Grande Comore (officially called Ngazidja) is an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is the largest island in the Comoros nation. Most of its population is of the Comorian ethnic group. Its population as of 2006 is about 316,600. The island’s capital is Moroni, which is also the national capital. The island is made up of two shield volcanoes, with Mount Karthala being the country’s highest point at 2,361 m (7,746 ft) above sea level. According to the 2009 revision of the constitution of 2002, it is governed by an elected Governor, as are the other islands, with the federal government being much reduced in power.
For several centuries, Grande Comore was divided into a number of sultanates, including Bambao, Itsandra, Mitsamihuli, Mbajini, Hambuu, Washili, Hamahame, Mbwankuu, Mbude and Domba. The sultans were also known as mfaume. In 1886 the ruler of Bambao, Sultan Said Ali bin Said Omar, united the sultanates of Grande Comore into the state of Ngazidja, with the other sultanates maintaining autonomy. That same year, France established a protectorate over the island. In 1893 Sultan Said Ali was sent into exile on Réunion. In 1908 France annexed the island and the sultanates were abolished. In 1975 Grande Comore Anjouan and Mohéli declared independence as the nation of Comoros.