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Madagascar

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Cities of Madagascar
Ambalavao | Ambanja | Ambatolampy | Ambatondrazaka | Ambenja | Ambilobe | Ambohimahamasina | Ambohimahasoa | Ambositra | Ambovombe | Amparafaravola | Amparihy-Bejofo | Ampitsikinana | Ampombiantambo | Andapa | Antalaha | Antananarivo Renivohitra (CAPITAL) | Antanifotsy | Antsirabe | Antsiranana | Antsohihy | Arivonimamo | Befandriana Nord | Betroka | Farafangana | Fenoarivo Afovoany | Fenerive Est | Fianarantsoa | Ihosy | Maevatanana | Mahabo | Mahajanga | Maintirano | Mampikony | Manakara | Mananjary | Mandritsara | Maroantsetra | Marovoay | Miarinarivo | Moramanga | Morombe | Morondava | Nosy-Be | Port-Bergé | Sainte-Marie | Sambava | Taolagnaro | Toamasina | Toliara | Tsiroanomandidy | Vangaindrano | Vatomandry | Vohémar

Madagascar Photo Gallery
Madagascar Realty




THE MADAGASCAR SEAL
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Location of Madagascar within the continent of Africa
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Map of Madagascar
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Flag Description of Madagascar: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side; by tradition, red stands for sovereignty, green for hope, white for purity
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.

Republic of Madagascar

Official name Repoblikan’i Madagasikara (Malagasy); République de Madagascar (French)
Form of government republic with two legislative houses (National Assembly [151] and Senate [33])1
Head of state President: Hery Martial Rakotoarimanana Rajaonarimampianina
Head of government Prime Minister: Jean Ravelonarivo
Capital Antananarivo
Official languages Malagasy; French2
Official religion none
Monetary unit ariary (MGA)
Population (2013 est.) 22,599,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 226,756
Total area (sq km) 587,295
Urban-rural population

Urban: (2011) 30.6%
Rural: (2011) 69.4%

Life expectancy at birth

Male: (2012) 63.1 years
Female: (2012) 65.9 years

Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate

Male: (2008–2009) 78.5%
Female: (2008–2009) 74.7%

GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2012) 430

1A democratically elected president was inaugurated on Jan. 25, 2014, the National Assembly was installed on Feb. 18, 2014, and a new prime minister was appointed on April 11, 2014. Installation of the Senate was expected at a later date.

2Per 2010 constitution.

About Madagascar

Madagascar, island country lying off the southeastern coast of Africa. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo. Although located some 250 miles (400 km) from the African continent, Madagascar’s population is primarily related not to African peoples but rather to those of Indonesia, more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) to the east. The Malagasy peoples, moreover, do not consider themselves to be Africans, but, because of the continuing bond with France that resulted from former colonial rule, the island developed political, economic, and cultural links with the French-speaking countries of western Africa. The animal life and vegetation of the island are equally anomalous, differing greatly from that of nearby Africa and being in many respects unique. Although the coastlands have been known to Europeans for more than 400 years and to Arabs for much longer, recent historical development has been more intense and concentrated in the central plateau, which contains the capital city of Antananarivo (formerly Tananarive).

Geography of Madagascar

  • Area: 592,800 sq. km. (228,880 sq. mi.).
  • Capital City -- Antananarivo (pop. about 1,300,000).
  • Other cities--Antsirabe (about 500,000), Mahajanga (about 400,000), Toamasina (about 450,000).
  • Terrain: Mountainous central plateau, coastal plain.
  • Climate: Moderate interior, tropical coasts.

The Land

Madagascar is located in the southwestern Indian Ocean and is separated from the African coast by the 250-mile- (400-km-) wide Mozambique Channel.

  • Relief

Madagascar consists of three parallel longitudinal zones—the central plateau, the coastal strip in the east, and the zone of low plateaus and plains in the west.

Situated between 2,500 and 4,500 feet (800 and 1,400 metres) above sea level, the plateau has been uplifted and worn down several times and is tilted to the west. Three massifs are more than 8,500 feet (2,600 metres) high. The Tsaratanana region in the north is separated from the rest of the plateau by the Tsaratanana Massif, whose summit, Maromokotro, reaches 9,436 feet (2,876 metres) and is the highest point on the island. Ankaratra Massif in the centre is an enormous volcanic mass whose summit, Tsiafajavona, is 8,671 feet (2,643 metres) high. Ankaratra is a major watershed divide separating three main river basins. Farther south, Andringitra is a vast granite massif north of Tôlan̈aro (Faradofay); it rises to 8,720 feet (2,658 metres) at Boby Peak.

The plateau slopes with some regularity toward the extreme southern plain, but its boundaries to the east and west are more abrupt. To the east it descends in a sharp fault, by vertical steps of 1,000 to 2,000 feet (300 to 600 metres). This cliff, which is called the Great Cliff or the Cliff of Angavo, is often impassable and is itself bordered by the Betsimisaraka Escarpment, a second and lower cliff to the east, which overhangs the coastal plain. Behind the scarp face are the remains of ancient lakes, including one called Alaotra. To the south the two steep gradients meet and form the Mahafaly and the Androy plateaus, which overhang the sea in precipitous cliffs. Toward the west the descent is made in a series of steps. However, in places the central plateau is bordered by an impassable escarpment, such as the Cliff of Bongolava in the west-central part of the island. To the extreme north the plateau is bordered by the low belt of the Ambohitra Mountains, which include a series of volcanic craters.

The coastal strip has an average width of about 30 miles (50 km). It is a narrow alluvial plain that terminates in a low coastline bordered with lagoons linked together by the Pangalanes (Ampangalana) Canal, which is more than 370 miles (600 km) long. To the south of Farafangana the coast becomes rocky, and in the southeast there occur many little bays. To the northeast is the deep Bay of Antongil (Antongila).

The western zone is between 60 and 125 miles (100 and 200 km) wide. Its sedimentary layers slope toward the Mozambique Channel and produce a succession of hills. The inland (eastern) side of these steep hills dominates the hollows formed in the soft sediments of the interior, while the other side descends to the sea in rocky slopes. The coastline is straight, bordered by small dunes and fringed with mangroves. The currents in the Mozambique Channel have favoured the offshore deposit of alluvium and the growth of river deltas. On the northwestern coast there are a number of estuaries and bays. This coast is bordered by coral reefs and volcanic islands, such as Nosy Be (Nossi-Bé), which protects Ampasindava Bay.

  • Drainage

The steep eastern face of the plateau is drained by numerous short, torrential rivers, such as the Mandrare, the Mananara, the Faraony, the Ivondro, and the Maningory, which discharge either into the coastal lagoons or directly into the sea over waterfalls and rapids. The more gently sloping western side of the plateau is crossed by longer and larger rivers, including the Onilahy, the Mangoky, the Tsiribihina, and the Betsiboka, which bring huge deposits of fertile alluvium down into the vast plains and many-channeled estuaries; the river mouths, while not completely blocked by this sediment, are studded with numerous sandbanks.

There are many lakes of volcanic origin on the island, such as Lake Itasy. Alaotra is the last surviving lake of the eastern slope. Lake Tsimanampetsotsa, near the coast south of Toliara (formerly Tuléar), is a large body of saline water that has no outlet.

  • Soils

The central plateau and the eastern coast are mainly composed of gneiss, granite, quartz, and other crystalline rock formations. The gneiss decomposes into red murrum, laterite, and deeper and more fertile red earths, giving Madagascar its colloquial name the Great Red Island. Fertile alluvial soils in the valleys support intensive cultivation. There also are scattered volcanic intrusions that produce fertile but easily erodible soils. Lake Alaotra is a large sedimentary pocket in the central plateau containing some of the island’s most productive farmland. The western third of the island consists entirely of deposits of sedimentary rock, giving rise to soils of medium to low fertility.


  • Climate

The hot, wet season extends from November to April and the cooler, drier season from May to October. The climate is governed by the combined effects of the moisture-bearing southeast trade and northwest monsoon winds as they blow across the central plateau. The trade winds, which blow throughout the year, are strongest from May to October. The east coast is to the windward and has a high annual rate of precipitation, reaching nearly 150 inches (3,800 mm) at Maroantsetra on the Bay of Antongil. As the winds cross the plateau, they lose much of their humidity, causing only drizzle and mists on the plateau itself and leaving the west in a dry rain shadow. The southwest in particular is almost desert, with the dryness aggravated by a cold offshore current.

The monsoon, bringing rain to the northwest coast of Madagascar and the plateau, is most noticeable during the hot, humid season. The wind blows obliquely onto the west coast, which receives a moderate amount of precipitation annually; the southwest, which is protected, remains arid. Annual precipitation drops from about 80 inches (about 2,000 mm) on the northwestern island of Nosy Be to about 40 inches (1,000 mm) at Maintirano on the west coast to about 14 inches (360 mm) at Toliara in the southwest. The plateau receives moderate levels of precipitation, with about 50 inches (1,200 mm) falling annually at both Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa, which lies about 200 miles (320 km) farther south.

July is the coolest month, with mean monthly temperatures around the island ranging from the low 50s F (low 10s C) to the high 70s F (mid-20s C), and December is the hottest month, with temperatures between the low 60s and mid-80s F (mid 10s and high 20s C). Temperatures generally decrease with elevation, being highest on the northwest coast and lowest on the plateau.

Tropical cyclones are an important climatic feature. They form far out over the Indian Ocean, especially from December to March, and approach the eastern coast, bringing torrential rains and destructive floods.

  • Plant and animal life

Much of the island was once covered with evergreen and deciduous forest, but little now remains except on the eastern escarpment and in scattered pockets in the west. The plateau is particularly denuded and suffers seriously from erosion. The forest has been cut in order to clear rice fields, to obtain fuel and building materials, and to export valuable timber such as ebony, rosewood, and sandalwood. About seven-eighths of the island is covered with prairie grasses and bamboo or small thin trees. There also are screw pines, palms, and reeds on the coasts. In the arid south of the island grow thorn trees, giant cacti, dwarf baobab trees, pachypodium succulents, and other xerophytes (drought-resistant plants) that are peculiar to the island.

Because of the island’s isolation, many zoologically primitive primates have survived and evolved into unique forms. About 40 species of lemurs are indigenous to Madagascar. Several unique hedgehoglike insectivores, such as the tenrec, have evolved there, and there are also many kinds of chameleons of varying size. Birds are numerous and include guinea fowl, partridges, pigeons, herons, ibis, flamingos, egrets, cuckoos, Asian robins, and several kinds of birds of prey. There are about 800 species of butterflies, many moths, and a variety of spiders. The only large or dangerous animals are the crocodiles, which occupy the rivers. The snakes, including the do, which is 10 to 13 feet (3 to 4 metres) in length, are harmless.

Inland waters contain tilapia (an edible perchlike fish), rainbow trout, and black bass. Marine fish and crustaceans abound on the coasts and in the lagoons, estuaries, and even in some upland streams. They include groupers, giltheads, tuna, sharks, sardines, whitings, crayfish, crabs, shrimps, mussels, and oysters. The coelacanth, referred to as a living fossil and once thought extinct for millions of years, inhabits offshore waters.


Demography of Madagascar

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Malagasy. Population (2008 estimate): 20,042,551. Annual population growth rate (2005, World Bank): 2.7%. Ethnic groups: 18 Malagasy tribes; small groups of Comorans, French, Indians, and Chinese. Religions: Traditional beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%. Languages: Malagasy (official), French (official), English (official). Education: Years compulsory--5. Attendance--65%. Literacy--70.7%. Health: Infant mortality rate--76/1,000. Life expectancy--55.6 yrs. Work force (2000): 8 million. Agriculture--80%; industry--7%.

The People-Madagascar

Madagascar has been inhabited by human beings for the relatively short period of about 1,300 years. Language and culture point unequivocally to Indonesian origins, but there is no empirical evidence of how, why, or by what route the first settlers came to the island. Although studies of the winds and currents of the Indian Ocean indicate that the voyage from Indonesia could have been made, there is considerable controversy about the nature of the journey.--->>>>>Read More.<<<

Economy of Madagascar

GDP (U.S.$, 2007 est., official exchange rate): $7.322 billion. GDP per capita (2007 est., purchasing power parity): $1,100. Unemployment: no reliable data available. Natural resources: Graphite, chrome, coal, bauxite, ilmenite, nickel, gold, oil, tar sands, precious and semiprecious stones, and hardwoods. Agriculture (26.8% of GDP, 2007 est.): Products--rice, livestock, seafood, coffee, vanilla, sugar, cloves, cotton, sisal, peanuts, and tobacco. Industry (15.8% of GDP, 2007 est.): Types--processed food, clothing, textiles, mining, paper, refined petroleum products, glassware, construction, soap, cement, tanning. Trade: Exports (2007, f.o.b.) $989 million: apparel, shrimp, vanilla, coffee, cloves, graphite, essential oils, industrial minerals and gemstones. Major export markets--France, U.S., Germany, Italy, U.K. Imports (2007, f.o.b.) $1.933 billion: foodstuffs, fuel and energy, capital goods, vehicles, consumer goods and electronics. Major suppliers--France, China, Iran, Mauritius, Hong Kong. READ ON...

PEOPLE AND HISTORY of Madagascar

Madagascar's population is predominantly of mixed Asian and African origin. Research suggests that the island was uninhabited until Indonesian seafarers arrived in roughly the first century A.D., probably by way of southern India and East Africa, where they acquired African wives and slaves. Subsequent migrations from both the Pacific and Africa further consolidated this original mixture, and 18 separate tribal groups emerged. Asian features are most predominant in the central highlands people, the Merina (3 million) and the Betsileo (2 million); the coastal people are of more clearly African origin. The largest coastal groups are the Betsimisaraka (1.5 million) and the Tsimihety and Sakalava (700,000 each).

The Malagasy language is of Malayo-Polynesian origin and is generally spoken throughout the island, with significant regional variations. French is spoken among the educated population of this former French colony. English is becoming more widely spoken, and in 2003 the government began a pilot project of introducing the teaching of English into the primary grades of 44 schools, with hopes of taking the project nationwide.

Most people practice traditional religions, which tend to emphasize links between the living and the dead. They believe that the dead join their ancestors in the ranks of divinity and that ancestors are intensely concerned with the fate of their living descendants. The Merina and Betsileo reburial practice of famadihana, or "turning over the dead" celebrate this spiritual communion. In this ritual, relatives' remains are removed from the family tomb, rewrapped in new silk shrouds, and returned to the tomb following festive ceremonies in their honor.

About 41% of the Malagasy are Christian, divided almost evenly between Roman Catholic and Protestant. Many incorporate the cult of the dead with their religious beliefs and bless their dead at church before proceeding with the traditional burial rites. They also may invite a pastor to attend a famadihana. While many Christians continue these practices, others consider them to be superstitions that should be abandoned. Many of the Christian churches are influential in politics. In the coastal regions of the provinces of Mahajanga and Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Muslims constitute a significant minority. Muslims are divided between those of Malagasy ethnicity, Indo-Pakistanis, and Comorans.

The written history of Madagascar began in the seventh century A.D., when Arabs established trading posts along the northwest coast. European contact began in the 1500s, when Portuguese sea captain Diego Dias sighted the island after his ship became separated from a fleet bound for India. In the late 17th century, the French established trading posts along the east coast. From about 1774 to 1824, it was a favorite haunt for pirates, including Americans, one of whom brought Malagasy rice to South Carolina.

Beginning in the 1790s, Merina rulers succeeded in establishing hegemony over the major part of the island, including the coast. In 1817, the Merina ruler and the British governor of Mauritius concluded a treaty abolishing the slave trade, which had been important in Madagascar's economy. In return, the island received British military and financial assistance. British influence remained strong for several decades, during which the Merina court was converted to Presbyterianism, Congregationalism, and Anglicanism.

The British accepted the imposition of a French protectorate over Madagascar in 1885 in return for eventual control over Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) and as part of an overall definition of spheres of influence in the area. Absolute French control over Madagascar was established by military force in 1895-96, and the Merina monarchy was abolished.

Malagasy troops fought in France, Morocco, and Syria during World War I. After France fell to the Germans, the Vichy government administered Madagascar. British troops occupied the strategic island in 1942 to preclude its seizure by the Japanese. The Free French received the island from the United Kingdom in 1943.

In 1947, with French prestige at low ebb, a nationalist uprising was suppressed after several months of bitter fighting. The French subsequently established reformed institutions in 1956 under the Loi Cadre (Overseas Reform Act), and Madagascar moved peacefully toward independence. The Malagasy Republic was proclaimed on October 14, 1958, as an autonomous state within the French Community. A period of provisional government ended with the adoption of a constitution in 1959 and full independence on June 26, 1960.

Genealogy of the People of Madagascar. Ancestry records and the Family tree.

Cities in Madagascar

Cities of Madagascar
Ambalavao | Ambanja | Ambatolampy | Ambatondrazaka | Ambenja | Ambilobe | Ambohimahamasina | Ambohimahasoa | Ambositra | Ambovombe | Amparafaravola | Amparihy-Bejofo | Ampitsikinana | Ampombiantambo | Andapa | Antalaha | Antananarivo Renivohitra (CAPITAL) | Antanifotsy | Antsirabe | Antsiranana | Antsohihy | Arivonimamo | Befandriana Nord | Betroka | Farafangana | Fenoarivo Afovoany | Fenerive Est | Fianarantsoa | Ihosy | Maevatanana | Mahabo | Mahajanga | Maintirano | Mampikony | Manakara | Mananjary | Mandritsara | Maroantsetra | Marovoay | Miarinarivo | Moramanga | Morombe | Morondava | Nosy-Be | Port-Bergé | Sainte-Marie | Sambava | Taolagnaro | Toamasina | Toliara | Tsiroanomandidy | Vangaindrano | Vatomandry | Vohémar

GOVERNMENT of Madagascar

In March 1998, Malagasy voters approved a revised constitution. The principal institutions of the Republic of Madagascar are a presidency, a parliament, a prime ministry and cabinet, and an independent judiciary. The president is elected by direct universal suffrage for a 5-year term, renewable twice. The last presidential election was held on December 3, 2006.

In Madagascar, the parliament has two chambers; the National Assembly and the Senate. The last National Assembly election was held on September 23, 2007, and marked a significant reform to the parliament. The National Assembly previously had 160 members, elected for a four-year term in single-member and two-member constituencies. However, in July 2007, just before the National Assembly elections, a council of ministers agreed to reduce the number of parliamentarians from 160 to 127. Consequently, few of the 116 districts elected more than one member. Antananarivo's six districts, however, each elected two deputies. The Senate has 33 members, with 22 members elected for a six-year term, 1 for each province by provincial electors, and 11 members appointed by the president.

The prime minister and members of parliament initiate legislation, and the government executes it. The president can dissolve the National Assembly. For its part, the National Assembly can pass a motion of censure and require the prime minister and council of ministers to step down. The Constitutional Court approves the constitutionality of new laws.

In an effort to decentralize administration, the country's six provinces were dissolved in the constitutional referendum of 2007, in favor of 22 regions designated previously in 2004. Decentralization is a key element of Madagascar's development plans, and the transition is an ongoing process.

Principal Government Officials President--Marc Ravalomanana Prime Minister, Chief of the Government, Minister of Interior--Charles Rabemananjara Minister of Foreign Affairs--Marcel Ranjeva Minister of National Defense--Cecile Manorohanta Minister of Justice--Bakolalao Ramanandraibe Minister of Public Works and Meteorology--Roland Randriamampionona Minister of National Education--Stangeline Ralambomanana Randrianarisandy Minister of Water--Jean Donne Rasolofoniaina Minister Youth, Sports and Culture and Leisures--Robinson Jean Louis Minister of Finance and Budget--Haja Nirina Razafinjatovo Minister of Land Reform, State Property and Territory Development--Marius De Sales Hygin Ratolojanahary Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries--Armand Panja Ramanoelina Minister of Energy and Mines--Elise Razaka Minister of Economy, Commerce and Industry--Ivohasina Razafimahefa Minister of Environment, Forest and Tourism--Harison Edmond Randriarimanana Minister of Health and Family Planning--Paul Richard Ralainirina Minister of Civil Service, Labor and Social Law--Abdou Salame Minister of Posts, Telecommunication, Communication--Bruno Ramaroson Andriantavison Minister of Transportation--Pierrot Botozaza Vice-Minister in charge of Higher Education, Technical and Professional Training--Ying Vah Zafilahy Vice-Minister in charge of Social Issues, Mother and Children's Health--Marie Perline Rahantanirina Secretary of State in charge of Public Security within the Prime Minister's Office--Desire Rasolofomanana Ambassador to the U.S.--Jocelyn B. Radifera Ambassador to the UN--Zina Andrianarivelo-Razafy

Madagascar maintains an embassy in the United States at 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-265-5525).

CULTURE LIFE of Madagascar

Cultural milieu Malagasy culture is largely composed of Indonesian elements, with other influences evident. Arabic and Islamic contributions include sikidy, an intricate system of divination, and calendrical features, such as the Arabic-derived names of the days of the week, which also apply to the markets held on those days.--->>>>>Read On.<<<<

POLITICAL CONDITIONS of Madagascar

Madagascar's first President, Philibert Tsiranana, was elected when his Social Democratic Party gained power at independence in 1960 and was reelected without opposition in March 1972. However, he resigned only 2 months later in response to massive antigovernment demonstrations. The unrest continued, and Tsiranana's successor, Gen. Gabriel Ramanantsoa, resigned on February 5, 1975, handing over executive power to Lt. Col. Richard Ratsimandrava, who was assassinated 6 days later. A provisional military directorate then ruled until a new government was formed in June 1975, under Didier Ratsiraka.

During the 16 subsequent years of President Ratsiraka's rule, Madagascar continued under a government committed to revolutionary socialism based on the 1975 constitution establishing a highly centralized state. National elections in 1982 and 1989 returned Ratsiraka for a second and third 7-year presidential term. For much of this period, only limited and restrained political opposition was tolerated, with no direct criticism of the president permitted in the press.

With an easing of restrictions on political expression, beginning in the late 1980s, the Ratsiraka regime came under increasing pressure to make fundamental changes. In response to a deteriorating economy, Ratsiraka relaxed socialist economic policies and instituted some liberal, private-sector reforms. These, along with political reforms like the elimination of press censorship in 1989 and the formation of more political parties in 1990, were insufficient to placate a growing opposition movement known as Hery Velona or "Active Forces." A number of already existing political parties and their leaders, among them Albert Zafy and Rakotoniaina Manandafy, anchored this movement which was especially strong in Antananarivo and the surrounding high plateau.

In response to largely peaceful mass demonstrations and crippling general strikes, Ratsiraka replaced his prime minister in August 1991 but suffered an irreparable setback soon thereafter when his troops fired on peaceful demonstrators marching on his suburban palace, killing more than 30.

In an increasingly weakened position, Ratsiraka acceded to negotiations on the formation of a transitional government. The resulting "Panorama Convention" of October 31, 1991, stripped Ratsiraka of nearly all of his powers, created interim institutions, and set an 18-month timetable for completing a transition to a new form of constitutional government. The High Constitutional Court was retained as the ultimate judicial arbiter of the process.

In March 1992, a widely representative National Forum organized by the Malagasy Christian Council of Churches (FFKM) drafted a new constitution. Troops guarding the proceedings clashed with pro-Ratsiraka "federalists" who tried to disrupt the forum in protest of draft constitutional provisions preventing the incumbent president from running again. The text of the new constitution was put to a nationwide referendum in August 1992 and approved by a wide margin, despite efforts by federalists to disrupt balloting in several coastal areas.

Presidential elections were held on November 25, 1992, after the High Constitutional Court had ruled, over active forces objections, that Ratsiraka could become a candidate. Runoff elections were held in February 1993, and the leader of the Hery Velona movement, Albert Zafy, defeated Ratsiraka. Zafy was sworn in as President on March 27, 1993. After President Zafy's impeachment by the National Assembly in 1996 and the short quasi-presidency of Norbert Ratsirahonana, the 1997 elections once again pitted Zafy and Ratsiraka, with Ratsiraka this time emerging victorious. A National Assembly dominated by members of President Ratsiraka'a political party AREMA subsequently passed the 1998 constitution, which considerably strengthened the presidency.

In December 2001, a presidential election was held in which both major candidates claimed victory. The Ministry of the Interior declared incumbent Ratsiraka of the AREMA party victorious. Marc Ravalomanana contested the results and claimed victory. A political crisis followed in which Ratsiraka supporters cut major transport routes from the primary port city to the capital city, a stronghold of Ravalomanana support. Sporadic violence and considerable economic disruption continued until July 2002 when Ratsiraka and several of his prominent supporters fled to exile in France. In addition to political differences, ethnic differences played a role in the crisis and continue to play a role in politics. Ratsiraka is from the coastal Betsimisaraka tribe and Ravalomanana comes from the highland Merina tribe.

After the end of the 2002 political crisis, President Ravalomanana began many reform projects, forcefully advocating "rapid and durable development" and the launching of a battle against corruption. December 2002 legislative elections gave his newly formed TIM (Tiako-i-Madagasikara--I Love Madagascar) Party a commanding majority in the National Assembly. November 2003 municipal elections were conducted freely, returning a majority of supporters of the president, but also significant numbers of independent and regional opposition figures.

Following the crisis of 2002, the President replaced provincial governors with appointed PDSs (Presidents des Delegations Speciales). This effectively put an end to the "autonomous provinces," although they nominally remained in place because they were included in the constitution. Subsequent legislation established a structure of 22 regions to decentralize administration. In September 2004, the government named 22 Regional Chiefs, reporting directly to the President, to implement its decentralization plans. Rumors about the dissolution of the autonomous provinces had been around for some time, and on April 4, 2007 a constitutional referendum was held, in which the majority of the voters backed a revised constitution without any provinces. The new regions have become the highest level of subdivision.


U.S.-MALAGASY RELATIONS

Relations with the United States date to the middle 1800s. The two countries concluded a commercial convention in 1867 and a treaty of peace, friendship, and commerce in 1881. Traditionally warm relations suffered considerably during the 1970s, when Madagascar expelled the U.S. ambassador, closed a NASA tracking station, and nationalized two U.S. oil companies. In 1980, relations at the ambassadorial level were restored.

Throughout the troubled period, commercial and cultural relations remained active. In 1990, Madagascar was designated as a priority aid recipient, and assistance increased from $15 million in 1989 to $40 million in 1993. Recent U.S. assistance has contributed to a population census and family planning programs; conservation of Madagascar's remarkable biodiversity, private sector development, agriculture, democracy and governance initiatives; and media training. Madagascar became the very first country with a Millennium Challenge Account compact when it signed an agreement worth $110 million in April 2006. The Ravalomanana government is especially positive about ties with the United States.

U.S. Embassy Officials

Ambassador--R. Niels Marquardt Deputy Chief of Mission--Eric Stromayer USAID Director--Gerry Cashion Defense Attache--CDR John Ries Public Affairs Officer--Rodney Ford Consular Officer--Melanie Rubenstein Economic/Commercial Section Chief--Dovie Holland Political Officer--Jeff Hulse Management Officer--Steve Dodson Peace Corps Director--Steve Wisecarver

The U.S. Embassy in Madagascar is located at 14, rue Rainitovo, Antsahavola, Antananarivo (tel. 261-20-22-212-57, 033-44-22-000; fax 261-20-345-39. The postal address is Ambassader Americaine, B.P. 620, Antananarivo, Madagascar.

TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION of Madagascar

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program advises Americans traveling and residing abroad through Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings. Country Specific Information exists for all countries and includes information on entry and exit requirements, currency regulations, health conditions, safety and security, crime, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. Travel Alerts are issued to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions overseas that pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to a certain country because the situation is dangerous or unstable. For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://www.travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings can be found. Consular Affairs Publications, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip abroad, are also available at http://www.travel.state.gov. For additional information on international travel, see http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Travel/International.shtml.

The Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens traveling or residing abroad to register via the State Department's travel registration website or at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency and will enable you to receive up-to-date information on security conditions.

Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or the regular toll line 1-202-501-4444 for callers outside the U.S. and Canada.

The National Passport Information Center (NPIC) is the U.S. Department of State's single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passport information. Telephone: 1-877-4-USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778); TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793. Passport information is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. You may speak with a representative Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern Time, excluding federal holidays.

Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) and a web site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx give the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. The CDC publication "Health Information for International Travel" can be found at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentYellowBook.aspx.

Further Electronic Information

Department of State Web Site. Available on the Internet at http://www.state.gov, the Department of State web site provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy information, including Background Notes and daily press briefings along with the directory of key officers of Foreign Service posts and more. The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides security information and regional news that impact U.S. companies working abroad through its website http://www.osac.gov

Export.gov provides a portal to all export-related assistance and market information offered by the federal government and provides trade leads, free export counseling, help with the export process, and more.

STAT-USA/Internet, a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides authoritative economic, business, and international trade information from the Federal government. The site includes current and historical trade-related releases, international market research, trade opportunities, and country analysis and provides access to the National Trade Data Bank.

Menabé-Historical kingdom, Madagascar

Menabé, historic kingdom of the Sakalava people in southwestern Madagascar, situated roughly between the Mangoky and Manambalo rivers. It was founded in the 17th century by King Andriandahifotsy (d. 1685), who led a great Sakalava migration into the area from the southern tip of Madagascar. Under his son Andramananety, the kingdom became known as Menabé, to distinguish it from a second Sakalava kingdom—Boina—founded by Adramananety’s brother farther north.

At the height of their power, in the 18th century, Menabé and Boina together controlled nearly all of western Madagascar and were recognized as overlords by other kingdoms on the island, including Merina, their principal rival. Menabé’s eminence was short-lived, however. By the middle of the 19th century, it had been absorbed into the expanding Merina empire.


Madagascar in 2009

Madagascar Area: 587,051 sq km (226,662 sq mi) Population (2009 est.): 19,625,000 Capital: Antananarivo Chief of state and head of government: President Marc Ravalomanana, assisted by Prime Minister ...>>>Read On<<<

Madagascar in 2004

Madagascar Area: 587,041 sq km (226,658 sq mi) Population (2004 est.): 17,082,000 Capital: Antananarivo Chief of state and head of government: President Marc Ravalomanana Two major cyclones hit ...>>>Read On<<<

Disclaimer

This is not the official site of this country. Most of the information in this site were taken from the U.S. Department of State, The Central Intelligence Agency, The United Nations, [1],[2], [3], [4], [5],[6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14],[15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24],[25], [26], [27], [28], [29], [30],[31], [32], [33], [34], and the [35].

Other sources of information will be mentioned as they are posted.