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IN ENGLISH
INFORMATION ABOUT MADAGASCAR - Madagascar Guide

                            

INFORMATION ABOUT MADAGASCAR 

 

Formal Name: Republic of Madagascar

Short Name: Madagascar.

Location: Island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique

Population: 20,653,556 (July 2009 est.)

                   Birth rate: 38.14 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

                  Death rate: 8.14 deaths/1,000 population (2009 est.)

                 Age structure:
                                     0-14 years: 43.5%
(male 4,523,033/female 4,460,473)         
                                    15-64 years: 53.5%
(male 5,483,684/female 5,557,098)             
                                   
65 years and over: 3% (male 280,677/female 348,591) (2009 est.)
              

        Median Age:
                   total: 18 years
                               male: 17.8 years
                               female: 18.2 years (2009 est.)


              Population growth rate:
                                    3% (2009 est.)
              Sex ratio:
                             at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
                             under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
                            15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
                            65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
                            total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
            Infant mortality rate:
                          
total: 54.2 deaths/1,000 live births
                         male: 59.12 deaths/1,000 live births
                        female: 49.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
           Life expectancy at birth:
                          total population:
62.89 years
                         male: 60.93 years
                         female: 64.91 years (2009 est.)
          Total fertility rate:
                          5.14 children born/woman (2009 est.)
 

Term for Citizens: Malagasy

Languages: Malagasy (official),  French  (official)

Religions: indigenous beliefs 36%, Christian 59%, Muslim 5%

Capital City: Antananarivo

Administrative divisions:  6 provinces : Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Geography:

        - Area: Total: 587,040sq Km (226,656sq miles)   

                        Land: 581,540sq km

                       Water: 5,500sq Km         

                       Coastline: 4,828km

Elevation extremes: 
                 lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
                 highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m

Climate: Madagascar is a tropical island that has two main seasons which are rainy, cooler and dry. The rainy season falls from late November to late April. The cooler and  dry season season usually runs from early May to late October.  Average temperature ranges in Antananarivo are from 9 to 20 degree Celsius (48 to 68 degree Fahrenheit) in July to 16 to 27 degrees Celsius (61 to 81 degree Fahrenheit) in December.

Economy:

Monetary unit: Malagasy Ariary (MGA)

                       1 US Dollar = 1,981.84 Malagasy Ariary (MGA)
                       1 Malagasy Ariary (MGA) =
0.0005046 US Dollar

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): US $12.3 billion
Gross National Product (GNP) per capita: US $800
Annual Growth: 4.8%
Inflation: 10%

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS:  Beryl,  Zirconia, Cattle, Chromium, Garnet, Graphite, Bananas, Maize, Cassava,  Mangoes, Pepper, Potatoes, Rice, Sugar Cane, Timber, Vanilla, Coffee, cocoa, cloves, sugarcane, beans, bananas,peanuts.

MAIN EXPORTS: Coffee, Cloves, Vanilla, Fish, Meat, Sugar, shellfish, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products

MAJOR TRADING PARTNERS: USA, France, China, Hong Kong Netherlands, Germany, Mauritius, Iran, Bahrain, South Africa, Japan, Singapore

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Food Processing ,Oil Refining, Forestry, Mining, glassware, cement, automobile assemble plant, breweries, tanneries, soap, paper,tourism    

NATURAL RESOURCES: Chromite, coal, bauxite, graphite, hydropower, mica, salt, semiprecious stones, tar sands, quartz                                           
Calling Code: 261

Time: GMT+3

Electricity: Mostly 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Independence: 26 June 1960 (from France)
 

Government type: Republic

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

EXECUTIVE BRANCH:

Chief of State: President Marc Ravalomanana { ( since May 6, 2002) ( president elected by popular vote for a five- years term; election held December 16, 2001,(since January 19, 2007) election held December 03, 2006 ) }

Head of government: Charles RABEMANANJARA (since January 20, 2007) (prime minister appointed by the president)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister

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.

Territorial administration is to be determined by legislation. In an effort to decentralize administration, the Constitution calls for the six provinces (faritany) to become autonomous. The six provinces are Antananarivo, Mahajanga, Antsiranana, Toamasina, Fianarantsoa, and Toliary.

Principal Government Officials
Prime Minister:                                                       Charles RABEMANANJARA
Minister of Defense:                                               Cécile MANOROHANTA
Minister of Finance and Budget:                              Haja Nirina RAZAFINJATOVO
Minister of Economy and Commerce:                     Ivohasina RAZAFIMAHEFA
Minister of Public Labor and Meteorology             Roland Randriamampionona
Minister of Foreign Affairs:                                      Marcel Ranjeva
Minister of Transport:                                             Pierrot BOTOZAZA
Minister of  the Land Reform, the Fields and Territorial Administration: Marius RATOLOJANAHARY
Minister of Justice:                                                 Bakolalao RAMANANDRAIBE RANAIVOHARIVONY
Minister of Telecommunications, Posts and Communication: ANDRIATAVISON Bruno Ramaroson
Minister of Education and Scientific Research:                    Stangeline RALAMBOMANANA RANDRIANARISANDY
                                                                                            Ying Vah Zafilahy (Vice Minister)
Minister of Public Administration, Employment and Social Legislation: Abdou SALAME                                                                        

Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests, Tourism:  Harison Edmond RANDRIARIMANANA
Minister of Energy, mining:                                    Elis
é RAZAKA                                                             Minister of Water                              Jean-Donné Rasolofoniaina                                                   Ministere of Youth, Sports and Culture                  Jean Louis ROBINSON                                                               Minister of Health and Family Planning:                Paul Richard RALAINIRINA
                                                                             Marie Perline Rahantanirina (Vice Minister)
Minister of Agriculture, Stockbreeding and Fishery: Armand Panja RAMANOELINA
Minister of Interior :                                                Charles RABEMANANJARA
State Secretary within the Ministry of Interior in charge of Public Security:  Désiré Rasolofomanana



 

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH:

The Malagasy National Assembly or Assemblée Nationale: 160 deputies are directly elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms

President of National Assembly:  Jacques Sylla

The Senate: 100 Senators (two thirds of the seats filled by regional assemblies whose members are elected by popular vote; the remaining one-third of the seats appointed by the president; all members serve four-year terms; election held 15 December 2002 {next to be held NA 2006}

President of the Senate :  Yvan Randriasandratriniony

JUDICIAL BRANCH:

Supreme Court or Cour Supreme, HCC ( High Constitutional Court or Haute Cour Constitutionnelle)

Constitution: 19 August 1992 by National Referendum
 
Political parties: There are more than 130 with a dozen major ones, including the ruling party I Love Madagascar (TIM), Pillar and Podium for the Development of Madagascar (AREMA), Militants for the Development of Madagascar (MFM), Be Judged by your Work (AVI), Work, Truth and Harmonized Development (AFFA), National Union for Development and Democracy (UNDD), Social Democrat Party (PSD), Reflection and Action Group for Development in Madagascar (GRAD-Iloafo), Rally for Social Democracy (RPSD), Economic Liberalism and Democratic Action for Reconstruction Party (LEADER-Fanilo), Independence and Renewal Party of Madagascar (AKFM-Fanavaozana).
 
The president, Marc Ravalomanana is currently involved in a standoff with Andry Rajoelina, mayor of the capital Antananarivo.
 
Flag Description: Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side
 
 
The National logo (Coat of arms) :
The Malagasy Motto: " Tanindrazana. Fahafahana, Fandrosoana"  (Fatherland, Liberty, Progress)
 
The Malagasy National Anthem: " Ry Tanindrazanay malala o!" (Our Beloved Fatherland)
 
Culture:

The Malagasy people has some unique traditions and customs. Malagasy families always have strong bond. All children live with their parents until they want to get married or they want to move out at their own will, and it does no matter at what age that is. The Malagasy traditions are very unique, for example, during an engagement (Fanateram-bodiondry). When two people are in love and are ready to move onto marriage, they must first get engaged. Engagement in Madagascar is very different from that of in the United States because engagement is done with a big celebration and in front of relatives and friends from both sides . During the celebration, close relatives from both sides are invited, the groom to be brings a gift for the future bride's parent as an honor and thanks for raising a beautiful daughter, and also bring the engagement ring for the bride to be. During the 17th, 18th, 19th century, engagement was the actual wedding for the Malagasy couple, however, in the 20th and 21st century, there is an engagement, and a separate wedding day.


                     Another example of the Malagasy traditions and customs is circumcision (Famorana). When a child is about to be circumcised, all close relatives and friends are invited, a big feast is prepared, and people party all night. At dawn, the child is taken to a hospital to be circumcised, the family awaits at home. When the child gets back, the family, and friends offers toys, money, chocolates, and lots of candies. Then, the party is over.
                    

                   Also part of the Malagasy traditions and customs is the way people is buried. Unlike in the U.S, where people are buried at cemeteries, families in Madagascar have their own tombstone. Tombstone that their ancestors had built and the families
have renovated. These tombstone are huge, very spacious, and well decorated, almost like the Egyptian pyramids but with many stone-beds that fits generations after generations.

                Most contemporary and traditional Malagasy music revolves around dance rhythms with influences from Indonesia and the African mainland, notably Kenya. These rhythms are accompanied by the flute, whistle and valiha, a unique, 28-stringed instrument resembling a bassoon but played more like a harp. The lokanga voatavo, or cordophone, is also popular, as are a few types of guitar, including the kabosy, similar to a ukelele. Vaky soava is a rhythmic style of singing accompanied only by hand clapping, and perhaps the most renowned exponent is Paul Bert Rahasimanana (Rossy), who developed a personal style that included adding a musical accompaniment. He weaves themes of poverty, love, loss and hope into his music. Salegy is the best-known and most widely exported dance pop music of Madagascar. It began in northern coastal towns like Majunga, Nosy Be and Diego Suarez (Antsiranana). There is also a calmer, more romantic genre of the music, known as Malesa. Tsapiky , is a symbol of the music scene in southern of Madagascar. Kilalaky, a popular rythm from south-West of  Madagascar (orginally from  Belo Tsiribihina since XIX century).   One of the most famous traditional dance in Madagascar is  Afindrafindrao

               The regional town of Fianarantsoa has developed into a literary capital of sorts in recent years, and several contemporary novelists and writers work there. While literature didn't really flower until the 1930s and 40s, traditional oratory, called kabary, is highly regarded. Kabary's roots are in early political assemblies, in which each speaker spoke in turn. It evolved and was eventually populated and extended to the general public as a form of entertainment. Kabary is an integral part of hira gasy, popular spectacles that include music, dancing and story telling, held regularly in Tana on most Sunday afternoons. Kabary is also used during an engagement (Fanateram-bodiondry).

                The dominant element of any Malagasy meal is "vary" or rice, and vary doesn't accompany the meal, the meal accompanies the vary. Roadside canteens normally offer a big plate of rice with a few tidbits to garnish it, such as beef, fish or poultry. Other than rice, favorite Malagasy dishes include romazava (beef and vegetable stew) and ravitoto (pork with cassava leaves). Many dishes are accompanied by salads. The seafood on the coast is excellent and cheap, and you can eat a range of tropical fruits (voankazo) such as pineapples,letchis, mangoes and bananas for most of the year.

TOURISM:

POINTS OF INTEREST

 

ANTANANARIVO

- Palace of Andafiavaratra                                                                                            - Art and Archeological museum ( Isoraka)                                                              - Art and Archeological Center ( Analakely)                                                                - National Geological museum (Ampandrianomby)
- Zoological and Botanical Parc of Tsimbazaza ( fauna & Flora of Madagascar), paleonthological & ethnographical museum and vivarium
- Crocodile farm                                                                                   
- Mantasoa : lake which kept its historical vestige founded by a french called Jean Laborde
- Ampefy : Falls, volcanic lakes                                                                                                                                                    - Sacred Hills of : Ilafy, Namehana, Ambohimanga, Ambohidratrimo, Alasora

ANTSIRABE

- Thermal baths where people having a course of treatment of hepatics and rheumatism
- Relaxing bath in a hot swimming pool

- Around town by pousse pousse (rickshaw)
- Ranovisy : bicarbonated water ( therapeutic virtues)
- Lake Andraikiba
- Betafo : a town which use to be a capital of vakinankaratra
- Mountain of Ibity : a mountain which conceal stones, fine stones and cristals

 

ANTSIRANANA

- Bay of Courrier : Fishing, diving, bivouac Island (Nosy Hara)
- Cap d'Ambre : Dauphins, magnificent view of the see, Anamakia village, mangrove swamp baobabs, salt works (salina)
- French Bay : Nosy lonjo
- French mountain : caves, baobabs, birds, lizards
- Ramena Village : beach, nautical activity, horse riding, lizards
- Antanavo lake or Sacred lake of Anivorano : ritual place of tsiafakara
- Sakalava Bay : beautiful beaches
- Bay of Antongoanaomby : rocks surrounded by fish
- Ambodivahibe village ; d'Ivovona et Ampandrefeta : fishing for lobsters
- Massif of Ankarana : Tsingy, caves, underground river

NOSY BE

- Ambatolaoka : swimming station, one of the beautiful beaches
- Dzamandzar : sugar cane factory,  Oceanographical museum
- Nosy Mitsio : cruise, sea-bed diving, nice beaches
- Nosy Tanikely : beautiful sea-bed, lemurs, chameleons, butterfly, flying fox                                           - Nosy Iranja : Island of tortoises

FIANARANTSOA

- Tanana Ambony ( High village) : palace
- Tsianolondroa : the market place of Friday « ZOMA »
- Lake Sahambavy : hiding behind a tea plantation of Madagascar « Tea Sahambavy »
- Wine Factory : ¨ Wine tasting session ¨ Maromby in Amboasary ¨ Côte d'Isandra in Isorana  Lazan'ny Betsileo in Soaindrana ¨ Clo Malaza
- Ranomafana : thermal bathing, National Park and botanical garden (lemurs, reptiles, insects and orchids) - Antemoro paper factory
- Park Anja : Lemurs

AMBOSITRA

- Zafimaniry village : wooden house with sculpted geometrical design walls
- Massif of Ankarana : botanical treasure, mineral water
- Soatanana : natural silk factory

MAHAJANGA

- Village of Katsepy : beach full of oyster, a forest where lives a lots of lemurs
- Bay of Boina : fishing, diving, camping
- Lake Kinkony : Sanctuary of water-birds, a good place for hunting
- Cave d'Anjohibe ou Zahin'Andranoboka : it's a corridor cover by stalactites and stalagmites, natural swimming pool
- Natural reserve of Ankarafantsika : dry forest, lemurs, tortoises

TOAMASINA

- Prunes Island or Nosy Alanana : barrier of coral, lemurs
- Botanical garden d'Ivoloina : tortoises, Chameleons, snakes, lemurs                                                   - Mahavelona ( Foulpoint ): lagoon ; cemetery
- Mahambo : walk into a forest, swimming, diving, surfing
- Akan'ny nofy : Nautical skiing, pedal-boat
- Ivondro's falls : coffee, cloves and litchis plantation
 

SAINTE MARIE

- Ilôt Madame : fish, sea tortoises, coral Pirates cemetery
- L'îlot au nattes : beach
- Ambodiatafana : barrier of black rocks, natural swimming pool
- Ankarina : beach protected with a barrier of coral, caves, lagoon
Beaches of Sahasilotra
 

TOLIARA

- Art museum and southern traditional crafts, funeral art of the tribe called
« Mahafaly »
- Rabesandratana museum or sea museum : halieutical coelecante resources
- Ifaty : beaches, diving, fishing
- Bay of St Augustin : blue lobsters, sea tortoises, ancestor relics
- Nosy ve Island : exotic birds, diving
- Natural reserve of lake Tsimanampetsotsa : flamingo, lemurs and tortoises

MORONDAVA

- Belo sur mer and its islands : marine animal-life
- Allée des baobab (baobab avenue)
- Kirindy forest : Fauna & Flora
- Tsingy National park of Bemaraha

FORT DAUPHIN

- Ranofotsy bay : flamingo
- Bay of lokaro : mini-cruises, beaches, swimming, walking, natural reserve
- St Luce Village : bay, coconut trees, reef
- Saiadi Botanical parc : travellers' trees, palm trees, orchids, lemurs
- Libanona Beach
- Galion Bay : beaches, luxuriant vegetation
- Botanical and zoological parc domain of Nahampoina
- Private reserve of Berenty : lemurs, Arembelo museum

For further information, please contact:

LA MAISON DU TOURISME DE MADAGASCAR                                       Place de l'independance - Antaninarenina                                              B.P 3224 - Antananarivo                                                                                 

Tel: (261) 20 22 325 29                                                                             Fax: (261) 20 22 325 37                                                                 Web:http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/    

 

                                          
 

 

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 

The U.S.Mission in Madagascar:

Chief of Mission:

Ambassador : Jocelyn Bertin Radifera

 

U.S. Embassy Officials

Chief of Mission:

Ambassador--R. Niels Marquardt
Deputy Chief of Mission--Eric Stromayer
USAID Director--Rudolph Thomas
Defense Attaché--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

                            Chancery:

        2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW,

                Washington, DC 20008 

 

              Embassy of the US in Madagascar:

  14, Rue Rainitovo, Antsahavola, Antananarivo 101
  Mailing address: B. P. 620, Antsahavola,   Antananarivo

 

 

Telephone:

(202) 265-5525

 

Telephone:

011 [261] (20) 22-212-57, 22-212-73, 22-209-56

 

Fax: (202) 265 3034   

 

   Fax:  011 (261) (20) (22)  345 39
 

E.mail: malagasy.embassy@verizon.net

 

    E.mail: Uswebmaster@usmission.mg 
 

Web: http://www.madagascar-embassy.org

 

        Web:http://www.antananarivo.usembassy.gov/

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