Madagascar

Madagascar

Madagascar

Madagascar originally Republic of Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The main island, also called Madagascar, is the fourth-largest island in the world, and is home to 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, of which more than 80% are endemic to Madagascar. They include the lemur infraorder of primates, the carnivorous fossa, three bird families and six baobab species.

Official Name: Repoblikan’i Madagasikara

Short Form: Madagascar

Country Calling Code: +261

Capital City: Antananarivo (1,613,375 : 2005 est.)

Other Cities: Antsirabé (about 500 000), Mahajanga (about 400 000), Toamasina (about 450 000)

Government Type: Republic

Independence: 26 June 1960 (from France)

Nationality: Malagasy

Population: 20.7 million (2011)

Ethnic Groups: 18 separate tribal groups of Malayo-Indonesian, mixed African and Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry, French, Indian, Creole, Comoran.

Religions: Indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%.

Languages: Malagasy (of Malayo-Polynesian origin), French, (both official), English

Natural Resources: Graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower.

Agriculture Products: Coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products.

Industries: Meat processing, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism.

Currency: Ariary and Malagasy Franc (FMG)

Source: www.nationsonline.org/Africa; www.bbc.com/ Madagascar Profile; other.