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Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar map of Madagascar
conventional short form: Madagascar
local long form: Republique de Madagascar
local short form: Madagascar
former: Malagasy Republic

 

Capital:

Antananarivo (formerly Tananarive). Population: 1.5 million (2003 estimate).
 

 

Location:

Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
 

Description:

Madagascar, the fourth-largest island in the world, lies in the Indian Ocean 500km (300 miles) off the coast of Mozambique. It includes several much smaller islands. A central chain of high mountains, the Hauts Plateaux, occupies more than half of the main island and is responsible for the marked differences (ethnically, climatically and scenically) between the east and west coasts. The narrow strip of lowlands on the east coast, settled from the sixth century by Polynesian seafarers, is largely covered by dense rainforests, whereas the broader west-coast landscape, once covered by dry deciduous forests, is now mostly savannah. The east coast receives the monsoon and, on both coasts, the climate is wetter towards the north. The southern tip of the island is semi-desert, with great forests of cactus-like plants. The capital, Antananarivo, is high up in the Hauts Plateaux near the island’s centre. Much of Madagascar’s flora and fauna is unique to the island. There are 3,000 endemic species of butterfly; the many endemic species of lemurs fill the niches occupied elsewhere by animals as varied as racoons, monkeys, marmots, bushbabies and sloths. There is a similar diversity of reptiles, amphibians and birds (especially ducks), and also all levels of plant life.
 

 

 

Area:

587,041 sq km (226,658 sq miles).

 

Population:

19.4 million (CIA estimate 2007).

 

Languages:

The official languages are Malagasy (which is related to Indonesian) and French. Local dialects are also spoken. English is not widely spoken.

 

Climate:
Hot and subtropical climate, colder in the mountains. Rainy season: November to March. Dry season: April to October. The south and west regions are hot and dry. Monsoons bring storms and cyclones to the east and north from December to March. The mountains, including Antananarivo, are warm and thundery from November to April and dry, cool and windy the rest of the year.

Economy - overview:
Agriculture accounts for more than 25% of GDP and employs 80% of the population. Coffee is produced for foreign exchange, rice and cassava for domestic consumption. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns. The country suffers from frequent cyclones which have done severe damage to agriculture in the past. Madagascar has appreciable mineral deposits which are being exploited, whilst the manufacturing industry, mainly textiles and food processing, accounts for 15% of GDP. The economy grew by 4.7% in 2006, with inflation at 10.8%. The country continues to rely heavily on loans and grants. In 2005, Madagascar became the first state to receive development aid from the US under a scheme to reward nations that Washington considers to be promoting democracy and market reforms. Exports of apparel have boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the US. Poverty reduction and combating corruption will be the centerpieces of economic policy for the next few years.

Economy:
Agriulture accounts for more than 25% of GDP and employs 80% of the population. Coffee is produced for foreign exchange, rice and cassava for domestic consumption. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns. The country suffers from frequent cyclones which have done severe damage to agriculture in the past. Madagascar has appreciable mineral deposits which are being exploited, whilst the manufacturing industry, mainly textiles and food processing, accounts for 15% of GDP. The economy grew by 4.7% in 2006, with inflation at 10.8%. The country continues to rely heavily on loans and grants. In 2005, Madagascar became the first state to receive development aid from the US under a scheme to reward nations that Washington considers to be promoting democracy and market reforms. Exports of apparel have boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the US. Poverty reduction and combating corruption will be the centerpieces of economic policy for the next few years.
 

Industries:

meat processing, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism

 

Exports - commodities:

coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar; cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products

 

Imports - commodities:

capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food

 

Exchange rates:
The pre-colonial Ariary (MGA; symbol Ar) has replaced the Malagasy Franc (MGF). Notes are in denominations of Ar10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 200 and 100. Coins are in denominations of Ar50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1.
http://www.worldtravelguide.net/country/


 

 

 

 

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  Copyright By :  Kish Trade Promotion Center  2002