The future of Comoros is clouded by uncertainty. There is little doubt that the 2 smaller islands, Anjouan and Mohéli, would like to enjoy the prosperity and stability of Mayotte, the fourth main island in the archipelago, which has remained a French dependency. Mayotte is administered by France, and the island sends deputies to the French National Assembly. Mayotte's population benefits from social security and general development support from France, which has substantially improved the island's income levels. Such status would significantly improve conditions on Grande Comore. However, it would be a bitter blow to the pride of the ruling elite on Grand Comore and to the Organization for African Unity (OAU). Local politicians see more to their advantage in hanging on to power and accumulating wealth through corrupt practices. It remains to be seen whether the OAU will continue to oppose the democratically expressed wishes of the 2 smaller islands for independence and a possible return to French rule.
The economy is totally dependent on agriculture and tourism for the foreign exchange that it requires to import manufactures and fuels. Agricultural output has been stagnant due to soil degradation, and producers of export crops are discouraged by declines in export prices. Tourism is the most promising sector for expansion. With political stability, perhaps secured by a return to French rule, there is little doubt that foreign investment in tourism would expand, and the islands would progress toward the levels of income enjoyed by their French-ruled neighbors in the Indian Ocean, Reunion and Mayotte. The most likely outcome, however, is that there will be some reconciliation between the other islands and Grande Comore, and Comoros will continue to stagnate.