Madagascar Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Madagascar
According to directoryaah, the Malagasy population is divided into various subgroups called Foko, which have developed a common identity through the common language Malagasy, but differ considerably in terms of social institutions and traditions. The Malagasy state officially recognizes 18 such Foko, of which the Merina, who maintained their own state in the center and southwest of the country until the end of the 19th century, represent the largest ethnic subgroup. Other population groups are the Betsileo, Sihanaka and the Bezanozano as well as a number of other regionally based Foko. In addition to Malagasy people, Comorians, French, Chinese and Indians also live on the island, although the proportion of foreigners among the Madagascans is very low. Madagascar itself is a country of emigration with over 100,000, emigrants living in France. The average age of the massively expanding population is 18.3 years, with the total population in Madagascar already growing to over 25 million residents. One reason for this population growth of 2.25% is the high fertility of an average of 4.45 children per woman.
Madagascar is mainly united by the common language Malagasy, which is spoken by the majority of all Malagasy people. Only in a few villages on the west coast is Makoa spoken by immigrant Mozambicans and there are bilingual Swahili speakers among the people of Nosy Be. In addition to Malagasy, French is the official language in Madagascar, although English was also officially spoken from 2007 to 2010.
In Madagascar, 52% of the population are followers of indigenous beliefs (animism, ancestral cult), among Christians 23% belong to the Roman Catholic Church and 18% to the Protestants and a further 7% of the population are Muslims. Malagasy ancestor worship is part of their religion for almost all Malagasy people. Also the idea of fady, fixed rules, what to leave at certain places or at certain times or at least not to do out of consideration for the expected negative consequences, is also common among officially Christian or Muslim Malagasy people.
Politics and economy in Madagascar
The political system of Madagascar is constitutionally a centralized, presidential republic with a directly elected president and a bicameral system. The National Assembly is made up of 160 members elected for four years. The second chamber, the Senate, represents the six Malagasy provinces of Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina and Toliara. A third of the Senate members are appointed by the President, the rest are elected. Each province has a provincial parliament, whose members are directly elected by the respective population. The heads of government of the individual provinces are appointed by the president. In the course of moderate decentralization, Madagascar was also divided into 22 regions. They are also headed by bosses appointed by the president.
According to ebizdir, the economy of Madagascar has typical traits of a developing country. According to the gross domestic product of 2012, Madagascar is still one of the poorest countries in the world with a population of less than 1 US dollar per day of almost 50%.
The main export products are coffee, fishery products, vanilla, cloves and sugar as well as mining products, especially nickel, ilmenite sands and graphite.
Transport network in Madagascar
Of the almost 50,000 km road network in Madagascar, only 5000 km are asphalted. During the rainy season, many roads, especially in remote areas, are not passable with normal cars. The most important overland routes are the busiest route Nationale 1, which runs from Antananarivo via Analavory to Tsiroanomandidy, the economically most important route Nationale 2, which connects the capital with the port of Toamasina, and route Nationale 4 between Antananarivo and Mahajanga.
Most of the 1030 km long rail network in Madagascar dates back to colonial times. The Tananarive-Côte-Est Line (TCE) connects the capital with the east coast port Toamasina and via two branch lines with Antsirabe and Lac Alaotra, while the Fianarantsoa-Côte-Est Line (FCE) connects the Betsileo capital in the highlands with the port city of Manakara connects. This means that four of the eight most important cities in Madagascar are connected to the small railway network.
The main sea port is Toamasina on the east coast of Madagascar.
Air traffic within Madagascar was already of great importance from the 1950s due to the poor road conditions. To date, Madagascar airlines have flown to around 40 domestic destinations in Madagascar. From the aviation hub of Antananarivo International Airport, flights to Paris, Johannesburg and Bangkok, among others, start.
Culture and sights in Madagascar
The unique fauna and in particular the lemurs, which made Madagascar world famous, are the main focus when visiting the island in the numerous national parks and protected areas of Madagascar that are also interesting in terms of landscape. In addition, the cultural remains from bygone times, such as the King’s Hill of Ambohimanga, near the capital Antananarivo, are also worth seeing. Madagascar’s diverse culture is the result of the customs and traditions of the most diverse ethnic groups who have immigrated to the island from different regions of the world over the course of time. Traditions and taboos are still respected above the law in many places. An important ceremony is the Famadihana, the reburial of the dead, which after a few years of rest in the grave with corresponding celebrations Dance and music is performed. In general, music is above all an important cultural asset in Madagascar, which can be heard in many places and at every celebration from a wide variety of instruments, mostly made of natural materials.