The Comoros is a sovereign archipelago composed of three islands suspended between Mozambique and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The country’s maritime position saw it receive significant cultural input from East Africa and the Arab Peninsula as well as some influence from the Malay Peninsula over the course of the last 2000 years. The country was later colonized by France, receiving independence in 1975. Since that time, however, the Comoros has struggled to establish economic and political stability, being the site of two dozen coups as well as deteriorating development indicators. Today, half of the Comorian population lives in extreme poverty and the economy ranks as the one of the most unequal in the world. Despite these challenges, regional autonomy is very important in Comorian life and each constituent island has a different character than the others in the archipelago. While 40% of the national GDP comes from agriculture, the government hopes to promote tourism as an emerging area of importance in the future.