Africa :: Madagascar
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Madagascar
Location of Madagascar
 
Map of Madagascar
Introduction ::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 elections of 2006. In early 2009, protests due to increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in RAVALOMANANA stepping down and the presidency was conferred to the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA. Following negotiations in July and August of 2009, a power-sharing agreement with a 15-month transitional period was established. Elections are expected in the fall of 2010.
Geography ::Madagascar
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
20 00 S, 47 00 E
total: 587,041 sq km
country comparison to the world: 46
land: 581,540 sq km
water: 5,501 sq km
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, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
arable land: 5.03%
permanent crops: 1.02%
other: 93.95% (2005)
10,860 sq km (2003)
337 cu km (1984)
total: 14.96 cu km/yr (3%/2%/96%)
per capita: 804 cu m/yr (2000)
periodic cyclones; drought; and locust infestation
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 ::Madagascar
20,653,556 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
0-14 years: 43.5% (male 4,523,033/female 4,460,473)
15-64 years: 53.5% (male 5,483,684/female 5,557,098)
65 years and over: 3% (male 280,677/female 348,591) (2009 est.)
total: 18 years
male: 17.8 years
female: 18.2 years (2009 est.)
3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
38.14 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
8.14 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
NA (2009 est.)
urban population: 29% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 54.2 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 47
male: 59.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 62.89 years
country comparison to the world: 176
male: 60.93 years
female: 64.91 years (2009 est.)
5.14 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
14,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
fewer than 1,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: chikungunya, malaria, and plague
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
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
indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%
English (official), French (official), Malagasy (official)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 68.9%
male: 75.5%
female: 62.5% (2003 est.)
total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2006)
3.1% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 144
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
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)
passed by referendum 19 August 1992
based on French civil law system and traditional Malagasy law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Andry RAJOELINA (since 18 March 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Monja Roindefo ZAFITSIMIVALO (since 18 March 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 3 December 2006 (next to be held in October 2011); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: percent of vote - Marc RAVALOMANANA 54.8%, Jean LAHINIRIKO 11.7%, Roland RATSIRAKA 10.1%, Herizo RAZAFIMAHALEO 9.1%, Norbert RATSIRAHONANA 4.2%, Ny Hasina ANDRIAMANJATO 4.2%, Elia RAVELOMANANTSOA 2.6%, Pety RAKOTONIAINA 1.7%, other 1.6%; note - RAVALOMANANA stepped down on 17 March 2009
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, who will head the High Transition Authority; a power-sharing agreement reached in August 2009 established a 15-month transition period, concluding in general elections
bicameral legislature consists of a Senate or Senat (100 seats; two-thirds of the seats filled by regional assemblies; the remaining one-third of seats appointed by the president; to serve four-year terms) and a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (127 seats - reduced from 160 seats by an April 2007 national referendum; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: National Assembly - last held 23 September 2007 (next to be held in late 2010); note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TIM 106, LEADER/Fanilo 1, independents 20
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle
Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar or AREMA [Pierrot RAJAONARIVELO]; Democratic Party for Union in Madagascar or PSDUM [Jean LAHINIRIKO]; Economic Liberalism and Democratic Action for National Recovery or LEADER/Fanilo [Herizo RAZAFIMAHALEO]; Fihaonana Party or FP [Guy-Willy RAZANAMASY]; I Love Madagascar or TIM [Marc RAVALOMANANA]; Renewal of the Social Democratic Party or RPSD [Evariste MARSON]
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
ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
chief of mission: Ambassador Jocelyn Bertin RADIFERA
chancery: 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-5525 through 5526
FAX: [1] (202) 265-3034
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador R. Niels MARQUARDT
embassy: 14-16 Rue Rainitovo, Antsahavola, Antananarivo 101
mailing address: B. P. 620, Antsahavola, Antananarivo
telephone: [261] (20) 22-212-57, 22-212-73, 22-209-56
FAX: [261] (20) 22-345-39
two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side
Economy ::Madagascar
Having discarded past socialist economic policies, Madagascar has since the mid 1990s followed a World Bank- and IMF-led policy of privatization and liberalization. This strategy placed the country on a slow and steady growth path from an extremely low level. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing 80% of the population. Exports of apparel have boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the US. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns. President RAVALOMANANA has worked aggressively to revive the economy following the 2002 political crisis, which triggered a 12% drop in GDP that year. Poverty reduction and combating corruption will be the centerpieces of economic policy for the next few years.
$20.13 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
$18.82 billion (2007 est.)
$17.72 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$9.254 billion (2008 est.)
7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
6.2% (2007 est.)
5% (2006 est.)
$1,000 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212
$1,000 (2007 est.)
$900 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 26.2%
industry: 15.2%
services: 58.5% (2008 est.)
9.504 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 51
50% (2004 est.)
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 41.5% (2005)
47.5 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 33
38.1 (1999)
26.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
revenues: $1.612 billion
expenditures: $2.05 billion (2008 est.)
9.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
10.3% (2007 est.)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 3
45% (31 December 2007)
$1.217 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 115
$1.161 billion (31 December 2007)
$667.2 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 136
$577.4 million (31 December 2007)
$820.3 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 137
$767.5 million (31 December 2007)
$NA
coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products
meat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism
3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
1.045 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
971.4 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
84.57 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
20,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
364.9 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
16,940 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 159
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
$-1.124 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
$-807 million (2007 est.)
$1.155 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
$1.095 billion (2007 est.)
coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products
France 28.8%, US 23.7%, Netherlands 7%, Germany 6.3%, China 4.8% (2008)
$2.419 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
$1.944 billion (2007 est.)
capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food
China 16.3%, France 12.1%, Iran 8.3%, South Africa 6%, Mauritius 4.3% (2008)
$982.3 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
$846.7 million (31 December 2007 est.)
$2.117 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
$4.6 billion (2002)
$NA
$NA
Malagasy ariary (MGA) per US dollar - 1,654.78 (2008 est.), 1,880 (2007), 2,161.4 (2006), 2,003 (2005), 1,868.9 (2004)
Communications ::Madagascar
164,900 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 130
4.835 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 88
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; have added new fixed lines since 2005
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile telephone density about 25 per 100 persons
international: country code - 261; submarine cable to Bahrain; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region) (2008)
AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 6 (2001)
1 (plus 36 repeaters) (2001)
.mg
27,807 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 93
316,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 124
Transportation ::Madagascar
89 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 66
total: 27
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
total: 62
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 39
under 914 m: 21 (2009)
total: 854 km
country comparison to the world: 98
narrow gauge: 854 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
total: 65,663 km
country comparison to the world: 69
paved: 7,617 km
unpaved: 58,046 km (2003)
600 km
country comparison to the world: 80
note: 432 km navigable (2008)
total: 8
country comparison to the world: 120
by type: cargo 4, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2 (2008)
Antsiranana, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara
Military ::Madagascar
People's Armed Forces: Intervention Force, Development Force, and Aeronaval Force (navy and air); National Gendarmerie
18-25 years of age for male-only compulsory military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (either military or equivalent civil service); 20-30 years of age for National Gendarmerie recruits (35 years of age for those with military experience) (2008)
males age 16-49: 4,443,341
females age 16-49: 4,441,124 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 3,150,043
females age 16-49: 3,404,988 (2009 est.)
male: 236,500
female: 235,994 (2009 est.)
1% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 136
Transnational Issues ::Madagascar
claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France)
illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin