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Mayotte (Département de Mayotte) is an overseas department of France and the most southeasterly of the Comoros islands in the Mozambique Channel west of Madagascar. It consists of the main island of Grande-Terre, the island of Petite-Terre and several islets.

The Comoros were inhabited before 600 AD by Arabs, Austronesians and Bantu speakers. From the 11th century trade flourished, especially with Arabs who introduced Islam. In 1500 the Maore sultanate was established on Mayotte.

Ignored by the Portuguese, Mayotte was then conquered by a series of sultanates from Madagascar before being purchased by the French, along with the rest of the Comoros, in 1841.

In 1908 the Comoros were unified by France under a single administration overseen by Madagascar, becoming a province in 1912. France finally agreed in 1973 to independence for the Comoros islands subject to a referendum.

Mayotte was the only island to reject this option but in 1975 the Comorian parliament declared unilateral independence leaving Mayotte as a territory of France. It became an overseas department in 2011 and an outermost region of the EU in 2014, following another referendum. The Comoros Islands claim Mayotte as part of their country. It is substantially more wealthy due to French support.

The islands of Mayotte, namely Grande-Terre (or Maore) and Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), are geologically the oldest of the Comoros Islands which were all formed by volcanic activity. They comprise volcanic rock in part encircled by coral reefs.  

Mayotte has no identified indigenous oil or gas resources, either onshore or offshore. Deep water gas discoveries have been made in Mozambique to the west and some exploration activity is forecast for deep waters in the Comoros within the outer reaches of the Rovuma Basin.

However, Mayotte lies outside of the Rovuma basin area and Globalshift believes it is very unlikely to witness any exploration activity or achieve production in the future.


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Brief history of the territory (France)

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0.213 mm






Like Reunion and territories in Latin America Mayotte is a Department of France. The President of the Departmental Council runs the country but executive power is exercised by the French government.

It sends 1 deputy to the French National Assembly and 2 senators to the Senate. In 2001 customary Muslim law was modified to match more closely the status of other French Departments.

As a part of France it is in the EU and Euro with France responsible for its energy resources.

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