Jurisdiction Project


Mayotte, an island in the western Indian Ocean, was ceded to France along with the other islands of the Comoros group in 1843. It was the only island in the archipelago that voted in 1974 to retain its link with France and forego independence. Economic activity is based primarily on the agricultural sector, including fishing and livestock raising. Mayotte's remote location is an obstacle to the development of tourism. Demographically the island is at a critical point. The island has a growth rate of 5.9% and over half of the 200,000 inhabitants are less than 20 years old. Employment is at 50% and 5000 families live below the poverty line. The island is also claimed by Comoros.

Land: 374 sq. km (144 sq. miles). Mayotte consists of one large island and two smaller ones: the largest, 39 km by 22 km, with the capital city of Mamoudzou, is Grande Terre (or Mahore). Pamandzi, or Petit Terre, is considerably smaller at 10 sq. km (3.9 sq. mi.). The smallest, the rock of Dzaoudzi, is connected to Petit Terre by a highway. Highest elevation 660 m (784 ft) at Benara. The volcanic soil is relatively rich in some areas. A coral reef circles much of the island, ensuring protection for ships and a habitat for fish.

Southern Africa, island in the Mozambique Channel, about one-half of the way from northern Madagascar to northern Mozambique.

Latitude and Longitude:
12 50 N and 45 10 E. Standard Time.

Time Zone:
GMT +3

Total Land Area:


Yearly average temperature 27° C (high) 24° C (low), rainfall 1000 mm in the south to 2000mm in the centre. Monsoon season November to April but protected from the eastern trade winds by Madagascar.

Natural Resources:
Vanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), coffee, copra, cloves.


Total GDP:
2003 466,800,000.00 USD

Per Capita GDP:
2002 2,912.00 USD

% of GDP per Sector:
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
2002 0% 40% 59%

% of Population Employed by Sector
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
2002 1.8% 31.3% 66.9%

External Aid/Remittances:
107.7 million (France) (1995). 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.

Real growth rate: 3.5%. Economy openness: Mayotte is semi-open to foreign investment, much of it coming from Indian companies, and protects its key services. It imposes high tariffs on articles that are not considered “of need” such as alcohol, which has a 300% tariff. It obtains increased assistance from France, international NGO’s, and the EC. The economy is classed as an “upper-middle income economy” ($2,936- $9,075 per capita income) by the World Bank indicators. (2004) Domestic prices have increased considerably since the implementation of the Euro.

Labour Force:
1997 25,093
2000 48,800
2002 31,514

Year: Unemployment Rate (% of pop.)
1999 38%
2000 35.5%
2002 29.3%
2005 25.4%

newly created lobster and shrimp industry, construction, vanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence);

Niche Industry:
ylang-ylang (perfume essence), lobster and shrimp industry.



Imports and Exports:

Value of imports $341,000,000 US (2005)

Tot. Value of Imports 2,147,483,647.00 USD (2005)
From Eu:
Import Partners (EU:) France 49%
Partners Outside EU:
Import Partners: Seychelles 8.8%; China 4.1%; South Africe 2.8% (2006).
Tot. Value of Exports ()
To Eu:
Export Partners: EU export partners: France 43%, Reunion 15%
Partners Outside EU:: Comoros: 36%
Export Partners:
Main Imports: commodities: food, marchinery and equipment, transportation equipment, metals, chemicals
Main Exports: Commodities: ylang ylang, vanilla, copra, cocoanuts, coffee, cinnamon.



Number of Airports:
International airport located at Dzaoudzi, limited service in airport. Daily flights from Réunion (Air Austral). weekly flights between Majunga and Mayotte (Air Madagascar) and occasional flights between Mayotte, Mohéli and Grand Comoro (Comores Aviation).

Number of Main Ports:
One port at Dzaoudzi for container cargo and cruise ships. Run by the Port Authority of Mayotte. Port for international and domestic departures and arrivals. Economic Statistics report for only the port of Longoni, which is not listed on any other Mayotte information.



93 Km of highway. No public transit except taxis, rental cars and tour companies. Cars can be taken on inter-island sea transport. 3467 Automobiles (2002)


Other Forms of Transportation:

Economic Zones:
Mayotte as a territory of France, is within the European Union economic zone, however lies outside the EU defined Customs and Fiscal territories of the EU. As such it is not part of the EU common customs and trade policy nor does it have to be part of the Communities harmonized indirect taxation, i.e. VAT and excise taxation. However, as of January 2007 Mayotte will have excise VAT and excise taxation at the same rate as France (Duties 5-17%, VAT 5.5,19.6%). Mayotte is inside both territories of the EU, and as such has the same policies as any member of the EU territory, but the EU will not enforce those polices, France will. There is a 12% tax on marketable securities and a 15% tax on items classes as nonnegotiable titles.

Energy Policy:
Mayotte is part of the larger French energy policy, however, it has joined the Indian Ocean Commission in its attempt to phase out fossil fuels and is investigating the use of solar and hydro-powered systems. The government of Mayotte feels there is great opportunity in each area.

Year Total Energy Production (Mwh) Thermic (Mwh) Geothermic (Mwh) Other (Mwh) Total Energy Consumption (Mwh) Domestic (Mwh) Commercial (Mwh) Public Service (Mwh) Industry (Mwh) Public Lighting (Mwh)
2005 0 0 0 0 139 0 0 0 0 0


Official Currency:
Euro (EUR)

Banking and Insurance:
Number of Banks and Credit Unions:
Number of Agricultural Credit Unions:
Number of Insurance Companies:

 The island relies on four banks intended for the general public: - la Banque Française du Commerce de l'Océan Indien (BFCOI), with three agencies, one in Mamoudzou, one in Small Ground, the third being installed in Sada, in the south of the island; le Crédit Agricole, an agency with Cavani Mamoudzou; la Banque de la Réunion, in the centre of Mamoudzou; et la BRED, also in the Centre of Mamoudzou. The system is underdeveloped due to a lack of skilled workers. There are locally established "Gabiers" or distributors that provide withdrawal of funds at cost but they are extremely unreliable often without cash or bankrupt. Frequent errors and disruptions in service led to the creation of an association of bank users in 2002. Locally established insurance companies as subsidiaries or representatives of French insurance companies, governed by Statutes of the Republic of France.

Financial Services:

Semi-open. Government and private web sites on tourism extensive, however little English text available. Mayotte is covered separately by the French Government’s statistics, which are only available in French for population and economic data. This data is limited. French mainly, English is very limited.

Public Ownership:
Companies partially or completely owned by the local government of Mayotte: Electrocute de Mayotte (EDM); Scoot Immobilière de Mayotte (SIM) (Mayotte Realty Company); Réseau france outre-mer – Mayotte:RFO(telecommunications); SIEAM – Syndicat Intercommunal de l’eau et de l’Assainissement de Mayotte (Water and Sanitation); Comité du Tourisme (tourism promotion); and others. The government of France currently manages 60 % of the public funds on the island.

Land Use:
Town planning, building permits and ownership titles are the responsibility of the government of Mayotte through the individual town governments. If a region is not registered with the government of Mayotte, the state of France, via the government of Mayotte representative is responsible for the above. However, the Council of Culture, Education and Environment of Mayotte, with the Economic and Social Council, are responsible for providing the region with a town government. Freehold – private land, ownership transferable; Protected area: Mayotte Lagoon 1000 km2 in the middle of the islands; Protect mangrove zones – 2%; Women are the owners of land and houses.

No self-sufficiency in food production. Imports from France supply most of food supply. Small community markets in rural areas, independent stores in urban areas. Currently considering a regional agriculture co-operation treaty with Comoros and Madagascar.

Marine Activity:

Maritime claims: 12 nautical miles. Exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Extensive protect reef areas.

Marine Life:

Critical Issues:
The economic prosperity of Mayotte, compared to its relative neighbours, has caused serious immigration problems. The growth rate of the territory is 57/1000, mostly contributed to immigration. Over 3500 people are being turned away from the island each year, many destitute Anjouanais and Mohelians who attempt to cross the shark-infested waters. The immigration, both legal and illegal, has caused serious over-population issues in many of the more urban areas of the island. Immigrants from the region are often not educated or trained in a specific occupation, nor do they speak French making integration an issue as well. The exponential augmentation in the consumption of western goods in western packaging has left Mayotte with a serious waste issue. With the lack of a culture of “collective space” and no recycling facilities, the problem has escalated to a crisis situation with dangerous chemicals leaking into water supplies and rivers being used as dumping zones. It is only compounded by the rapidly growing population.



Political System:
Republic. Mayotte has two levels of government, Island and the French Republic. Mayotte (Island Government): Unicameral General Council or Conseil General (19 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms). Mayotte is also governed by Chief of State representative called a ‘Prefect’. The Prefect is the executive body of the community and protects the national interests of Mayotte. The Prefect also has administrative control. He also ensures the execution of the General Council. This temporary statute is neither that of an overseas department nor that of an overseas territory. The island is divided into 19 cantons and 17 communes. Each one is managed by a town council chaired by an elected mayor. Mayotte also elects one member of the French Senate and one member to the French National Assembly. The Statute of 2002 gave Mayotte considerable power over its own affairs. The government of Mayotte is responsible for criminal justice and the penal system, the environment, public health, town planning, labour standards, insurance, administrative procedures, ordinances and decrees relating to nationality, among others. A statute passed in 2004 declared that the general council can be dissolved by a decree of the Council of Ministers, with justification, when it appears impossible to operate the council. It would then be up to the Government of Mayotte to approach the Parliament of France concerning this bill, authorizing it to dissolve the general council of the archipelago and then make a provision for new cantonal elections in Mayotte. France (Central Government): The Central Government situated in mainland France has jurisdiction over some state affairs and includes customs, immigration, currency, and plays a major role (mainly financial in nature) in education, energy and taxation. On December 24, 1976 Mayotte became a Territorial Collective of the French Republic by law n 76-1212. The administrative relationship between Mayotte and France is currently undergoing significant changes. In July 2000 the people of Mayotte voted for closer integration with France and the process of becoming a French overseas department will be completed in 2010. Supreme Court: A court of first authority, a higher court of call, and an administrative court sit at Mayotte. Between 1989 and 1998, the French Parliament authorized the Mayotte General Council to make changes to law in Mayotte including the adaptations, as necessary, of many laws on justice, the environment, public health, town planning, the fair labour standards act, and insurances. The Court of Mayotte does not have the power to repeal an Act of Parliament on the grounds of incompatibility with the Constitution but it may refuse to apply an Act of Parliament on the grounds that it changes the status of Mayotte as an overseas department of France, a right afforded only to the voting population of Mayotte.

Political Parties:
Democratic Front or FD; Mahoran Popular Movement or MPM; FARC; Federation of Mahorans or RPR (UMP); Movement for Department Status Mayotte or MDM; Renewed Communist Party of Mayotte or MRC; Socialist Party or PS (local branch of French Parti Socialiste) ; Union for French Democracy or UDF. 19 members are elected to the island Council through communal structures. Separate elections are help for the position of President of the Council. Voters select only one candidate from the list. The members elected to the Council serve “at large”. In Mayotte’s 2004 election, 72 candidates from five political parties vied for nine Council seats. Elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; president of the General Council of Mayotte elected by the members of the General Council for a six-year term. Mayotte participates in the election of French representatives to the European Parliament.

Important Legislation:
Local Authority of the Republic: December 24, 1976. A provisional statute that allowed for the consultation of the public of Mayotte at the end of three years on the following issues:  the maintenance of the statute of Local Authority;  the transformation of the island into DOM;  or adoption of a different statute. The legislation was extended in 1979, and again by referendum in 2000 by five years. Statute of Mayotte: January 20, 2000. The statute provides for a statutory reform of the public service in Mayotte, with the need of decentralization that was begun in 1982, but had reached a standstill due to the lack of qualified civil servants. It seeks to bring the public service of Mayotte in-line with that of France. This will be achieved in three main stages:  In 2004 the public service and the executive of the Mayotte General Council will be transferred to the President of France for a period of 3 years for the restructuring to take place.  In 2007 the public service will be handed back to the General Council of Mayotte under reduced supervision to assist in the transfer.  In 2010 the General Council of Mayotte will take over all public services of Mayotte and allow the elected politicians of Mayotte to propose an amendment to the Statute of Mayotte for further jurisdictional sovereignty from France. Many Mahorians argue that Article 28 of the 2000 statute forces the General Council to make such a proposal regardless of the will of the state and that this is in direct violation of the constitution of Mayotte.

Principal Taxes:
The Statute of departmental community, signed in June of 2002, allowed for the installation of local taxation and other sources of inter-communal funding. Tax provisions applicable to Metropolitan France and overseas departments do not extend to the overseas territories and local governments of Mayotte and Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon. Mayotte has two governmental tax systems, personal and corporate income and property taxes, of which they retain a significant portion of for the local government. Significant tax cuts are given in both categories to French citizens who move or invest in Mayotte. They can be as high as 60% depending on the location of the property or investment (more for Rural, less for Urban.)

Associated Power:
France, member of EU

French; EU.



Population (by age): <14: 89,447 (46.2%); 15-65: 100,869 (52.1%); >65: 3317 (1.7%); (2005 est) Population July 2007 est: 208,783. Population growth rate: 3.617% (2007 est.) Median age: total: 17.1 years male: 18.1 years female: 16.1 years (2007 est.)

Island Area (km sq.) Population % of Total Population
Mayotte 374 193,633 100%

Year Resident Population

Age of Population: 0-14 15-24 25-49 50-64 65 and up
2007 95547 109,548 0 0 3,686
2005 89447 0 0 0 3,317


Net Migration: 5.62/1000 (2005 est); 17,900 (2002); Net migration rate: 3.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Crude Birth Rate:
2007 40.35%
2005 41.58%

Life Expedctancy:
61.39 years (2005 est);

Crude Death Rate:
2007 7.53%
2005 7.9%

Comorian (mixture of Bantu, Arab and Malagasy) 92.3%, Swahili 3.2%, French white 1.8%, Makua 1%, other 1.7% (2000);

Class Division:

Mahorian (a Swahili dialect), French (official language) spoken by 35% of the population; 186,026. National or official language: French. A French department. Literacy rate: 32% to 58.4%. The number of languages listed for Mayotte is 4: Bushi 39,000; French 2450; Maore 92806; Swahili 2744. Of those, all are living languages (2005).

Muslim 97%, Christian (mostly Roman Catholic);


Education System:
System just being handed to local authorities (2004); basic education to age 17; After BAC (basic academic levels) must leave island. 11,270 schoolboys, 2,849 high-school pupils and 1,603 professional high-school pupils (2000-2001); 3 professional colleges, and 3 vocational colleges with a total of 13 campuses. Mandatory command of the French language above grade 6. (Only 10% of population and 30% of the teachers, speak French in a French dominated education system. Rural areas teach in mahorais, but then pupils who continue to metropolitan collage after grade 6, can not speak the taught language.) Many schools at different levels, but disparity between rural and urban state schools. Private schools are available. Higher education in France. The state pays wages to those that attend school at secondary and above levels. Mayotte teachers went out on strike in April 2007 because of pay and working conditions in the schools.

Total Pre-schools:()
Total Primary Schools  
First Level:
Second Level:
Third Level:
Total Secondary Schools:
Total Professional Schools


Number of Schools per Island:


Students Enrolled:


Medical Services:
19 general practitioner clinics (one in each village). 13 Maternity clinics. 6 government general practitioners; supplemented by volunteer doctors from France; 2% income tax pays partially for heath services, other by the state of France. Basic healthcare (1 hospital established in two sites, pharmacies in hospital). Medical System reform December 1996. Preventive and curative care is free.


 The earliest traces of habitation in Mayotte date from the 8th century. These early arrivals would have been Bantu people from East Africa, followed shortly by Swahilis. In the 9th century, Arab and Persian traders arrived, bringing with them Islam. The island was established a sultanate in 1500. Between 1832 and 1835 the island was conquered three times, by Iboina on Madagascar, Mwali and finally by Ndzuwani sultanates, before becoming independent in 1836. In the 16th century the first Europeans arrived, the Portuguese and the Dutch. They were followed by the English and the French in the 17th century. It was annexed by France in 1841 (annexation ratified 13 Jun 1843) as the Mayotte protectorate, as a subordinate to Réunion. From 1896 to 1912 it was subordinated to Madagascar. From 1912 to 1975 it was part of the French territory of the Comoros. The people of Mayotte voted in 1974 to remain a territory of France. In 2001 Mayotte retained the status collectivité territoriale.

The islands of Comoros still claim the territory of Mayotte. December, 1974 - The Mahoraise voted to remain part of France and forgo independence (with 99.4% of votes). A draft 1976 United Nations Security Council resolution supported by 14 of the 15 members of the Council would have recognized Comoros sovereignty over Mayotte, but France vetoed the resolution (the last time, as of 2004, France cast a lone veto in the Council). The situation of Mayotte proved to be unwieldy for France: while the local population very largely did not want to be independent from France and join Comoros, some international criticism from both post-colonial and leftist regimes was heard about the ongoing ties of Mayotte to France. Furthermore, the peculiar local administration of Mayotte, largely ruled by customary Muslim law, would be difficult to integrate into the legal structures of France, not to mention the costs of bringing the standards of living to levels close to those of metropolitan France. Because of these reasons, the laws passed by the national parliament must state specifically that they apply to Mayotte for them to be applicable on Mayotte. July 2, 2000 – The Mahoraise voted to become a “Departmental Community”. The status of Mayotte was changed in 2001 towards one very close to the status of the départements of mainland France, with the particular designation of collectivité départementale. This change was approved by 73% at a referendum on Mayotte. After the constitutional reform of 2003, it became a collectivité d'outre-mer while keeping to be entitled collectivité départementale de Mayotte.

Recent Significant Events:

Music, Dance, Handicraft and Patrimony:


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Hallaj, Omar. “Mayotte Development Projects: Mayotte, Comoros Islands.” 2001 Technical review Summary. Government of France: France, 2001. Lambek, Michael. “The saint, the sea monster, and an invitation to a Dinner-Dansant: Ethnographic reflections on the edgy passage - and the double edge – of modernity, Mayotte 1975-2001.” Anthropologica. (2004) Vol. 46, Iss. 1, pp. 57. Malango-Mayotte. “A Maurice, soleil et canne à sucre plutôt que pétrole” Developpement Durable. Available FTP: http://www.malango.net/developpement_durable-production_electricite_ocean_indien.htm Viewed on: May 20, 2005. Malango-Mayotte. “La DASU de Mayotte: Direction des Addaires Scolaires et Universitaires de Mayotte” Malango: L’océan Indien francophone. Available FTP http://www.malango-mayotte.com/enseignement-dasu_mayotte.htm Viewed on: May 1, 2005. Malango-Mayotte. “Enseigner à Mayotte” Malango: L’océan Indien francophone. 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