Madagascar (capital Antanannarivo)
Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960.
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook: "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."
Economic growth rate
2009: minus 3.7%
World Factbook: "Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns."
Labor force in agriculture
Coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, clothing, chromite, petroleum products
2009: France 26.3%, US 9.2%, China 8.5%, Netherlands 6.4%, Germany 5.6%, Canada 4.4%, Spain 4.3%
2011: exports $1.407 billion, imports $3.653 billion
Income Distribution – gini index
Ranks 28th among 140 countries (higher rank number is more equal, lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.
2009: 6.2 % of GDP
Living in an urban area
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%
Literacy (15 and older)
2003: males 75.5%, females 62.5%
Large island in the Indian Ocean, roughly 1,600 kilometers by 500 kilometers (1,000 miles by 312 miles).
Chief of state: Andry Nirina Rajoelina (president, transitional) since 18 March 2009. Head of government: Omer Beriziky (prime minister) since 2 November 2011, Economic Liberalism and Democratic Action for National Recovery.
President is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and eligible for a second term.
Parliamentary government with a bicameral legislature. The Senate has 100 members, one-third of them appointed by the president and two-thirds appointed by regional assemblies. The National Assembly has 127 members elected by popular vote. All members serve four-year terms.
Independence from France in 1960. Single party rule until 1992. Constitution by national referendum, 1992. Electoral disputes.
World Factbook: 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 over 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, but has not yet been implemented.
The World Factbook lists Andry Rajoelina as president since March 18, 2009.
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