Madagascar Profile

Madagascar Profile

Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation.

Madagascar has an estimated population of over 22 million, 90 percent of whom live on less than two dollars per day. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state. The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity or an amalgamation of both.

The country covers 592,800 square kilometers and is the world’s 47th largest country and the fourth-largest island. The country lies mostly between latitudes 12°S and 26° and longitudes 43°E and 51°E.

Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as the state of Comoros and the French territory of Mayotte to the North West. The nearest mainland state is Mozambique located to the west.

Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island’s diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population as well as the recently spotted Cane Toad relative which according to researchers “could wreak havoc on the unique biodiversity in Madagascar

Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education, health and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar’s development strategy.

The combination of southeastern trade winds and northwestern monsoons produces a hot rainy season (November–April) with frequently destructive cyclones and a relatively cooler dry season (May–October).

Rain clouds originating over the Indian Ocean discharge much of their moisture over the island’s eastern coast; the heavy precipitation supports the area’s rain forest ecosystem.

General information about Madagascar has been summarized to include the following;

Background and economy of Madagascar
Economy of Madagascar
Membership of regional and international organisations
Population and health of Madagascar
Transport in Antananarivo Madagascar

For more reading