Madagascar was found by accident in the 1500s by Diego Dias Madagascar is located in Indian Ocean off the south-east of Africa. Also Madagascar is one of the largest is lands in the world, it takes up 587 thousand sq. km. and it has 18.6 million inhabitants. In Madagascar a total of 73% of the population is living in rural areas. The country was
a former French colony, and got its independence in June 26, 1960. In the 1960s, Madagascar was one of the better-off African countries as far as income and living standards. After that Madagascar lost this position because of seven decades of economic mismanagement. Madagascar is one of world’s poorest countries. According to the 2005 household survey, more than two-thirds of the population 68.7% lives below the poverty line. The poverty rate in rural areas much higher than it is in urban areas.
Since the current government took over in 2002, it has transformed and has better improvements in social, economic. Also the economy grew at an average of 5 percent each year and poverty has gone down to 69% from when it was 80 percent in 2002. These good developments and the smooth presidential elections in December 2006, Marc Ravalomanana who won was re-elected offer hopeful signs that Madagascar has stepped onto a path to sustained development, breaking with the history of economic mismanagement and periodic crises that impoverished the people.
But Madagascar still has a long way to go some of the challenges are population growth, now 2.7 percent a year, putting big demands on the government and the economy they first have to educate people, then to make more income opportunities for them. Furthermore, Madagascar faces the challenge keeping its unique environment and biodiversity which are of global significance.
In 2006 Madagascar continued to make good progress in bettering its poverty reduction strategy with good progress in the bettering of the roads program, education for all, nutrition, and health. Economic growth is about at 4.9 percent in 2006, it has gotten there by strong tertiary sector growth, but agricultural growth was not good it was lower than in 2005, with production impacted negatively by shortfalls in rain and low world prices for key export such as vanilla. The tertiary sector grew strongly by 8.9 percent, with public works, tourism and transport, banking and the telecommunications sectors as the key growth sectors.
So to sum everything up Madagascar is doing better and growing in population. Also the government is coming up with more plans to better Madagascar.
A lot of people come to Madagascar to see, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve comprises karstic landscapes and limestone uplands cut into impressive ‘tsingy’ peaks and a ‘forest’ of limestone needles, the spectacular canyon of the Manambolo river, rolling hills and high peaks. The undisturbed forests, lakes and mangrove swamps are the habitat for rare and endangered lemurs and birds.
Also people like to visit the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga consists of a royal city and burial site, and an ensemble of sacred places. It is associated with strong feelings of national identity, and has maintained its spiritual and sacred character both in ritual practice and the popular imagination for the past 500 years. It remains a place of worship to which pilgrims come from Madagascar and elsewhere.
Location: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique
Map Reference: Africa
Area Comparative: Slightly less than twice the size of Arizona
Land boundaries: 0 km
Climate: tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south
Terrain: narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in center
Natural resources: graphite, chromites, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower
Land use: Arable land: 4.99%, Permanent crops: 1.03%, other: 93.98% (2000 EST.)
Natural Hazards: periodic cyclones, drought, and locust infestation
Environment current issues: soil erosion results from deforestation and overgrazing; desertification; surface water contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes; several species of flora and fauna unique to the island are endangered
Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: world’s fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel
Population: 17,501,871 (July 2004 EST.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 44.9% (male 3,935,523; female 3,922,077)
15-64 years: 52% (male 4,509,877; female 4,596,662)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 245,168; female 292,564) (2004 EST.)
Median age: total: 17.4 Years, male: 17.2 Years, female: 17.7 years (2004 EST.)
Population growth rate3.03% (2004 EST.):
Birth rate: 41.91 births/1,000 population (2004 EST.)
Death rate: 11.62 deaths/1,000 population (2004 EST.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 populations (2004 EST.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female, under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female, 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female, 65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female, total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2004 EST.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 78.52 deaths/1,000 live births, female: 69.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.), male: 86.84 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 56.54 years, male: 54.19 years, female: 58.96 years (2004 EST.)
Total fertility rate: 5.7 children born/woman (2004 EST.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (2001 EST.
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 22,000 (2001 EST.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 870 (2001 EST.)
Nationality: noun: Malagasy (singular and plural)
Ethnic groups: Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry – Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Religions: indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%
Languages: French (official), Malagasy (official)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write, total population: 68.9%, male: 75.5%, female: 62.5% (2003 EST.)
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar, conventional short form: Madagascar, local short form: Madagascar, former: Malagasy Republic, local long form: Republique de Madagascar
Government type: republic
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side
There are many more tourist attractions in Madagascar despite the many problems.
Music: plays a big part in Malagasy people lives. One Malagasy proverb said if you if do your work with music, it will be completed in a flash. So they always mingle music with everything they do, In Madagascar cab drivers play music all the time in their cabs. Kids who play frolic in the backyard habitually sing and dance together, men and women in the rice field used to finish their labor with songs, people who work in the office listen regularly to music while working, so on and so fourth. Music is everywhere. You can always catch a mixed bag of joyful music in the very heart of Antananarivo as well as in the midst of Horombe desert, thanks to thousands of exuberant rhythms that exist all over the Island. In general, music’s from provinces other than Antananarivo have fast rhythms, whereas the ones from the capital are relatively cool.