whose age is between ten and 14).

Already there are instances of families speaking only French to their children in the hope of helping their social advancement. With French schooling and French-language television, many young people turn to French or use many French words when speaking Shimaore and Kibushi, leading some to fear that these native languages could either disappear or become some sort of French-based creole.

History of Mayotte

In the 15th century, Arabs invaded the island and converted its inhabitants, who were probably descendants of earlier Bantu and Malayo-Indonesian peoples, to Islam; in the 16th century, the Portuguese and French visited Mayotte. At the end of the 18th century, the Sakalava, a Malagasy tribe from Madagascar, invaded and populated the island, bringing a Malagasy dialect. The French gained colonial control over Mayotte in 1843, and, together with the other islands of the Comoros archipelago and Madagascar, Mayotte became part of a single French overseas territory in the early 20th century.

The French administered Mayotte separately from the remainder of the Comoros beginning in 1975, when the three northernmost and predominantly Muslim islands of the Comoros declared independence, and the Muslim and Christian inhabitants of Mayotte chose to remain with France. In 1976 the French government introduced a special status of collectivité territoriale for the island. In 1979 the United Nations passed a resolution affirming the sovereignty of Comoros over Mayotte. The African Union also supported Comoros’s claim to the island.

The population of Mayotte had long demanded the status of an overseas département for the island, but the French government did not make firm plans to implement the change until the early 21st century. In a referendum held on the issue in March 2009, 95 percent of Mayotte’s voters favoured the change in status, which took effect in March 2011.

Official Languages of Mayotte

Bushi

[buc] 39,000 (2001). Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Antalaotra, Kibuki, Kibushi, Sakalava, Shibushi, Shibushi Shimaore Dialects: Kiantalaotse, Kibushi-Kimaore. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Greater Barito, East, Malagasy

ISO :639-3buc
Alternate Names :Antalaotra, Kibuki, Kibushi, Sakalava, Shibushi, Shibushi Shimaore
Population :39,000 (2001).
Language Maps :Comoros, Madagascar and Mayotte
Language Status :6b (Threatened).
Classification :Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Greater Barito, East, Malagasy
Dialects :Kiantalaotse, Kibushi-Kimaore.
Typology :VOS.
Language Resources :OLAC resources in and about Bushi
Writing :Latin script [Latn], limited usage.


Comorian, Maore

[swb] 92,800 in Mayotte (Johnstone 1993). Population total all countries: 97,300. Status: 5 (Developing). De facto language of national identity. Alternate Names: Comores Swahili, Comorian, Comoro, Komoro, Maore, Shimaore Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.44) Comments: Muslim.

ISO :639-3swb
Alternate :Swahili, Comorian, Comoro, Komoro, Maore, Shimaore
Population :92,800 in Mayotte (Johnstone 1993). Population total all countries: 97,300.
Language Maps :Comoros, Madagascar and Mayotte
Language Status :5 (Developing). De facto language of national identity.
Classification :Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.44)
Language Development :NT: 1995.
Language Resources :OLAC resources in and about Comorian, Maore
Writing :Arabic script [Arab]. Latin script [Latn].
Other Comments :Muslim.


French [fra] 54,000 in Mayotte (Francophonie 2007). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1958, French Constitution, Article 2), as special French collectivity. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Oïl, French

ISO :639-3fra
Alternate Names :Français
Population :60,000,000 in France (European Commission 2012). Population total all countries: 75,916,150. L2 users worldwide: 87,000,000 (Francophonie 2007).
Language Maps

Andorra and France
Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands
Ireland and United Kingdom
Liechtenstein and Switzerland

Language Status :1 (National). Statutory national language (1958, Consitution, Article 2.1).
Classification :Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Oïl, French
Dialects :Angevin, Berrichon, Bourbonnais, Bourguignon, Franc-Comtois, Gallo, Lorraine, Norman (Normand), Poitevin, Saintongeais, Standard French.
Lexical similarity: 89% with Italian [ita], 80% with Logudorese Sardinian [src], 78% with Romansch [roh], 75% with Portuguese [por], Romanian [ron], and Spanish[spa], 29% with German [deu], 27% with English [eng].
Typology :SVO.
Language Use :21,490,000 also use English [eng]. 7,760,000 also use Spanish [spa]. 4,776,000 also use Standard German [deu].
Language Development :Fully developed. Bible: 1530–2000.
Language Resources :OLAC resources in and about French
Writing :Braille script [Brai]. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.
Other Comments :Christian.

Disclaimer

This is not the official site of this country. Most of the information in this site were taken from the U.S. Department of State, The Central Intelligence Agency, The United Nations, [1],[2], [3], [4], [5],[6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14],[15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24],[25], [26], [27], [28], [29], [30],[31], [32], [33], [34], and the [35].

Other sources of information will be mentioned as they are posted.