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Madagascar

Madagascar

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Published by Genti Itneg

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Published by: Genti Itneg on Oct 11, 2012
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Madagascar1
Madagascar
Republic of MadagascarRepoblikan'i MadagasikaraRépublique de Madagascar
Motto:
 Fitiavana, Tanindrazana, Fandrosoana
 
(Malagasy)
 Amour, patrie, progrès
 
(French)"Love, Fatherland, Progress"
[1]
Anthem:
"Ry Tanindrazanay malala ô!"
Oh, Beloved Land of our Ancestors!
Location of Madagascar
Capital
(and largest city)Antananarivo18°55
S 47°31
E
Official language(s)
Malagasy, French
Demonym
Malagasy
[2]
Government
Caretaker government- President of the High Transitional AuthorityAndry Rajoelina- Prime MinisterOmer Beriziky
[3]
Legislature
Parliament- Upper houseSenate- Lower houseNational Assembly
Independence
from France- Date26 June 1960
Area
 
Madagascar2
- Total587,041 km
2
(47th)226,597 sq mi- Water (%)0.009%
Population
-2012
[4]
estimate22,005,222 (53rd)- 1993 census12,238,914- Density35.2/km
2
(174th)91.1/sq mi
GDP
(PPP)2011 estimate- Total$20.400 billion
[5]
- Per capita$933
[5]
GDP
(nominal)2011 estimate- Total$10.025 billion
[5]
- Per capita$458
[5]
Gini
(2001)47.5 (high)
HDI
(2010) 0.435 (low) (135th)
Currency
Malagasy ariary (
MGA
)
Time zone
EAT
 
(UTC+3)- Summer (DST)
not observed 
[6]
(UTC+3)
Drives on the
right
ISO 3166 code
MG
Internet TLD
.mg
Calling code
+261
[6]
Madagascar
, officially the
Republic of Madagascar
(Malagasy:
 Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
 
Malagasypronunciation:
[republi
k
an mada
ɡ
k
ə  ̥
]; French:
 République de Madagascar 
) and previously known as the
Malagasy Republic
, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nationcomprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheralislands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar isa biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystemsand unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population.Initial human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BCE and 550 CE by Austronesian peoples arriving onoutrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around 1000 CE by Bantu migrants crossing the MozambiqueChannel. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions toMalagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into eighteen or more sub-groups of which thelargest are the Merina of the central highlands.Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting socio-politicalalliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into theFrench colonial empire, from which the island regained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar
 
Madagascar3has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed Republics. Since 1992 the nation has officially beengoverned as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009 thelast elected president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009to Andry Rajoelina in a move widely viewed by the international community as a
coup d'état 
.In 2012, the population of Madagascar was estimated at just over 22 million, 90 percent of whom live on less thantwo dollars per day. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state. The majority of the populationadheres to traditional beliefs or Christianity. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments ineducation, health and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. UnderRavalomanana these investments produced substantial economic growth but the benefits were not evenly spreadthroughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standardsamong the poor and some segments of the middle class.
Etymology
In the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called
 Madagasikara
 
Malagasy pronunciation:
[mada
ɡ
as
ʲˈ
k
ʲ
ar
ə̥
]and its people are referred to as
 Malagasy
.
[2]
However, the island's appellation "Madagascar" is not of local originbut rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans.
Thename
 Madageiscar 
was first recorded in thememoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted form of the name Mogadishu, the Somali portwith which Polo had confused the island. On St. Laurence's Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed onthe island and christened it
São Lourenço
, but Polo's name was preferred and popularized on Renaissance maps. Nosingle Malagasy-language name predating
 Madagasikara
appears to have been used by the local population to referto the island, although some communities had their own name for part or all of the land they inhabited.
[8]
Geography
At 592,800 square kilometres (228,900 sq mi),
[9]
Madagascar is the world's 47th largest country
[4]
and thefourth-largest island.
[9]
The country lies mostly between latitudes 12°S and 26°S, and longitudes 43°E and 51°E.
[10]
Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as thestate of Comoros and the French territory of Mayotteto the north west. The nearest mainland state is Mozambique,located to the west.The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar-Antarctica-India landmass fromthe Africa-South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar later split from India about88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation.
[11]
Along the length of the eastern coast runs a narrow and steep escarpment containing much of the island's remaining tropical rain forest.

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