Where is Madagascar?

Located in Southern Africa, Madagascar is an island nation. It has a 4,828.00 km coastline. Madagascar claims territory of Bassas de India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island, which are all administered by France.

The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo. The city is situated in the island’s central part and is the largest city in the country with a surface area of 33.4 square miles. The city was the capital of the Imerina Kingdom in the 16th century. The name Antananarivo means the city of the thousand in the Malagasy language. The population living in Antananarivo in 2017 was about 1.4 million, making it the most populous city on the island. There are several tourist attraction sites in the city including the Rova of Antananarivo, the Soarano railway station, memorial churches, and several open-air markets. The climate of the city is a subtropical highland climate with the rainy season falling between November and April.

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Madagascar is an African country covering 587,041.00 km2 of which 0.94% is water and 581,540.00 km2 is land. This makes it the 46th largest country in the world and almost four times the size of Georgia slightly less than twice the size of Arizona. Its geographic coordinates are 20 00 S, 47 00 E and Antananarivo is the capital city.

The name "Madageiscar" was first used by the 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo.

Its ISO code is MG.

Geography

Madagascar has a mean elevation of 615 m above sea level.

It has a tropical climate along the coast, a temperate climate inland, and an arid climate in the south. Its terrain consists of narrow coastal plain, high plateaus, rounded hills, and some mountains.

Population

Madagascar has a population of 24,430,325 making it the 52nd largest in the world.

French and Malagasy are both official languages. The major ethnic groups reported are Malayo-Indonesian, Cotiers, and Arab. The population practices Christianity, Islam, and indigenous religions.

The two official languages used in Madagascar are French and Malagasy. English was formerly an official language in Madagascar. However, in 2010, its status was scrapped. Malagasy is grouped under the Austronesian languages and has an alphabet with 26 letters. The language has some words coined from Arabic and Sabaki languages. Written Malagasy dates back to the 15th century. Malagasy is divided into two dialects of Western and Eastern Malagasy and the two groups are further divided into 12 languages which are spoken by different ethnic groups on the island. Merina Malagasy is considered the standard Malagasy. There are no minority languages in Madagascar other than the Subgroups of Malagasy Language which are mutually intelligible.

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The dialing code for the country is 261.

Government

Madagascar is an independent country. It gained independence from France in 1960. Its constitution was last ratified in 2010.

The government of Madagascar is a semi-presidential and representative democracy. The government has three branches, while the president and the prime minister make up the executive. The House of Representatives and the Senate make up the legislative branch and the courts make up the Judiciary. The parliament is bicameral, and it composed the House of Representatives and the Senate. As Madagascar is a republic, eligible citizens are allowed to vote. Presidential elections are carried out nationally every five years while those of the members of parliament are carried out every four years. The house of representatives consists of 151 members who are all elected. The Senate consists of 33 members, 22 of whom are elected one for each province and 11 who are appointed. There are currently 20 active political parties in Madagascar.

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Economy

Factoring in Purchasing Power Parity, Madagascar's GDP is $37,480,000,000.00 (USD) with $1,500.00 (USD) per capita. This makes it the 118th largest economy and its citizens the 208th richest in the world. The currency of Madagascar is the Ariary (MGA).

Its major export partners are France, the United States, and China. Its main exports are coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, and cotton cloth. Its major import partners are China, France, and Bahrain. Its major imports include capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, and food.

Flag

The national flag of Madagascar is a rectangle made up of a white vertical stripe on the hoist side and two horizontal bands on the fly side. The top horizontal band is red while the bottom one is green. The flag was acquired as the national flag on October 14, 1958. The flag's colors stand for the island’s social traditional classes, history and the longing for independence. White and red were used in Merina kingdom’s flag. The kingdom collapsed in 1896 when France colonized Madagascar. Green is symbolic of the Hova people who contributed significantly to Madagascar’s independence. No information is available about the person who came up with the flag’s design. There have been various flags used in Madagascar over the years. The first flag was the Merina kingdom flag which was used from 1787 to 1885. The flag was a rectangle and comprised of two horizontal bands, and the top band was white and the bottom red. In 1885 Malagasy protectorate of France acquired a different flag. The flag consisted of three horizontal bands of red, white and blue. The white band had a Red Crescent moon on the hoist side. The current flag has different variations used by the military.

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This page was last modified on January 17th, 2018