of these articles treats the country Madagascar. To information to the animated film of the same name see Madagascar.
Repoblikan `i Madagasikara (WAD.) République de Madagascar (franz.)
Republic of Madagascar
Flagge Madagaskars
Wappen Madagaskars
(detail) (detail)

Wahlspruch: Tanindrazana, Fahafahana, Fandrosoana

office language Malagasy, French
capital Antananarivo
System of government Republic of
president Mark of Ravalomanana
prime minister Jacques Sylla
surface 587,041 km ²
number of inhabitants 17.501.871 (conditions July 2004)
population density of 29.8 inhabitants per km ²
gros domestic product/inhabitant 323 US-$ (2004)
currency Ariary (MGA), to at the end of of 2004: Franc Malgache (MGF) = 100 cents in the relationship1 Ariary = 5 MGF
time belt UTC +3
national anthem Ry Tanindrazanay Malala ô
Kfz characteristic RM
Internet TLD .mg
preselection +261
Madagaskars Lage innerhalb Afrikas
Karte von Madagaskar

the Republic of Madagascar [madaˈgaskar] (madagass.: Repoblikan' i Madagasikara, frz.: République de Madagascar [madagasˈkaːʀ]) is to Indonesia the surface-moderately second largest island state of the world. The Präsidialrepublik with multiple party system lies in the Indian ocean before the east coast of Africa with a coastal length of 4.828 km.

Table of contents


Madagascar is the fourth largest island of the world. It becomes also „respects continent“mentioned. This designation is due however less to the size of the island than of their long isolated development, which let a very independent nature develop: Madagascar became 150 million years ago of Africa and 90 million years ago of India separately.

By its long geographical isolation Madagascar accommodates a singular fauna. Original groups of animals like the Lemuren and other half apes occur only here. The Raubtiere are represented on Madagascar only by some kinds of deviating creeping cats, the Fossa, the Fanaloka and the Falanuk. A further purely Malagasy group of animals are the hedgehog-similar Tenreks. The Bernierente, which belongs today to the rarest water birds of the world, is a further example. But many kinds are missing on the islandlike for example apes and poison queues.

The island was originally almost completely wooded. The offshore zones are covered thereby of tropical low land rain forest. From the original rain forests only 4% are received. The largest connected rain forest surfaces, stillexist, lie on the Masoala - peninsula.

Central Madagascar is a Hochebene with average heights of 1.100 M. It drops eastward schroff and steeply, while the rise in the west precipitates more gently. The plateau culminates to that in the Maromokotro,with 2.876 m highest mountain of the island. On the plateau the climate is moderate.

The largest cities are (conditions 1. January 2005): Antananarivo of 1.391.506 inhabitants, Toamasina of 206,390 inhabitants, Antsirabe of 182,804 inhabitants and Fianarantsoa of 167,240 inhabitants.

See also: List thatCities in Madagascar


the Madagassen educate a culturally homogeneous subpopulation, consisting officially of 18 related with one another subpopulations (foko). The cultural unit is expressed in particular by the common language (Malagasy), whereby thoseethnical groups over some dialects order. Besides the habits and habits differ from Ethnie to Ethnie times more, times less.

Generally the Madagassen lives very tradition-consciously, whereby again and again integrates foreign cultural influences in the course of the timeare, particularly in the cities. In relation to the extensive cultural wealth wide-spread material poverty stands, caused by for many decades out and domestic exploitation and several annual natural catastrophes (eddy towers, Dürre).

The large population growth in connectionwith the traditional burn-off down of forest for agricultural purposes and the Rodung for building, heating material and other purposes causes large ecological problems. The forest surface shrank since the 1950er - years substantial.


historical map of Madagascar (1888)

It is little admits over the settlement of the island, which probably took place before approximately 1,500 to 1,200 years. The natives of Madagascar were not, as one to assume could, African. The first settlers belonged malaio - to the Polynesian language's groupand came from Southeast Asia. It is unclear whether they achieved their goal on direct way or in several stages. The population at that time could be divided into the groups of the Sakalava , Betsileo and Merina, which formed own realms.

Further immigration wavessmaller groups of African, Indian and Arabs brought in the country. Particularly latter controlled to in 19. Century inside large parts of the madegassischen foreign trade.

To 10. August 1500 sighted the Portuguese sailor Diogo slide as first Europeans Madagascar and called thoseIsland São Lorenço. The island appears later also under the name Santa Apolonia on the maps of the Portuguese.

one knows

the Kingdom of Madagascar with beginning of the rule of the Andrianampoinimerina of the political agreement of the island Madagascarand with it of the kingdom Madagascar speak.

Andrianampoinimerina (1787 - 1810): Andrianampoinimerina was first until 1794 king of Ambohimanga (king seat 20 km north of Antananarivo). 1794 it conquered the small kingdom of Antananarivo and shifted its seat ofAmbohimanga after Antananarivo.

Gradually Andrianampoinimerina expanded its sphere of influence nearly on the entire island. It issued many laws and organized the administration of the country and applies until today as an important ruler of the country.

Radama I. (1810- 1828): Radama followed its father Andrianampoinimerina after the throne. It opened the island carefully in relation to the foreign country, whereby it looked for above all contacts to the Englishmen, that argued with the Frenchmen about the supremacy in the Indian ocean.It reorganized the army after English model. During its reign there were first industrielle settlements of the Englishmen at the east coast. English mission acres translated the Bible into the Malagasy and introduced latin writing.

Ranavalona I. (1828 - 1861): After early death Radamas governed its wife Ranavalona the country with iron and cruel hand. Tortures and executions was under its regency at the agenda. It banished nearly all foreigners of the island (with exception of their French advisorJean Laborde) and reduced the relations with the foreign country to a minimum. The practice of the Christian faith was forbidden likewise.

Radama II. (1861 - 1863): The second Radama was the son of Ranavalona I. It was moderate andbegan during his short reign again contacts to the foreign country to take up. Its liberal course did not please however all and he fell after only two-year reign an attempted assassination to the victim.

Rasoherina (1863 - 1868): She was (first) the widow ofRadama II. Rasoherina turned during its reign to the Englishmen. She married the prime minister Rainilairivony, which exercised and in the consequence also of the two successors on the king throne was married actual power as grey Eminenz in the background.

Königin Ranavalona III. von Madagaskar (1861-1917)
Queen Ranavalona III. of Madagascar (1861-1917)

Ranavalona II. (1868 - 1883): She was the second widow of Radama II. Their reign was coined/shaped by the change from the nature religions to the Christianity. 1883 again tried the Frenchmen in Madagascarto seize by force foot. A two-year bloody war began.

Ranavalona III. (1883 - 1896) (*1861 † 1917): Ranavalona III was the niece of their Vorgängerin. It mounted the throne during the French invasion. It succeeded to the Malagasy army stillonce to strike back the intruders. 1896 could finally become generally accepted the Frenchmen and established a French protectorate in Madagascar. Queen Ranavalona III. from the French Besatzern to the resignation one forced and one sent into the exile to Algeria. She was the last Merina queenof Madagascar.

the colonial age

to the conference of Congo 1885 was awarded to Madagascar France as sphere of interest. 1896 could be established France against the resistance of the Madagassen, as Manifestation and symbol of the seizure of power became still in the same year the last queenset off from Madagascar.

1896 - 1960: during the colonial age the Frenchmen on the island Madagascar by brutal military force prevailed. Rebellions were struck down by Massenexekutionen. Alone 1947 was niedergemetzelt from the French Besatzern 100,000 Madagassen after a rebellion. 1945 became thoseMovement of independence based. After several rebellions Madagascar became 1958 republic in the Communauté Française and attained to 26. June 1960 finally independence. 1971 were shaken the country by farmer unrests. Between 1972 and 1975 a military dictatorship prevailed.

See also: Madagascar plan, French colonies

end of the colonial age and republic

starting from 1975 prevailed a socialist regime, which itself only at the beginning of the 1980er - years again to the west brought closer. A new condition limits the power of the president since 1992. By itbecame Madagascar a Präsidialrepublik, whose first president was set off however after four years, since he exceeded his constitutional authority.

Thereupon 1996 Didier Ratsiraka of the unit party Association became pour la Renaissance de Madagascar (AREMA), those into the 1970er - yearspower held, with limited majority to the new president selected, but swears in only after some hesitating the constitutional court.

Ratsiraka implemented briefly after its swearing-in in the middle of in 1998 a constitutional amendment, which awarded more power to him. In April 2001 became firstTimes the second chamber, the senate, selected.

With the presidency elections to 16. December 2001 kept Marks of Ravalomanana official at the beginning of no absolute majority (46%), refused however placing itself to a second choice passage there it to its information after 52%the voices had received. To 28. April published the constitutional court however a new result, according to which it had won with 51,3% (opposite 35% for the past president). Ravalomanana was explained from the constitutional court to the winner. Between them turbulent months laywith conditions like civil war. The past president Didier Ratsiraka fled, Ravalomanana called to general strikes and it gave 30 to 40 dead ones. Even if the situation stabilized meanwhile again, the discontent and the poverty of the population are further very large.Also of the economic crisis due to unrests Madagascar recovered still not complete.

Satellitenfoto Madagaskar
Satellite photo Madagascar


home policy

head of state of the centralistic structured Republic of Madagascar is a democratically selected president. The parliament is as parliamentary system of two Houses developed: The national assembly has 150 on four years selected members. The second chamber, the senate, represents the six autonomous provinces Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina and Toliara. A third of the senate members is appointed by the president, the remaining is selected.Each province has a province parliament, whose member directly by the people are selected. The heads of the government of the individual provinces are appointed by the president. In the course of moderate decentralization Madagascar was divided beyond that in 22 regions. Also for them stand from the president appointedBoss forwards.

foreign policy

up to the so-called socialist revolution 1975 maintained Madagascar excluding relations with the west, opened then however both sides. The States of People's Republic of China and Soviet Union ignored so far opened thereupon messages in Madagascar.

The relationsto the west took thereby damage and normalized themselves only after some years again completely. Particularly France has large interest in the former colony. After the end of the cold war Russia lost the interest in the island state, China carried out against it further development assistance.



the gross domestic product (GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT) amounted to in the year 2003 4.54 billion Euro (2002: 3.8 billion Euro), that are 271 euro per person (2002: 231 euro/person). Madagascar still ranks thereby among the poorestCountries in the world: still 2003 amounted the portion of the population with less than 1 US Dollar per day to 49% (see also: Table: The highest poverty world-wide).

foreign trade

Madagascar exports above all coffee, fishery products, Vanilla, carnations and sugars. Are imported food, capital goods, consumer goods and oil.


1992 and 2000 the portion of the public expenditures for the health service


  • Franz barn man, January Greune, “Madagascar” (book of pictures), Stürtz publishing house, September 1998, ISBN 3-8003-0902-5
  • Marks of Eveleigh, “Madagascar the sixth continent” (Zufuss from the north to the south coast by western part Madagascar), national geo graphics, May 2003, ISBN 3-442-71192-4
  • Pierre Verin, “Madagascar” (everything to history), Leipziger university University of, June 2005, ISBN 3-8658-3022-6

Web on the left of

Wikiquote: Malagasy proverbs - quotations

coordinates: 18° 45 ′ S, 46° 50 ′ O


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