Facts about Madagascar
|Population||20,042,552 (July 2008 est|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
General info about Madagascar
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 is now in his second term following a landslide victory in the generally free and fair presidential elections of 2006.
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepat
English (official), French (official), Malagasy (official)
What about drugs?
illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption; transshipment point for heroin
Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
1.7% (2003 est.)
tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
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.
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
Cities in Madagascarambalavao ambanja ambatofinandrahana ambatolampy ambatondrazaka ambilobe amboasary ambodifototra ambositra ambovombe ampanihy amparafaravola andapa andevoranto andilamena anjozorobe ankazoabo ankazobe antalaha antananarivo antanifotsy antsirabe antsohihy arivonimamo bealanana beloha beroroha betafo betioky fandriana farafangana faratsiho fenoarivo fenoarivo atsinanana fianarantsoa ifanadiana ihosy ikalamavony ikongo mahajanga mahanoro manakara mananara mananjary manjakandriana maroantsetra marolambo marovoay miandrivazo moramanga morondava nosy varika sakaraha sambava soanierana ivongo soavinandriana taolanaro toamasina toliary tsaratanana tsihombe tsiroanomandidy vangaindrano vavatenina vohibinany vondrozo