Nous devons avancer à notre rythme, nous devons avant tout avoir confiance en nous-mêmes et dans les vertus thérapeutiques de la nature. Car la nature et l’homme ne font qu’un.
Albert Rakoto Ratsimamanga
Madagascar Official name:
Amtssprache: Malagasy und Französisch
Regierungssystem: Semipräsidentielles Regierungssystem
Staatsoberhaupt: PräsidentAndry Rajoelina (seit 19. Januar 2019)
Regierungschef:Premierminister Christian Ntsay (seit 8. Juni 2018)
Fläche 587.295 km²
Einwohnerzahl 26.262.368 (2018)
From 1500 Madagascar was made up with 20 ethnic groups with no national consciousness until some new political ideas were raised from abroad. The economy of this territory was in majority pastoral and agricultural. In the 16th the early Europeans has discovered a Muslim state in the southeastern Madagascar known as Fort Dauphin, site of a French company. The Portuguese explorers who also visited the territory especially in the southeastern discovered a group of Afro-Arabs which merged within time to form the Antemoro, the formal and only state in Madagascar with written texts.
The 1861, Madagascar experienced the influence of outsiders. Indeed, English protestants and French Roman vied for supremacy and business owners had also obtained a lot of concession. Radama II who succeeded to Ranavalona, was overthrown by Merina’s oligarchy in 1863. Rainilaiarivony became the Prime Minister and remained in power by getting married to three queens: Rasoherina, Ranavalona II and Ranavalona III. He set new direction to the territory with a program of modernization and the adoption of Protestantism as the Malagasy religion. Ministries now have an European style and governors were in all provinces, education under the direction of Christian missions was compulsory. French started spreading its influence over Sakalva, in 1885 after the Franco-Merina war French was given a settlement at Diego-suarez and a resident at Antananarivo in 1895 french troops occupied Antananarivo. In 1890, Madagascar was over French protectorate . the Prime Minister was exiled, The queen signed a treaty recognizing French protectorate and was maintained on the throne as a figurehead.
Tperiod 1896 to 1945 was the colonial period, where French occupation really spread over the entire island conquered by Merina. The annexation of the island was the first step with French administrators being governors. French was compulsory, the island’s life had been westernized, half of the population became christianized.
In 1946, based on the constitution which created the French Union, Madagascar has become an overseas territory of French. A year later, an insurrection erupted, in eastern Madagascar. It is until 1958, through a referendum in September that Madagascar gained its autonomy with Tsiranana as the head. In 26 June 1960, Madagascar gained its independence following six decades of French colonial rule under the President Phillibert Tsiranana.Its constitution created a state closely resembling the French system in its division of legislative and executive powers, but with a more powerful presidency.
In 1976, the Second Republic was formed with Ratsiraka who led the Republic under politics that affected French interests and later declared the Republic a Marxist republic. Due to economic difficulties, the government has to rally with French institutions such as International Monetary Funds (IMF) to bridge the economic gap. The third Republic was later formed under the lead of Zafy.
The year 2001, was the most stormy in the political area since independence. Indeed during the election which opposed Ratsiraka to Marc Ravalomanana, the latter declared himself President which led to many movements. In 2008, Ravalomanana faced a new power struggle with Rajoelina Andry, his mayor opponent, asking for the President to step down. In 2009 dozens of citizens were killed. On March 17, Ravalomanana agreed to step down and power was transferred to Rajoelina by the military leaders.This was seen as a coup from the African Union and the South African Development Community (SADC), all aids were then suspended. After a political struggle, a constitutional referendum was held in November 2010, a month later Rajoelina declared the Fourth Republic.
WOMEN IN THE HISTORY
Five queens succeeded one another in Madagascar throughout the 19th century, until the colonial invasion in 1896. Later historical studies, and in particular the history of institutions, would have shown that queens from the nobility (andriana) reigned, but that it was their hova (commoner) prime ministers who ruled Madagascar. However, the fact that women have occupied the throne is proof that Malagasy society does not hinder women’s access to power. It should be noted, however, that the colonial period established institutionalized discrimination against women in a lasting way, since Madagascar’s institutions after independence were still largely inspired by the French model – not the one we have today, but as it was until the 1960s.
Geopolitics and Interdependence
Large island in the Indian ocean separated from the South East coast of Africa by the channel of Mozambique, Madagascar has natural resources, such as graphite, chromite, bauxite, salt, quartz, clay, sand, limestone mixture fish, vanilla bean, cocoa beans, semi-precious stones, rare metals or sea products. Madagascar with its natural reserves is the 2nd largest biodiversity reserve in the world and the 4th largest island in the world. 2% of the world’s biodiversity is found in Madagascar, making it one of the rare countries with « biological megadiversity »; 80% to 90% of Madagascar’s animal and plant species are found nowhere else. 85% of vanilla production is Malagasy. Madagascar is naturally full with resources.
This natural blessing largely determines the orientation of foreign countries’ policies, particularly their trade policies. The relations that bind Europe and Madagascar makes Europe the first partner that benefits from Malagasy products. Commercial relations between Europe and Madagascar in terms of exports are estimated at 45%. Seafood and textile spices are among the products that are mainly exported. The big island is a real paradise for European countries in the sense that a large part of their turnover derive from the exploitation of Malagasy products, mainly lateritic nickel.
In addition, trade relations between France and Madagascar have considerably doubled over the last decade (2009-2018), reaching almost one billion in 2018 (999 billion Euros). Madagascar is now France’s 76th largest customer, 9th in Sub-Saharan Africa and 63rd largest supplier, then 4th in Sub-Saharan Africa. France remains the first historical customer of the island.
It should be stressed that the importance of these commercial relations reflects the importance of the Big Island in the eyes of European countries. A true paradise on earth, Madagascar, sees its resources exploited by various foreign companies. Numerous mining projects, oil, exploitation of minerals, fishing resources and medicinal plants also testify to this importance.
Madagascar’s political space
Madagascar’s political space is defined by the country’s social movements. This is in contrast to many African states which have been shaped by a history of domination by “big men”. In the case of Madagascar, no leader has had as much influence on the nature of the political system, or its dynamics, as the anti-colonial uprising of 1947, the military’s dissolution of the First Republic in 1972, the strikes of 1991, or the populist support for “democracy” that Balkanised the country in 2002.
SDG 6 in Madagascar: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
Clean water and sanitation constitutes one the most fundamental goals, since water is the foundation resource for healthy ecosystems. The world economic Forum 2015 Global Risk Report ranked water crises as the highest impact risk out of 28. In the 2016 report water crises has been ranked as the third highest risk. Sanitation is also another key priority affecting individual health.
- Achieving access to safe and affordable drinking water
- Achieving access to sanitation and hygiene and end open defecation
- Improving water quality, wastewater treatment and safe reuse
- Increase water-use efficiency and ensure freshwater supplies
- Implement integrated water resources management
- Protect and restore water-related ecosystems
- Expand international cooperation and capacity building
- Support stakeholder participation.
2017 in Madagascar the proportion of population using safely managed drinking water service is about 59% with 86% in urban areas having access to at least some basic service and 43% in rural areas having access to unimproved drinking water service; and 13% using surface water at the national level.
Gisèle Rabesahala (1929 – 2011)
Founder of Imongo Vaovao, she was also the first woman to hold a ministerial position in Madagascar, and first Malagashy woman to establish and lead a political party. She was very active in politics at her early age, campaigned on behalf of political prisoners. She worked to secure thousands of prisoner’s freedom. In 1977 she became the first female Minister responsible for promoting revolutionary art and culture. She is also founder of « Comité de Solidarité Madagascar », which work towards issues affecting needy.
Jacques Rabemananjara (1913-2005)
Very involved in politic, playwright, and poet, Jacques Rabemananjara was born in 1913, and considered as one the famous figures of « Négritude » in Madagascar, the movement which actively act against colonialism. He founded the first movement of civil servant in Madagascar, and cofounded la Revue des Jeunes de Madasgascar which expressed nationalist sentiments toward French rulers. He later joined negritude movement and was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor due to his suspicious implication in the 1947 insurrection. He spent 10 years in prison and later exiled to France. His Antsa song published in 1956 made him a national hero.
After Madagascar’s independence, he returned back to the country as Minister of Economic Affairs, and later Foreign Minister of Madagascar. Famous writer, he won in 1988 the Grand Prix de la Francophonie.
Albert Rakoto Ratsimamanga
Albert Rakoto Ratsimamanga is a very renowned Malagasy scientist. He has become famous for his extensive work devoted to a better understanding of the medicinal properties of Madagascar’s unique endemic flora. He is credited with nearly 350 scientific publications ranging from adrenal gland function to natural remedies for diabetes.
In the 1970s, he returned to Madagascar and created the CNRSP (National Centre for Scientific and Pharmaceutical Research) and the IMRA (Malagasy Institute for Applied Research).
The name Ratsimamanga has been back in the spotlight since 19 April 2020, when the President of the Malagasy Republic announced the discovery and distribution of a cure against Covid19. It is a drinkable solution, a herbal tea developed by IMRA, a research institute founded by Albert Rakoto Ratsimamanga and his wife.
Books from Rabemananjara 1913-2005
- Sur les Marchés du soir, 1940
- Rites Millénaires, 1955
- Antas, 1956
- Les Ordalies, sonnets d’outre-temps, 1972
- Œuvres complètes,poésie, 1978
- Thrènes d’avant l’aurore : Madagascar, 1985
- Rien qu’encens et filigrane, 1987