Electricity, Phone, Internet, TV, Radio, Public Transportation, Banking, Postal and Other Services in Comoros
Comoros is officially referred to as the Union of the Comoros and it is an independent archipelago island state in the Indian Ocean. The country is made up of three major islands namely Anjouan (Nzwani), Grande Comore (Ngazidja) and Mohéli (Mwali) and is situated at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off Africa’s eastern coast between northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. Other neighboring countries include Seychelles to the northeast and Tanzania to the northwest.
There are a number of services available to the citizens. These include transportation, electricity, internet, telephone, and so on. Some of these services will be discussed in brief below.
Transport in Comoros
Comoros has a number of transport systems. The country has roughly 880km of road, four airports, and three seaports namely Moroni, Moutsamoudou, and Fomboni. The country, however, does not have a merchant marine and the railway network is no longer available. The main means of transportation is via air because of the country’s isolation.
All freight is transported via sea. Ships are also used for transportation from Africa’s mainland to Madagascar and they stop at either Grande Comore or Anjouan. There is a port at Dzaoudzi and Mutsamudu which expedite transportation within the country. The ferries at these ports offer a transportation system between the three islands.
The three also islands have ringed roads. As mentioned earlier, Comoros has about 880km of road. 673 km make up paved roadways and the unpaved roadways make up a total of 207km. Taxis and shared taxis are available on the roads.
There are four airports in the country: Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport, Iconi Airport, Ouani Airport, and Mohéli Bandar Es Eslam Airport, and all have paved runways. The domestic movement of people is normally supported by the Comores Aviation and most flights to the country normally land at Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport. There are a number of commercial flights linking Comoros with countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Reunion, France, Mauritius, and Madagascar among others.
Electricity (energy) in Comoros
Electricity is a very important service since it is used in different other sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, tourism and so on thus facilitating and giving a boost to the economy of a country. In Comoros, thermal is the common form of electricity generation. The plants producing the electricity are diesel-powered and are located on all islands. The main supplier of electricity in the country is a company called MA-MWE; the company is state-owned.
Wood is the main source of energy in most households, and this is followed by butane gas and petroleum products. It is important to note that electricity production in the country often fails to meet the country’s demand and that is why most of the locals still use firewood as their source of energy, particularly in rural areas. Besides household needs, firewood is also used to meet about three quarters of the needs in the country. Petroleum energy such as gas, kerosene, diesel, and so on are all imported.
Telephone services in Comoros
The country has an international telecommunications system. This is mostly as a result of global aid programs. Telephone service is, however, limited to a few towns on the islands. The country has a scant telephone system of microwave radio relay and a few HF radiotelephone communication posts. The main provider for both domestic and international telephone services is Comores Telecom. Another provider is the Telecom Malagasy (Telma).
Internet services in Comoros
Internet connectivity on the islands is restricted to a few towns as a result of poor telecommunication infrastructure. As of 2017, the total number of internet users amounted to only 7.3% of the entire population. 3G networks are being deployed slowly in a number of regions in the country and this has been catalyzed mostly by the use of smartphones. Most locals access the internet via smartphones and dongles. The internet access can, however, be slow depending on where the cell towers are located.
VSAT technology has a lot of opportunity in the country. This is because the country has a young population aged 15 and younger and they are being brought up in the digital age. One of the main companies offering this type of technology is syntelix. This company offers satellite broadband internet connectivity or access via VSAT technology for internet, video applications, voice, and data or private access to MPLS services. The company makes sure that there is end to end supply of internet across Comoros; this entails sourcing of equipment, connection, airtime, operation of the network, license, and field maintenance. It ensures reliability across the country by making use of the best satellite technologies. Other broadband internet service providers in the country include IAPS Security Services, Contina, Intelsat Global Connex Solutions, and Comores Telecom.
Financial services in Comoros
Services in the financial sector are globally satisfactory. These services can be acquired from the country’s six banks all with their headquarters in France. One of the banks is the Central Bank of the Comoros with its main shareholders being the Bank of France and the State of the Union of Comoros. The main aim of this bank is to support the development of new banks. The other banks include the Federal Bank of Commerce, the Development Bank of Comoros, the Exim Bank Comoros Limited; an auxiliary branch of Exim Bank Tanzania, the Bank for Industry and Commerce, an auxiliary of BNP-Paribas, and the National Company of Post and Financial Services, previously known as the National Savings Bank of SNPT.
Besides the banking institutions, the locals can access financial services from a network of the mutual savings and credit banks, locally referred to as Meck and Sanduk. These institutions provide banking services for people living in both the rural and urban areas with no bank accounts. Meck, which is the Mutual Savings and Credit of the Comoros make up the Savings and Credit aspect of the Project Support to Economic Grass Roots Initiatives which are normally finances by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the state.