Mayotte





Basic Data

Mayotte

Official Country Name: Territorial Collectivity of Mayotte
Region (Map name): Africa
Population: 155,911
Language(s): Mahorian, French
Literacy rate: N/A

Background & General Characteristics

The French constitution and language establish parameters for media activities in Mayotte, an island locale that has doggedly refused to cast aside its colonial heritage and Creole character. In 2002, Mayotte was still French despite France's efforts to wean it from dependency and push it toward union with its Comoran neighbors.

Both geography and language patterns work against coherency in the media. Situated northwest of Madagascar in the Mozambique Channel, Mayotte (Mahoré) is an Overseas Territorial Collectivity of France and is the only segment of the scattered Comoros archipelago whose citizens, in the referenda of 1974 and 1976, opted not to be part of the independent Republic of the Comoros. Mayotte comprises two main islands with a total area of 144 square miles. In 2001 it had a population of about 163,000; its chief town, Mamoutzou, had 20,000 residents, while its old capital, Dzaoudzi, had about 10,000.

Though French is the official and commercial language and thus the language of the media, only thirty-five percent of Mahorais speak it. The native language in daily use is Shimaoré (Mahorian), a Swahili dialect influenced by Arabic.

Media Activity

Mayotte's one newspaper in 1997 was a French-language weekly.

In charge of territorial broadcasting is Radio-Télévision Française d'Outre-Mer (RFO-Mayotte). For one hour a day, it conducts its broadcasts in Shimaoré.

In 1997 three television stations served Mayotte, and in 1998 one AM and four FM radio stations were operating. Mahorais owned some 30,000 radios and 3,500 TVs in the mid-1990s.

Bibliography

Political Handbook of the World, 1999. Ed. Arthur S. Banks and Thomas C. Muller. Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications, 1999.

The Statesman's Yearbook: The Politics, Cultures, and Economies of the World, 2000. Ed. Barry Turner. 136th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2002. New York: World Almanac Books, 2002.

Roy Neil Graves

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