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Information About Madagascar

Updated on October 21, 2011

Located in the east of the southern part of Africa, Madagascar is the largest island of Africa and the fourth largest in the world. Half of this island is covered with thick forests while the remaining half has been inhabited by man for centuries, today there is a small and a poor country that half of the island.

Madagascar apart from having a nation with poor conditions and a weak economy is a beautiful island that attracts tourists from all over the world. Madagascar is famous for its wonderful weather, its beautiful forests that have animals and plants that are unique only to this island and are not found anywhere else.

History of Madagascar

About two million years ago Madagascar was not an island but a part of African continent land. But it drifted apart and came to where it stands now. For many centuries the island was occupied by small tribal communities. 

Madagascar's National Flag.
Madagascar's National Flag.

In 1895 the island was conquered by the French. In 1958 the locals freed their land from the French and remained a republic. However it still remained under the French guidance till the 1960s. 

During the 1970s Madagascar became a completely independent country. In 1975 a constitution was passed and Madagascar became the Democratic republic of Madagascar. In 1993 the country was renamed as Republic of Madagascar although it remained a democratic nation.

Capital City of Madagascar

The capital city of Madagascar is Antananarivo. This located at the heart of the island.

Euphorbia milii native to Madagascar
Euphorbia milii native to Madagascar
A Lemur from Madagascar
A Lemur from Madagascar

The Unique Animals And Plants Of Madagascar

As said many of the plants and the animals that are found in this island are found nowhere else in the world.

The reason for it is that when Madagascar was the part of African continent it had animals and plants of that time which were common throughout the land.

When the island got separated the same animals and plants remained producing more species like themselves whereas back in the land these animals slowly started to extinct.

The plants include huge tree ferns, desert plants and huge palm trees. Famous animals include lemur and many different kinds of cats and lions.

Natural Resources of Madagascar

Madagascar is an island full of very important natural resources like: coal, bauxite, salt, fish, hydropower, tar, sand, quartz, precious stones, chromites and graphite.

Important Industries In Madagascar

The important industries in Madagascar are: petroleum industry, sugar refining industry, glassware industry, and meat processing industry, breweries industry, paper industry, textiles industry and cement industry.

Rice fields in Madagascar
Rice fields in Madagascar
Tsingy de Bemaraha Nature Reserve
Tsingy de Bemaraha Nature Reserve

Important Farmed Products

The land of Madagascar is fertile and crops of many different fruits, vegetables, beans and grains are harvested on almost 5% of the entire land. The commonly cultivated products include: coffee banana, cloves, rice, cocoa, vanilla, sugarcane, beans, peanuts and cassava.

Population Of Madagascar

The population of Madagascar is increasing rapidly. Although due to the extreme unhealthy conditions there is an increase in the death rate, but the birth rate takes a step further than the death rate every year. According to the latest counting the current population of Madagascar is nearly 15.5 million.

Currency Of Madagascar

The currency of Madagascar is Malagasy Franc.

Current Conditions Of Madagascar And Their Causes

Atpresent Madagascar is a poor country with an economy which is rapidly falling down. Although some cities do have a modern life style and progressive approach, 70% of the country is extremely poor and illiterate.

The question is: in a country which has a good supply of natural resources why is the majority of the population suffering from malnutrition? Why is the trade industry down when the country has enough natural resources to trade?

Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.
Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.

The answer is poor management and lack of educational facilities. More than half of the forest have been cut down which has caused a serious damage to the environment. Many of the unique animals are on the verge of extinction due to this fact as they have lost their shelters. Animals are forced to live in a restricted environment which too is a great problem.

Coffee which was once a major trade product is now not in demand as many other countries prefer other countries for its trade. This has caused a serious damage to the economy. Currently the government is trying to do as much as it can to save the falling economy and to make the conditions of the country better.  Presently the growing industry is the tourism industry which contributes a lot to the economy. 


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    • hassam profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pakistan

      My pleasure! :)

    • KKalmes profile image


      8 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hello Hassam, very informative hub with some fantastic photos. Thank you for my first introduction to Madagascar.


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