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Introduction - Madagascar:




Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, but regained its 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.

Location - Madagascar:


Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique

Geographic coordinates

20 00 S, 47 00 E

Map references



total: 587,040 sq km
land: 581,540 sq km
water: 5,500 sq km

Area comparative

slightly less than twice the size of Arizona

Land boundaries

0 km


4,828 km

Maritime claims

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 deep isobath


tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south


narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m

Natural resources

graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower

Land use

arable land: 5.03%
permanent crops: 1.02%
other: 93.95% (2005)

Irrigated land

10,860 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

periodic cyclones, drought, and locust infestation

Environment current issues

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

Environment international agreements

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

Geography note

worlds fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel

People - Madagascar:


19,448,815 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 43.9% (male 4,297,985/female 4,243,369)
15-64 years: 53% (male 5,117,874/female 5,190,032)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 270,411/female 329,144) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 17.8 years
male: 17.6 years
female: 18 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

3.008% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

38.6 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

8.51 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.013 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.986 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.822 male(s)/female
total population: 0.992 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 57.02 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 62.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 62.14 years
male: 60.23 years
female: 64.1 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.24 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

1.7% (2003 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

140,000 (2003 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

7,500 (2003 est.)


noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
adjective: Malagasy

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2007)

Ethnic groups

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%


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.)

Government - Madagascar:

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar
conventional short form: Madagascar
local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikani Madagasikara
local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara
former: Malagasy Republic

Government type



name: Antananarivo
geographic coordinates: 18 55 S, 47 31 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara


26 June 1960 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 26 June (1960)


19 August 1992 by national referendum

Legal system

based on French civil law system and traditional Malagasy law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Marc RAVALOMANANA (since 6 May 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Charles RABEMANANJARA (25 January 2007)
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 December 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%

Legislative branch

bicameral legislature consists of a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (160 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and 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)
elections: National Assembly - last held 15 December 2002 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TIM 103, FP 22, AREMA 3, LEADER/Fanilo 2, RPSD 5, others 3, independents 22

Judicial branch

Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle

Political parties and leaders

Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar or AREMA [Pierrot RAJAONARIVELO]; 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]

Political pressure groups and leaders

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

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Narisoa RAJAONARIVONY
chancery: 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-5525, 5526
FAX: [1] (202) 265-3034
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador James D. McGEE
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

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side

Economy - Madagascar:

Economy overview

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.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$17.27 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$5.059 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

4.7% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$900 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 26.9%
industry: 16.5%
services: 56.6% (2006 est.)

Labor force

7.3 million (2000)

Population below poverty line

50% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 29% (1999)

Distribution of family income gini index

47.5 (2001)

Inflation rate consumer prices

12% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

26.3% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $879.9 million
expenditures: $1.147 billion; including capital expenditures of $331 million (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

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

Industrial production growth rate

3% (2000 est.)

Electricity production

984 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

915.1 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

90.59 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

14,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

-$504 million (2006 est.)


$993.5 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products

Exports partners

France 32%, US 25.3%, Germany 6%, Italy 5%, UK 4.1% (2006)


$1.544 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food

Imports partners

France 13.4%, China 11.6%, Iran 9%, Mauritius 7.4%, Hong Kong 4.6% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$563 million (2006 est.)

Debt external

$4.6 billion (2002)

Economic aid recipient

$354 million (2001)

Currency code

Madagascar ariary (MGA)

Exchange rates

Malagasy ariary per US dollar - 2,161.4 (2006), 2,003 (2005), 1,868.9 (2004), 1,238.3 (2003), 1,366.4 (2002)

Communications - Madagascar:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

129,800 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

1.046 million (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: system is above average for the region
domestic: open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter links connect regions
international: country code - 261; submarine cable to Bahrain; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 2 (plus a number of repeater stations), FM 9, shortwave 6 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

1 (plus 36 repeaters) (2001)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

1,504 (2006)

Internet users

110,000 (2006)

Transportation - Madagascar:


116 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 29
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 2 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 87
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 42
under 914 m: 43 (2006)


total: 854 km
narrow gauge: 854 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


total: 49,827 km
paved: 5,780 km
unpaved: 44,047 km (1999)


600 km (2006)

Merchant marine

total: 9 ships (1000 GRT or over) 13,896 GRT/18,466 DWT
by type: cargo 5, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 2 (2006)

Ports and terminals

Antsiranana, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Military - Madagascar:

Military branches

Peoples Armed Forces: Intervention Force, Development Force, and Aeronaval Force (navy and air); National Gendarmerie

Military service age and obligation

18-50 years of age for compulsory military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (either military or equivalent civil service) (2006)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 3,542,797
females age 18-49: 3,551,447 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 2,218,662
females age 18-49: 2,408,810 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 187,000
females age 18-49: 184,833 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

1% (2006)

Disputes international

claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France)

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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