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Map of Madagascar
Introduction Madagascar
Background:
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.
Geography Madagascar
Location:
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Geographic coordinates:
20 00 S, 47 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
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
Coastline:
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
Climate:
tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
Terrain:
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, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel
People Madagascar
Population:
18,595,469 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.8% (male 4,171,821/female 4,158,288)
15-64 years: 52.2% (male 4,809,173/female 4,900,675)
65 years and over: 3% (male 249,414/female 306,098) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.5 years
male: 17.3 years
female: 17.7 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
3.03% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
41.41 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
11.11 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 75.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 83.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 57.34 years
male: 54.93 years
female: 59.82 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.62 children born/woman (2006 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.)
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 (2005)
Nationality:
noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
adjective: Malagasy
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)
Literacy:
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/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara
former: Malagasy Republic
Government type:
republic
Capital:
name: Antananarivo
geographic coordinates: 18 52 S, 47 30 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
Independence:
26 June 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 26 June (1960)
Constitution:
19 August 1992 by national referendum
Legal system:
based on French civil law system and traditional Malagasy law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Marc RAVALOMANANA (since 6 May 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Jacques SYLLA (27 May 2002)
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 16 December 2001 (next to be held December 2006); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: percent of vote - Marc RAVALOMANANA (TIM) 50.5%, Didier RATSIRAKA (AREMA) 37.7%
Legislative branch:
bicameral legislature consists of a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (160 seats; members are directly 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 whose members will be elected by popular vote; the remaining one-third of the seats appointed by the president; all members will serve four-year terms)
elections: National Assembly - last held 15 December 2002 (next to be held December 2006)
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 RAJAONARIVO]; 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:
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Rajaonarivony NARISOA
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 United States. 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):
$16.36 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.719 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.1% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 27.6%
industry: 16.5%
services: 55.9% (2005 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):
15% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
26.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $703.6 million
expenditures: $853 million; including capital expenditures of $331 million (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products
Industries:
meat processing, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
3% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
825.4 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 36.1%
hydro: 63.9%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
767.7 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
89.27 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
15,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
-$438 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
$951 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products
Exports - partners:
France 31.1%, US 30.5%, Germany 8.7% (2005)
Imports:
$1.4 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food
Imports - partners:
France 16.7%, China 10.6%, Iran 7.9%, Mauritius 6.5%, South Africa 5.9%, Hong Kong 5% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$572 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$4.6 billion (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$354 million (2001)
Currency (code):
Madagascar ariary (MGA)
Currency code:
MGF
Exchange rates:
Malagasy ariary per US dollar - 2,003 (2005), 1,868.9 (2004), 1,238.3 (2003), 1,366.4 (2002), 1,317.7 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Madagascar
Telephones - main lines in use:
66,900 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
333,900 (2004)
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) and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2 (plus a number of repeater stations), FM 9, shortwave 6 (2001)
Radios:
3.05 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 36 repeaters) (2001)
Televisions:
325,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.mg
Internet hosts:
805 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
90,000 (2005)
Transportation Madagascar
Airports:
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)
Railways:
total: 854 km
narrow gauge: 854 km 1.000-m gauge (2005)
Roadways:
total: 49,827 km
paved: 5,780 km
unpaved: 44,047 km (1999)
Waterways:
600 km (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 9 ships (1000 GRT or over) 13,896 GRT/18,466 DWT
by type: cargo 7, petroleum tanker 2
registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Antsiranana, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara
Military Madagascar
Military branches:
People's Armed Forces: Intervention Force, Development Force, and Aeronaval Force (navy and air); National Gendarmerie
Military service age and obligation:
18-50 years of age; conscript service obligation - 18 months (either military or equivalent civil service) (2004)
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 - dollar figure:
$329 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
7.2% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Madagascar
Disputes - international:
claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island (all administered by France)
Illicit drugs:
illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006