Country Profile: Madagascar
Other CitiesBongolava, Itasy, Sofia, Menabe
Official languagesMalagasy, French, English
AreaTotal 587,041 km2
The Republic of Madagascar, known otherwise as the Republic of Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The main island, also called Madagascar, is the fourth-largest island in the world, and is home to 5% of the world's plant and animal species, of which more than 80% are endemic to Madagascar.
Dialects and Languages
The Malagasy language is of Malayo-Polynesian origin and is generally spoken throughout the island. Madagascar is a former fench colony, therefore the well educated and aristocratic people within the nation generally soeak French as well. English is not commonly spoken amingst the general population, but recently, the government has made english in primary school mandatory in some regions of the country and they look to take this nationwide in the future.
Climate Change Effects
Since Madagascar is so isolated from the rest of the world, many of the plants and animals found there exist knowhere else in the world, some ecologists refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent". With nearly 10,000 different plant species found in Madagascar, over 90% only exist within the nation, although due to recent climate change and human intervnetion, these species are rapidly becoming endangered. This has propmted the government to undergo research and studies in order to better understand and possibly control climate change and global warming in the future.
Agriculture and Farming Industry
In Madagascar, fishing, mining and agriculture are all extremely important industries, the major exports of the nation are coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock products. Vanilla has historically been of particular importance, because Madagascar is the largest prodeucer and exporter of vanilla in the world, this is particularly important to the global giant Coca Cola, who imports nearly all of their vanilla from Madagascar.
With the initiative of governmental economic reforms policies, the GDP in Madagascar has been rapidly increasing, also there has been much emphasis placed on direct foreign investment, in order to further stimulate and boost the economy. Several major projects are underway in the mining and oil and gas sectors that, if successful, will give a significant boost to the Malagasy economy. In the mining sector, these developments include the development of coal at Sakoa and nickel near Tamatave. In oil, Madagascar Oil is developing the massive onshore heavy oil field at Tsimiroro and ultra heavy oil field at Bemolanga as well.
In the future, Madagascar looks to continue to grow based off of its agricultural and mining strengths, as well as its exportation strengths. They will continue to be the world leader in production of vanilla and seek to expand their growing tourism industry as well. Because of the many natural wonders and beauties of Madagascar, they have also become an African leader in climate change and global warming research and will look to continue the trend in the future.
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