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close this bookThe Courier N 156 - March - April 1996 - Dossier: Trade in Services - Country Report : Madagascar (EC Courier, 1996, 96 p.)
close this folderCountry report
close this folderMadagascar: A history of the unknown
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe red moon
View the documentProfile
View the documentPresident Albert Zafy's priorities
View the documentGuy Razanamasy, Mayor of Antananarivo
View the documentAn economy on the rocks
View the documentExaltation of the senses in Madagascar
View the documentEven the Malagasies have the blues
View the documentCulture and tradition in Madagascar



General information

Area: 587000 km²

Population: 13.7 million (1995 estimate)

Population density: 23.3 per kilometre²

Population growth rate: 3.19% (199095)

Capital: Antananarivo

Population of capital: 932 000 (1 .55m for Greater Antananarivo)

Other main towns: Fianarantsoa (350 000), Toamasina (260 000), Antseranana (Diego Suarez) (250 000), Mahajanga (230 000), Antsirabe.

Main languages: Malgache (the official language), French.

National curreny: Madagascar franc (1 ECU = FM 5119 in February 1996))


Political structure: Presidential system strengthened as a result of the referendum of 17 September 1995 which gave the President the right to nominate the Prime Minister. Previously, this was the responsibility of the Parliament.

President: Albert Zafy (since 14 February 1993)

Political parties: Numerous. The Presidents party is the UNDD. The presidential 'majority' ('mouvance prdentielle') contains a number of parties which are sometimes divided further into tendencies or factions. The largest of these is the HVR ('Rasalama Living Force') which has three factions. At the last municipal elections, some 15 groups presenting electoral lists claimed to be attached to the presidential majority.

The most powerful opposition comes from the 'G7' which brings together seven seperate groupings. The largest of these is the Leader Fanilo. Former President Ratsakira's old party, AREMA, was relatively successful in the recent local elections.

Number of National Assembly members: 137

(A Senate is foreseen under the Constitution and elections to this body are planned for the near future)


GDP: $2.8 billion (1992)

GNP: $3.1 billion

GNP per capita: $230

GNP growth rate: 0.5% (1980-91)

GNP growth rate per capita: - 2.6% (1980-93)

Total exports: $441m (spices 27%, coffee 23%)

Balance of payments: - $326m (1993)

Total external debt: $4.4bn (1992) representing 142% of the GNP

Main trade partners: France, USA, Germany, Japan, Singapore

Inflation rate: 48% (1995)

Social indicators

Life expectany at birth: 57 (1992)

Infant mortality (0-5years): 84 per 1000

Illiteracy rates: men - 22%, women - 27%

Enrolment in education: Primary - almost 100%, Secondary - 36%, Tertiary - 5%

Human Development Index rating: 0.432 (135th out of 174)


The Situation of Children in the World 1994, The State of the World 1995, UNDP Human Development Report 1995, The Economist's Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), Madagascar Country Profile 1994. Madagascar Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning.