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National Computer Board>Indian Ocean Region - Madagascar

Indian Ocean Region - Madagascar

Background
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 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. Numerous attempts have been made by regional and international organizations to resolve the subsequent political gridlock by forming a power-sharing government. As of late 2011, a RAJOELINA has appointed a new cabinet, and the country appears to be moving towards new elections sometime in 2012.


Geography
Location:
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Area:
total: 587,041 sq km
country comparison to the world: 47
land: 581,540 sq km
water: 5,501 sq km
Climate:
tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
Natural Resources:
graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, rare earth elements, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower


People
Population: 22,585,517 (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52

Ethnic groups:
Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran

Religions:
indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%

Languages:
French (official), Malagasy (official), English

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


Government
Government type: republic

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

Independence:
26 June 1960 (from France)

Legal system:
civil law system based on the old French civil code and customary law in matters of marriage, family, and obligation

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Andry RAJOELINA (since 18 March 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Jean Omer BERIZIKY (since 2 November 2011)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website)

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 December 2006 (next to be held in March 2012); prime minister appointed by the president; note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections now scheduled for March 2012 after repeated delays

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 Transitional Authority; a power-sharing agreement reached in August 2009 established a 15-month transition period, concluding in general elections in 2010; as of December 2010 the agreement had not been fully implemented

Legislative branch:
bicameral legislature consists of a Senate or Senat (100 seats; two-thirds of the members appointed by regional assemblies; the remaining one-third appointed by the president; members 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 elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: National Assembly - last held on 23 September 2007 (next to be held in March 2012); note - a power-sharing agreement in the summer of 2009 established a 15-month transition, concluding in general elections now scheduled for March 2012 after repeated delays
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TIM 106, LEADER/Fanilo 1, independents 20

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle



Economy Overview

After discarding socialist economic policies in the mid-1990s, Madagascar followed a World Bank- and IMF-led policy of privatization and liberalization that has been undermined since the start of the political crisis. 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 boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the US, 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 and a sharp fall in textile production. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns. The current political crisis, which began in early 2009, has dealt additional blows to the economy. Tourism dropped more than 50% in 2009 compared with the previous year, and many investors are wary of entering the uncertain investment environment. GDP grew by less than 1% per year in 2010-11.


Key Economic Indicators
GDP – real growth rate:
1% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
0.6% (2010 est.)
-3.7% (2009 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$900 (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
$1,000 (2010 est.)
$1,000 (2009 est.)
note:data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP – composition by sector

agriculture: 28.8%
industry: 16.6%
services: 54.6% (2011 est.)

Labor force:
9.504 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 51

Budget:
revenues: $1.649 billion
expenditures: $1.737 billion (2011 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
10.9% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
9.2% (2010 est.)

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

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

Exports:
$1.407 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
$1.173 billion (2010 est.)

Exports – commodities:
coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products

Exports - partners
France 26.3%, US 9.2%, China 8.5%, Netherlands 6.4%, Germany 5.6%, Canada 4.4%, Spain 4.3% (2010)

Imports:
$3.653 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
$3.453 billion (2010 est.)

Imports – commodities:
capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food

Imports – Partners
China 14.6%, France 11.4%, South Africa 6.4%, India 5.4%, Bahrain 4.6%, US 4.3%, Singapore 4.1% (2010)

Exchange rates:
Malagasy ariary (MGA) per US dollar -
1,950 (2011 est.)
2,090 (2010 est.)
1,956.2 (2009)
1,654.78 (2008)
1,880 (2007)

Communications
Telephones – main lines in use
172,200 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 130

Telephones – mobile cellular:
8.242 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 80

Telephone system:
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 been adding fixed line connections since 2005

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 40 per 100 persons

international: country code - 261; SEACOM undersea fiber-optic cable and the Lion undersea cable connecting to Reunion and Mauritius; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region) (2009)

Internet country code: .mg

Internet hosts:
27,606 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 99

Internet Users: 319,900 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 127



Source: CIA World Factbook