Madagascar (Malagasy), officially the Republic of Madagascar; French: République de Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian peninsula around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.
The financial system is shallow and has so far fallen short of catalyzing funds for growth: domestic credit to GDP ratio remains low, and the economy remains largely cash-based. Access to credit is expensive and limited, especially for small and medium enterprises, and capital markets are undeveloped and hampered by relatively high-interest rates.
The financial sector comprises 11 banks, seven financial establishments and 29 micro-finance institutions (three of which are currently suspended and awaiting reauthorization to operate). Only two banks (Bank of Africa and BFV-Société Générale) are fairly well established outside the capital. Madagascar's financial sector is dominated by banks, the assets of which amount to 25% of GDP. Commercial banks hold 84% of total system assets but only offer basic savings and credit products to a select clientele. All commercial banks are now foreign-owned, and the subsidiaries of three large internationally active French banks have a combined market share of around 65% of assets.
Access to financial services is limited. By 2011 only 45 out of every 1000 adults were a depositor at a commercial bank, and only 16 out of every 1000 was a borrower. However, the microfinance sector is growing rapidly.
Ongoing financial system reforms, including the creation of a stock market, have been put on hold, with the passing of related bills tabled in parliament indefinitely postponed due to the political crisis.
|Agriculture||Meat processing, soap, textiles, breweries, cement, paper, sugar|
|Manufacture||Rice, cassava, beans, bananas, cloves, sugar, vanilla, cacao, coffee|
|Services (Including financial)||17.4% (2014 estimate)|
|Mauritius Commercial Bank||Financial|
|Banque Centrale de Madagascar||Financial|
|Madagascar Oil||Oil & Gas|
The 2009 Malagasy political crisis began on 26 January 2009 with the political opposition movement led by Antananarivomayor Andry Rajoelina, which sought to oust President Marc Ravalomanana from the presidency. The crisis reached its climax on 21 March 2009 when Andry Rajoelina was declared the president of the High Transitional Authority of Madagascar; five days after Ravalomanana transferred his power to a military council and fled to South Africa.
The international community immediately condemned the leader and his ascension as unconstitutional: Financial support and foreign investments stopped and the country fell into one of the worst economic crises in its history. The SADC and the African Union have been designated to supervise Madagascar's political reinstatement.
Though the objective of the transitional government was to run presidential elections as soon as possible to relieve the tensions (despite regular delays), its major challenge has been to establish an agreement among Madagascar's four key political factions (Rajoelina, Ravalomanana, Zafy and Ratsiraka), some of which were and still are unfriendly to the transitional government. On 11 December 2010, a new constitution was formally approved, launching the Fourth Republic. On 28 October 2011, a consensus Prime Minister, Omer Beriziky, was appointed. Presidential and parliamentary elections were scheduled for 8 May and 3 July 2013.
The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar dates to 2000 BC. Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and AD 550 by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around AD 1000 by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into 18 or more sub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands.
Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed republics. Since 1992, the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009, President Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014, when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community. Madagascar is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation internationale de la francophonie and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
In 2012, the population of Madagascar was estimated at just over 22 million, 90% of whom live on less than $2 per day. Malagasyand French are both official languages of the state. The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education, health, and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantial economic growth, but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class. As of 2014, the economy had been weakened by the then recently concluded political crisis, and quality of life remains low for the majority of the Malagasy population.
Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana
Rakotomamonjy Jean MAx
(President of National Assembly)
(President of Senate)
The ariary (sign: Ar; ISO 4217 code MGA) is the currency of Madagascar. It is subdivided into 5 iraimbilanja and is one of only two non-decimal currencies currently circulating (the other is the Mauritanian ouguiya). The names ariary and iraimbilanja derive from the pre-colonial currency, with ariary being the name for a silver dollar. Iraimbilanja means literally "one iron weight" and was the name of an old coin worth 1/5 of an ariary. The ariary was introduced in 1961. It was equal to 5 Malagasy francs. Coins and banknotes were issued denominated in both francs and ariary, with the sub-unit of the ariary, the iraimbilanja, worth 1/5 of an ariary and therefore equal to the franc. The ariary replaced the franc as the official currency of Madagascar on January 1, 2005.
Coins and banknotes were denominated in both the official francs and the semi-official ariary and iraimbilanja since 1961.
On early issues, the franc denomination was the most prominent. However, from 1978, higher value coins were issued denominated only in ariary. In 1993, new 500 ariary-2500 franc note and 5000 ariary-25,000 francs were issued with ariary slightly more prominent. On banknotes issued since July 31, 2003, the ariary denomination is displayed prominently and the franc denomination in small print. Lower denomination coins are also now issued denominated in ariary but with the main design unchanged.
|National Song||"Ry Tanindrazanay malala ô!"|
|Currency||Malagasy ariary (MGA)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||37.492 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||3 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$1504.735 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
Malayo-Indonesian (Merina And Related Betsileo)
Cotiers (Mixed African
And Arab Ancestry - Betsimisaraka
President – Andry Rajoelina
Prime Minister – Christian Ntsay
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||42.256 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||2.134 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|