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French Colonization in Comoros

The process of Comoros French colonization was started in the early 19th century. The principal reason for the French colonization of Comoros was the threat of British and German domination of the Indian Ocean at that time.

The Comoros French Colonization started with France taking control over one of the islands in the archipelago, Mayotte in 1841. Admiral de Hell, the then governor of Reunion Island negotiated with the Malagasy ruler of Mayotte Andrian Souli to transfer administrative control of the island to France. The island was practically handed over to France based on the premise that, if France did not take control, Britain would surely do so- and with substantial military force.

The French colonization of the Comoros was marked by mixed economic results. The French colonial rule over Comoros helped to bring an end to the sub-human slave trade. Health standards improved substantially. The population increased by more than 50% during the years from 1900 to 1960. France introduced cash crop cultivation in the Comoros archipelago. The economy of the island was dependent upon exports of crops like cloves, ylang-ylang, vanilla, copra and cocoa among others. The profits accrued from exports were not re-invested in Comoros- but repatriated to France. The economy of Comoros suffered as a result. Comoros attained independence from France in 1975.