Facts About : Madagascar

    • Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA achieved a second term following a landslide victory in the generally free and fair presidential election of 2006. In early 2009, protests over increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in RAVALOMANANA handing over power to the military, which then conferred the presidency on the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA, in what amounted to a coup d'etat. Following a lengthy mediation process led by the Southern African Development Community, Madagascar held UN-supported presidential and parliamentary elections in 2013. Former de facto finance minister Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA won a runoff election in December 2013 and was inaugurated in January 2014.

Geography :: MADAGASCAR

    • Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
      20 00 S, 47 00 E
      total: 587,041 sq km
      land: 581,540 sq km
      water: 5,501 sq km
      country comparison to the world: 47
      slightly less than twice the size of Arizona
      0 km
      4,828 km
      territorial sea: 12 nm
      contiguous zone: 24 nm
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
      continental shelf: 200 nm or 100 nm from the 2,500-m isobath
      tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
      narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center
      lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
      highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m
      graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, rare earth elements, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
      agricultural land: 71.1%
      arable land 6%; permanent crops 1%; permanent pasture 64.1%
      forest: 21.5%
      other: 7.4% (2011 est.)
      10,860 sq km (2003)
      337 cu km (2011)
      total: 16.5 cu km/yr (2%/1%/97%)
      per capita: 1,010 cu m/yr (2005)
      periodic cyclones; drought; and locust infestation
      volcanism: Madagascar's volcanoes have not erupted in historical times
      soil erosion results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; several endangered species of flora and fauna unique to the island
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
      world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel

People and Society :: MADAGASCAR

    • noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
      adjective: Malagasy
      Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
      French (official), Malagasy (official), English
      indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%
      23,812,681 (July 2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 52
      0-14 years: 40.45% (male 4,856,231/female 4,775,025)
      15-24 years: 20.53% (male 2,450,164/female 2,439,035)
      25-54 years: 31.56% (male 3,760,230/female 3,755,775)
      55-64 years: 4.24% (male 488,315/female 521,690)
      65 years and over: 3.22% (male 347,151/female 419,065) (2015 est.)
      population pyramid: 
      total dependency ratio: 80.3%
      youth dependency ratio: 75.2%
      elderly dependency ratio: 5.1%
      potential support ratio: 19.5% (2015 est.)
      total: 19.4 years
      male: 19.2 years
      female: 19.5 years (2015 est.)
      2.58% (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 21
      32.61 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 33
      6.81 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 138
      0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 90
      urban population: 35.1% of total population (2015)
      rate of urbanization: 4.69% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
      ANTANANARIVO (capital) 2.61 million (2015)
      at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
      0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
      15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
      25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
      55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
      65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
      total population: 1 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
      total: 43.67 deaths/1,000 live births
      male: 47.59 deaths/1,000 live births
      female: 39.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 47
      total population: 65.55 years
      male: 64.09 years
      female: 67.05 years (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 175
      4.2 children born/woman (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 33
      39.9% (2008/09)
      4.2% of GDP (2013)
      country comparison to the world: 158
      0.16 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
      0.2 beds/1,000 population (2010)
      urban: 81.6% of population
      rural: 35.3% of population
      total: 51.5% of population
      urban: 18.4% of population
      rural: 64.7% of population
      total: 48.5% of population (2015 est.)
      urban: 18% of population
      rural: 8.7% of population
      total: 12% of population
      urban: 82% of population
      rural: 91.3% of population
      total: 88% of population (2015 est.)
      0.29% (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 82
      39,100 (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 62
      3,200 (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 43
      degree of risk: very high
      food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
      vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
      water contact disease: schistosomiasis
      animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
      4.6% (2014)
      country comparison to the world: 187
      2.7% of GDP (2012)
      country comparison to the world: 150
      definition: age 15 and over can read and write
      total population: 64.7%
      male: 66.7%
      female: 62.6% (2015 est.)
      total: 10 years
      male: 11 years
      female: 10 years (2012)
      total number: 1,827,423
      percentage: 28%
      note: data represents children ages 5-17 (2007 est.)
      total: 2.3%
      male: 1.7%
      female: 2.8% (2005 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 133

Government :: MADAGASCAR

    • conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar
      conventional short form: Madagascar
      local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
      local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara
      former: Malagasy Republic
      name: Antananarivo
      geographic coordinates: 18 55 S, 47 31 E
      time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
      6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara
      26 June 1960 (from France)
      Independence Day, 26 June (1960)
      previous 1992; latest passed by referendum 17 November 2010, promulgated 11 December 2010 (2012)
      civil law system based on the old French civil code and customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation
      accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
      18 years of age; universal
      chief of state: President Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA Rakotoarimana (since 25 January 2014)
      head of government: Prime Minister Jean RAVELONARIVO (since 17 January 2015)
      cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
      elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 December 2013 (next to be held in 2018); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly, appointed by the president
      election results: Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA elected president; percent of vote in second round - Hery Martial RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA (FIDO) 53.5%, Jean Louis ROBINSON (AVANA) 46.5%
      note: on 17 March 2009, democratically elected President Marc RAVALOMANANA stepped down, handing the government over to the military, which in turn conferred the presidency on opposition leader and Antananarivo mayor Andry RAJOELINA; a power-sharing agreement established a 15-month transition period to conclude with a general election in 2010, which failed to occur; a subsequent agreement aimed for an early 2013 election - the first round was held on 25 October 2013 and the second on 20 December 2013
      description: unicameral National Assembly or Antenimierampirenena (151 seats; 87 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 64 directly elected in two-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
      elections: National Assembly - last held on 20 December 2013 (next to be held in 2017); note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections held in 2013 after repeated delays
      election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - MPAR 17.3%, MR 10.8%, VPM MMM 8.2%, PHI 3.8%, AMHM 3.5%, LF 2.8%, FFF 1.6%, AIM 1.0%, SFN 0.3%, independent and other 50.6%; seats by party - MPAR 49, MR 20, VPM MMM 13, PHI 5, AMHM 2, LF 5, FFF 2, AIM 2, SFN 2, other 22, independent 25, seats with delayed elections 4
      highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 11 members; addresses judicial administration issues only); High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 9 members); note - the judiciary includes a High Court of Justice responsible for adjudicating crimes and misdemeanors by government officials including the president
      judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court heads elected by the president and judiciary officials to serve single-renewable, 3-year terms; High Constitutional Court members appointed - 3 each by the president, by both legislative bodies, and by the Council of Magistrates; members serve single, 6-year terms
      subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; provincial and city tribunals
      AVANA Party [Jean-Louis ROBINSON]
      Economic Liberalism and Democratic Action for National Recovery/LEADER Fanilo or LF [Manasse ESOAVELOMANDROSO]
      Green Party/Parti Vert or AMHM [Sarah Georget RABEHARISOA]
      National Unity, Freedom, and Development or FFF [Andriamparany Benjamin RADAVIDSON]
      New Force for Madagascar or FIDIO [Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA]
      Parti Hiaraka Isika or PHI [Albert Camille VITAL]
      Party of Andry Rajoelina or MPAR [Andry RAJOELINA]
      Pillar of Madagascar or AIM [Andry RAKOTOVAO]
      Ravlomanana Movement or MR [Marc RAVALOMANANA]
      Sambo Fiaran'i Noe or SFN
      Union Party or Tambatra [Pety RAKOTONIAINA]
      Vondrona Politika Miara dia Malagasy Miara Miainga or VPM MMM [Milavonjy ANDRIASY]
      Committee for the Defense of Truth and Justice or KMMR
      Committee for National Reconciliation or CRN [Albert ZAFY]
      National Council of Christian Churches or FFKM
      chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Velotiana Rakotoanosy RAOBELINA (since 20 June 2011)
      chancery: 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
      telephone: [1] (202) 265-5525 through 5526
      FAX: [1] (202) 265-3034
      chief of mission: Ambassador Robert T. YAMATE (since 13 January 2015); note - also accredited to Comoros
      embassy: Lot 207A, Point Liberty, Andranoro, Antehiroka, 105 Antananarivo
      mailing address: B. P. 620, Antsahavola, Antananarivo
      telephone: [261] (23) 480 00/01
      FAX: [261] (23) 480 35
      two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side; by tradition, red stands for sovereignty, green for hope, white for purity
      traveller's palm, zebu; national colors: red, green, white
      name: "Ry Tanindraza nay malala o" (Oh, Our Beloved Fatherland)
      lyrics/music: Pasteur RAHAJASON/Norbert RAHARISOA
      note: adopted 1959


  • After discarding socialist economic policies in the mid-1990s, Madagascar followed a World Bank- and IMF-led policy of privatization and liberalization until the onset of a political crisis , which lasted from 2009-2013 . The free market strategy had previously placed the country on a slow and steady growth path from an extremely low starting point. Exports of apparel boomed after gaining duty-free access to the US in 2000; however, Madagascar's failure to comply with the requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) led to the termination of the country's duty-free access in January 2010, a sharp fall in textile production, and a loss of more than 100,000 jobs; Madagascar regained AGOA access in January 2015 following the democratic election of a new President the previous year. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing roughly 80% of the population. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns. Many investors remain wary of investing for fear of a return to political instability in the country and because of weaknesses in the business environment. Expansion in mining and agricultural sectors contributed to growth in 2014. International organizations and foreign donors resumed development aid to Madagascar after RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA appointed a new government in mid-2014, however full-scale assistance will require further policy reforms, particularly on addressing rampant corruption.
    $33.87 billion (2014 est.)
    $32.89 billion (2013 est.)
    $32.11 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 120
    $10.6 billion (2014 est.)
    3% (2014 est.)
    2.4% (2013 est.)
    3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    $1,400 (2014 est.)
    $1,400 (2013 est.)
    $1,400 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 218
    12.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    10.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
    10.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    household consumption: 84.1%
    government consumption: 13.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 15.9%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 30.1%
    imports of goods and services: -43.3%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 28.1%
    industry: 17.4%
    services: 54.5% (2014 est.)
    coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products
    meat processing, seafood, soap, beer, leather, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism, mining
    6.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    12.15 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    3.6% (2012 est.)
    50% (2004 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.2%
    highest 10%: 34.7% (2010 est.)
    47.5 (2001)
    38.1 (1999)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    revenues: $2.375 billion
    expenditures: $2.741 billion (2014 est.)
    21.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153


Communications :: MADAGASCAR

    • total subscriptions: 250,000
      subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 121
      total: 9 million
      subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 39 (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 91
      general assessment: system is above average for the region; Antananarivo's main telephone exchange modernized in the late 1990s, but the rest of the analogue-based telephone system is poorly developed
      domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 40 per 100 persons
      international: country code - 261; landing point for the EASSy, SEACOM, and LION fiber-optic submarine cable systems; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region) (2010)
      state-owned Radio Nationale Malagasy (RNM) and Television Malagasy (TVM) have an extensive national network reach; privately owned radio and TV broadcasters in cities and major towns; state-run radio dominates in rural areas; relays of 2 international broadcasters are available in Antananarivo (2007)
      AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 6 (2001)
      1 (plus 36 repeaters) (2001)
      total: 17 million
      percent of population: 73.5% (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 31

Transportation :: MADAGASCAR

    • 83 (2013)
      country comparison to the world: 65
      total: 26
      over 3,047 m: 1
      2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
      1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
      914 to 1,523 m: 16
      under 914 m: 1 (2013)
      total: 57
      1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
      914 to 1,523 m: 38
      under 914 m:
      18 (2013)
      total: 836 km
      narrow gauge: 836 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
      country comparison to the world: 97
      total: 37,476 km
      paved: 6,103 km
      unpaved: 31,373 km (2010)
      country comparison to the world: 92
      600 km (432 km navigable) (2011)
      country comparison to the world: 79
      total: 1
      by type: cargo 1
      registered in other countries: 1 (unknown 1) (2010)
      country comparison to the world: 152
      major seaport(s): Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara (Tulear)

Military :: MADAGASCAR

Transnational Issues :: MADAGASCAR

  • claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France); the vegetated drying cays of Banc du Geyser, which were claimed by Madagascar in 1976, also fall within the EEZ claims of the Comoros and France (Glorioso Islands, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands)
    IDPs: 21,475 (floods in 2015) (2015)
    current situation: Madagascar is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; poor Malagasy women hired as domestic workers in Lebanon, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia are vulnerable to abuse by recruitment agencies and employers; Malagasy men experience forced labor aboard Chinese-flagged fishing vessels in South Africa’s territorial waters; Malagasy children, mostly from rural areas, are subjected to domestic servitude, prostitution, forced begging, and forced labor within the country, often with the complicity of family members; child sex tourism continues to increase, especially in coastal cities, with Malagasy men being the main clients
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the first seven convictions under the 2007 anti-trafficking law were secured in 2013; no government employees were investigated, despite widespread corruption and the alleged official complicity in human trafficking; authorities lacked formal procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups and did not systematically provide or refer victims to NGOs for care; the government did not engage with the Lebanese Government regarding the protection of and legal remedies for exploited Malagasy workers but began discussions with Saudi and Kuwaiti officials (2014)
    illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin