Madagascar Profile

The island of Madagascar was a French colony until 1960 when it gained its independence from what was widely considered harsh rule, including a bloody suppression of a local uprising against French rule in 1947 emboldened by the realisation that Europeans, particularly the French, were not actually invincible as the Second World War had demonstrated. However, as with many of the newly emerging African republics, Madagascar replaced one form of unwanted rule with a succession of unstable governments, coups and assassination attempts at odds with a military aim of creating a 'socialist paradise' with firm ties to the Soviet Union and the spurning of ties with the west.

Around 70% of the island's population live in rural communities, normally in wooden, thatched roofed homes, making them particularly susceptible to the cyclones, storms and the resultant flooding that have been a dominant feature of Madagascar's recent history. Ironically, in the south of the island, recent years have seen severe droughts leading to water shortages and crop failure. For those who wonder why water simply cannot be shipped from the north, it is easy to forget that this is a poor country with limited resources but the size of Luxembourg, Belgium and France combined.

Today fishing and forestry engage around 80% of the population, however there are concerns that the cutting down of the island's forests, mainly for firewood, are having a longer term effect, causing erosion with implications for the island's food supply and destroying habitats for the island's animal population, half of which are found no where else on earth.

The economic profile of Madagascar  has been further damaged by massive falls in tourism due to the ongoing political instability. It is against this background of need that the EU decided to suspend humanitarian and development aid to Madagascar in 2010 at frustration at the lack of any tangible progress towards democracy after a fifteenth month transitional agreement was agreed in the summer of 2009 but failed to be implemented. It is therefore down to charities to ensure that Madagascar's children have their needs met when the government falls short.



 
 
 
 
 


Madagascar Profile

Madagascar Profile

Madagascar Profile

Madagascar Profile

 


Madagascar History

Madagascar History

A brief historic profile of the Republic of Madagascar from ancient times to its independence.
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Madagascar Images

Madagascar Images

Explore Madagascar in a series of pictures, images and videos including its topography and wildlife.
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Volunteer

Volunteer Work Madagascar

Check out all the latest African volunteer work placements and openings in Madagascar.
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Madagascar Profile: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Madagascar Profile

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And those shortfalls are currently seeing children being pulled out of schools, factories closing, hospitals struggling and running out of supplies against a backdrop of over half the country's children suffering from malnourishment leaving Madagascar in 151st place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country.

 
 


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