The World Factbook (1990)/Madagascar

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


See regional map VII


Total area: 587,040 km²; land area: 581,540km²

Comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of Arizona

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 4,828 km

Maritime claims:

Exclusive fishing zone: 150 nm
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island (all administered by France)

Climate: tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south

Terrain: narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center

Natural resources: graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semi-precious stones, mica, fish

Land use: 4% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 58% meadows and pastures; 26% forest and woodland; 11% other; includes 2% irrigated

Environment: subject to periodic cyclones; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Note: world's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel


Population: 11,800,524 (July 1990), growth rate 3.2% (1990)

Birth rate: 47 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 15 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: migrants/ 1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 97 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 50 years male, 54 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 6.9 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Malagasy (sing. and pl.); adjective—Malagasy

Ethnic divisions: basic split between highlanders of predominantly Malayo-Indonesian origin (Merina 1,643,000 and related Betsileo 760,000) on the one hand and coastal tribes, collectively termed the Côtiers, with mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry (Betsimisaraka 941,000, Tsimihety 442,000, Antaisaka 415,000, Sakalava 375,000), on the other; there are also 11,000 European French, 5,000 Indians of French nationality, and 5,000 Creoles

Religion: 52% indigenous beliefs; about 41% Christian, 7% Muslim

Language: French and Malagasy (official)

Literacy: 67.5%

Labor force: 4,900,000; 90% nonsalaried family workers engaged in subsistence agriculture; 175,000 wage earners—26% agriculture, 17% domestic service, 15% industry, 14% commerce, 11% construction, 9% services, 6% transportation, 2% other; 51% of population of working age (1985)

Organized labor: 4% of labor force


Long-form name: Democratic Republic of Madagascar

Type: republic

Capital: Antananarivo

Administrative divisions: 6 provinces (plural—NA, singular—faritanin’); Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Independence: 26 June 1960 (from France; formerly Malagasy Republic)

Constitution: 21 December 1975

Legal system: based on French civil law system and traditional Malagasy law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 26 June (1960)

Executive branch: president, Supreme Council of the Revolution, prime minister, Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: unicameral Popular National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale Populaire)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Suprême), High Constitutional Court (Haute Cour Constitutionnelle)

Leaders: Chief of State—President Adm. Didier RATSIRAKA (since 15 June 1975);

Head of Government Prime Minister Lt. Col. Victor RAMAHATRA (since 12 February 1988)

Political parties and leaders: seven parties are now allowed limited political activity under the national front and are represented on the Supreme Revolutionary Council: Advance Guard of the Malagasy Revolution (AREMA), Didier Ratsiraka; Congress Party for Malagasy Independence (AKFM); Congress Party for Malagasy Independence-Revival (AKFM-R), Pastor Richard Andriamanjato; Movement for National Unity (VONJY), Dr. Marojama Razanabahiny; Malagasy Christian Democratic Union (UDECMA), Norbert Andriamorasata; Militants for the Establishment of a Proletarian Regime (MFM), Manandafy Rakotonirina; National Movement for the Independence of Madagascar (MONIMA), Monja Jaona; Socialist Organization Monima (VSM, an offshoot of MONIMA), Tsihozony Maharanga

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: President—last held on 12 March 1989 (next to be held March 1996); results—Didier Ratsiraka (AREMA) 62%, Manandafy Rakotonirina (MFM/MFT) 20%, Dr. Jerome Marojama Razanabahiny (VONJY) 15%, Monja Jaona (MONIMA) 3%;

People's National Assembly—last held on 28 May 1989 (next to be held May 1994); results AREMA 88.2%, MFM 5.1%, AKFM 3.7%, VONJY 2.2%, others 0.8%; seats—(137 total) AREMA 120, MFM 7, AKFM 5, VONJY 4, MONIMA 1, independent 1

Communists: Communist party of virtually no importance; small and vocal group of Communists has gained strong position in leadership of AKFM, the rank and file of which is non-Communist


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Pierrot Jocelyn RAJAONARIVELO; Chancery at 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 265-5525 or 5526; there is a Malagasy Consulate General in New York; US—Ambassador Howard K. WALKER; Embassy at 14 and 16 Rue Rainitovo, Antsahavola, Antananarivo (mailing address is B. P. 620, Antananarivo); telephone 212-57, 209-56, 200-89, 207-18

Flag: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side


Overview: Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. During the period 1980-85 it had a population growth of 3% a year and a -0.4% GDP growth rate. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is the mainstay of the economy, accounting for over 40% of GDP, employing about 85% of the labor force, and contributing more than 70% to export earnings. Industry is confined to the processing of agricultural products and textile manufacturing; in 1988 it contributed only 16% to GDP and employed 3% of the labor force. Industrial development has been hampered by government policies that have restricted imports of equipment and spare parts and put strict controls on foreign-owned enterprises. In 1986 the government introduced a five-year development plan that stresses self-sufficiency in food (mainly rice) by 1990, increased production for exports, and reduced energy imports.

GDP: $1.7 billion, per capita $155; real growth rate 2.2% (1988)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 17.0% (1988)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $337 million; expenditures $245 million, including capital expenditures of $163 million (1988)

Exports: $284 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—coffee 45%, vanilla 15%, cloves 11%, sugar, petroleum products; partners—France, Japan, Italy, FRG, US

Imports: $319 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—intermediate manufactures 30%, capital goods 28%, petroleum 15%, consumer goods 14%, food 13%; partners—France, FRG, UK, other EC, US

External debt: $3.6 billion (1989)

Industrial production: growth rate -3.9% (1988)

Electricity: 119,000 kW capacity; 430 million kWh produced, 40 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: agricultural processing (meat canneries, soap factories, brewery, tanneries, sugar refining), light consumer goods industries (textiles, glassware), cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum

Agriculture: accounts for 40% of GDP; cash crops—coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa; food crops—rice, cassava, beans, bananas, peanuts; cattle raising widespread; not self-sufficient in rice and wheat flour

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis (cultivated and wild varieties) used mostly for domestic consumption

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $118 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $2.6 billion; Communist countries (1970-88), $491 million

Currency: Malagasy franc (plural—francs); 1 Malagasy franc (FMG) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Malagasy francs (FMG) per US$1—1,531.0 (January 1990), 1603.4 (1989), 1,407.1 (1988), 1,069.2 (1987), 676.3 (1986), 662.5 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 1,020 km 1.000-meter gauge

Highways: 40,000 km total; 4,694 km paved, 811 km crushed stone, gravel, or stabilized soil, 34,495 km improved and unimproved earth (est.)

Inland waterways: of local importance only; isolated streams and small portions of Canal des Pangalanes

Ports: Toamasina, Antsiranana, Mahajanga, Toliara

Merchant marine: 13 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 58,126 GRT/79,420 DWT; includes 8 cargo, 2 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 1 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 1 chemical tanker, 1 liquefied gas

Civil air: 5 major transport aircraft

Airports: 147 total, 115 usable; 30 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 43 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: above average system includes open-wire lines, coaxial cables, radio relay, and troposcatter links; submarine cable to Bahrain; satellite earth stations—1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT and 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT; over 38,200 telephones; stations—14 AM, 1 FM, 7 (30 repeaters) TV

Defense Forces

Branches: Popular Army, Aeronaval Forces (includes Navy and Air Force), paramilitary Gendarmerie

Military manpower: males 15-49, 2,550,775; 1,519,084 fit for military service; 116,438 reach military age (20) annually

Defense expenditures: 2.2% of GDP, or $37 million (1989 est.)