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Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, but regained its independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held, ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s and 1980s, was returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA and Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 19,448,815 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Malagasy (singular and plural)

Nationality (Adjective): Malagasy

Official Language(s): French, Malagasy

Major Languages Spoken: French, Malagasy

Map of Madagascar

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Madagascar

Country Name (short form): Madagascar

Country Name (local long form): Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara

Country Name (local short form): Madagascar/Madagasikara

Name of Capital: Antananarivo

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Madagascar: Mayotte Island, Reunion Island, Seychelles Republic, Comoros

Land Area: 581540 sq km

Water Area: 5500 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly less than twice the size of Arizona

Coastline: 4,828 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 26 June (1960)

International Phone Code: 261

Currency Code: Madagascar ariary (MGA)

Internet Country Code: .mg

US Embassy Location: 14-16 Rue Rainitovo, Antsahavola, Antananarivo 101

US Embassy Mailing Address: B. P. 620, Antsahavola, Antananarivo


Madagascar flag

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