Republique de Madagascar
short form: Madagascar
int’l long form: Republic of Madagascar
former: Malagasy Republic
ISO Country Code: mg
Local Time = East African Time (UTC +3h)
Country Calling Code: +261
Capital City: Antananarivo (Tananarive)
Antsirabé (about 500 000), Mahajanga (about 400 000), Toamasina (about 450 000)
Independence: 26 June 1960 (from France)
Constitution: 19 August 1992 by national referendum
Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique.
Area: 587,040 km² (226,658 sq mil.) about the size of Texas or France.
Terrain: Mountainous central plateau, coastal plain.
Climate: tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south, periodic cyclones.
Population: 20.7 million (2011)
Ethnic Groups: 18 separate tribal groups of Malayo-Indonesian, mixed African and Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry, French, Indian, Creole, Comoran.
Religions: Indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%.
Languages: Malagasy (of Malayo-Polynesian origin), French, (both official), English
Natural resources: Graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower.
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.
Exports partners: France 37.4%, USA 29.2%,Germany 5.5%, Mauritius 5.2% (2003)
Imports partners: China 14.2%, France 13.2%,South Africa 6.4%, Iran 6.2% (2003)
Currency: Ariary and Malagasy Franc (FMG)
Madagascar, the Red Island, the Rainbow Island, the Eighth Continent, there are many names for the world’s 4th largest island. Madagascar is situated in the south western area of the Indian Ocean east of the coast of Africa about 400 km off the coast of Mozambique. The island is recognized as one of the world’s top ten hotspots for biodiversity.
Madagascar is inhabited by various ethnic groups of Malayo-Indonesian, mixed African and Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry. Five centuries before the Europeans discovered the island Malayo-Indonesian seafarers arrived in roughly the first century A.D., the Arabs followed in the 6th century to establish trading posts.
Since the 16th century French and British influence left its mark.
In October 1958 the Malagasy Republic was proclaimed as an autonomous state within the French Community and gained full independence in June 1960.
Like many former colonial countries Madagascar went through various political states like uprisings, provisional governments, single-party rule, socialist economic policies, and threat of secession.
Today the country is on a slow and steady economical and political growth path from an extremely low level.
Madagascar is geographically relative close to:
Comoros, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, South Africa
related countries: France, United Kingdom