Madagascar
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current time and date
currency: Malagasy ariary (MGA)
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Independence
Area
Life expectancy
Literacy rate
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GDP (PPP)
Internet TLD & calling code:
Coat of arms
Baobab - Pictures

Photo: Bernard Gagnon License: CC
Brown Mouse Lemur

Photo: Frank Vassen License: CC
Lemur

Photo: Benotzer Alexandra License: CC
Madagascar Movie
Travellers Palm

Photo: Stan Shebs License: CC

Madagascar profile
world's fourth-largest island;

strategic location along Mozambique Channel
Madagascar history
Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA achieved a second term following a landslide victory in the generally free and fair presidential elections of 2006. In early 2009, protests over increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in RAVALOMANANA handing over power to the military, which then conferred the presidency on the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry RAJOELINA, in what amounted to a coup d'etat. Numerous attempts have been made by regional and international organizations to resolve the subsequent political gridlock by forming a power-sharing government. Madagascar's independent electoral commission and the UN originally planned to hold a presidential election in early May 2013, but postponed the election until late July 2013, due to logistical delays.
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Conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar

Conventional short form: Madagascar

Local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara

Local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara

Formerly known as: Malagasy Republic
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Madagascar's capital city is Antananarivo
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Madagascar Constitution:

passed by referendum 17 November 2010;
promulgated 11 December 2010 (2010)
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Madagascar population growth rate: 2.68%
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Madagascar highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m
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Madagascar lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
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About 5% of Madagascar's land is arable.
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Mangoky River is the Longest River in Madagascar
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Madagascar birth rate is 34 births/1,000 population
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Madagascar infant mortality rate is 47 deaths/1,000 live births
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Madagascar fertility rate is 4.36 children born/woman
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Madagascar climate:

tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
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Top 10 cities of Madagascar with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Antananarivo: 1,391,433
2. Toamasina: 206,373
3. Fianarantsoa: 167,227
4. Mahajanga: 154,657
5. Toliara: 115,319
6. Antsiranana: 82,937
7. Antanifotsy: 70,626
8. Ambovombe-Androy: 66,818
9. Amparafaravola: 51,519
10. Tôlanaro: 45,141
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Madagascar ethnic groups:

Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo)
Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava)
French
Indian
Creole
Comoran
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Madagascar Exports:

coffee
vanilla
shellfish
sugar
cotton cloth
clothing
chromite
petroleum products
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Madagascar Imports:

capital goods
petroleum
consumer goods
food
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bicameral legislature consists of a Senate or Senat (100 seats; two-thirds of the members appointed by regional assemblies; the remaining one-third appointed by the president; members to serve four-year terms) and a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (127 seats - reduced from 160 seats by an April 2007 national referendum; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
6 provinces (faritany)
1. Antananarivo
2. Antsiranana
3. Fianarantsoa
4. Mahajanga
5. Toamasina
6. Toliara
Political parties and leaders:
Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar (AREMA) - Pierrot RAJAONARIVELO
Democratic Party for Union in Madagascar (PSDUM) - Jean LAHINIRIKO
Economic Liberalism and Democratic Action for National Recovery (LEADER/Fanilo) - Herizo RAZAFIMAHALEO
Fihaonana Party (FP) - Guy-Willy RAZANAMASY
Green Party (Vert) - Sarah Georget RABEHARISOA
I Love Madagascar (TIM) - Marc RAVALOMANANA
Renewal of the Social Democratic Party (RPSD) - Evariste MARSON