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Introduction - Madagascar:

BackgroundFormerly 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:
LocationSouthern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique

Geographic coordinates20 00 S, 47 00 E

Map referencesAfrica

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

Area comparativeslightly less than twice the size of Arizona

Land boundaries0 km

Coastline4,828 km

Maritime claimsterritorial 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

Climatetropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south

Terrainnarrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center

Elevation extremeslowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m

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

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

Irrigated land10,860 sq km (2003)

Natural hazardsperiodic cyclones, drought, and locust infestation

Environment current issuessoil 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 agreementsparty 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 noteworlds fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel

People - Madagascar:
Population19,448,815 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 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 agetotal: 17.8 years
male: 17.6 years
female: 18 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate3.008% (2007 est.)

Birth rate38.6 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate8.51 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat 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 ratetotal: 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 birthtotal population: 62.14 years
male: 60.23 years
female: 64.1 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate5.24 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate1.7% (2003 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids140,000 (2003 est.)

Hiv aids deaths7,500 (2003 est.)

Nationalitynoun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
adjective: Malagasy

Major infectious diseasesdegree 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 groupsMalayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran

Religionsindigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%

LanguagesFrench (official), Malagasy (official)

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 68.9%
male: 75.5%
female: 62.5% (2003 est.)

Government - Madagascar:
Country nameconventional 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 typerepublic

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

Administrative divisions6 provinces (faritany); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Independence26 June 1960 (from France)

National holidayIndependence Day, 26 June (1960)

Constitution19 August 1992 by national referendum

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

Suffrage18 years of age; universal

Executive branchchief 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 branchbicameral 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 branchSupreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle

Political parties and leadersAssociation 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 leadersCommittee 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 participationACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), 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

Diplomatic representation in the uschief 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 uschief 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 descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side

Economy - Madagascar:
Economy overviewHaving 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 rate4.7% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $900 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 26.9%
industry: 16.5%
services: 56.6% (2006 est.)

Labor force7.3 million (2000)

Population below poverty line50% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 29% (1999)

Distribution of family income gini index47.5 (2001)

Inflation rate consumer prices 12% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed 26.3% of GDP (2006 est.)

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

Agriculture productscoffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products

Industriesmeat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism

Industrial production growth rate3% (2000 est.)

Electricity production984 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption915.1 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)

Oil production90.59 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption14,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exportsNA bbl/day

Oil importsNA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance-$504 million (2006 est.)

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

Exports commoditiescoffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products

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

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

Imports commoditiescapital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food

Imports partnersFrance 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 ratesMalagasy 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 yearcalendar year

Telephones main lines in use129,800 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular1.046 million (2006)

Telephone systemgeneral 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 stationsAM 2 (plus a number of repeater stations), FM 9, shortwave 6 (2001)

Television broadcast stations1 (plus 36 repeaters) (2001)

Internet country code.mg

Internet hosts1,504 (2006)

Internet users110,000 (2006)

Transportation - Madagascar:
Airports116 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 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 runwaystotal: 87
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 42
under 914 m: 43 (2006)

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

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

Waterways600 km (2006)

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

Ports and terminalsAntsiranana, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Military - Madagascar:
Military branchesPeoples Armed Forces: Intervention Force, Development Force, and Aeronaval Force (navy and air); National Gendarmerie

Military service age and obligation18-50 years of age for compulsory military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (either military or equivalent civil service) (2006)

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 3,542,797
females age 18-49: 3,551,447 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 2,218,662
females age 18-49: 2,408,810 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 187,000
females age 18-49: 184,833 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp1% (2006)

Disputes internationalclaims 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 >>>