In 1999, Madagascar had a population of around 15 million people, with the majority of the population living on the eastern coast. The economy was mainly based on agriculture and fishing, with some light industry. The country was heavily reliant on foreign aid and assistance to meet its economic needs. Foreign relations were mainly focused on France, with whom it had strong ties. Politically, Madagascar was a republic led by President Didier Ratsiraka since 1975. In 1999, the country held its first multiparty elections since 1975 with opposition leader Marc Ravalomanana winning in a landslide victory. This marked a major shift in the political landscape of Madagascar and ushered in a new era of democracy for the nation. See ethnicityology for Madagascar in the year of 2018.
About 2,000 years ago, Malay-Polynesian sailors decided to overcome 8,000 kilometers of ocean. They turned the suburbs on their canoes to the southwest and came to the African coast. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Madagascar. The motives for their journey are unknown, but we know that their arrival did not happen by chance, because it repeated regularly in it 1-5. century AD.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of MDG which stands for Madagascar and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
Around the 14th century, Comorian traders founded a number of port towns on the island’s north coast. However, they were destroyed by the Portuguese in 1506-07. However, they found neither gold, ivory nor spices and therefore quickly lost interest in the land. But contact with Europeans brought firearms to the country – they were used as prey for slaves.
From the 16th century the first sakalawa kingdoms arose on the west coast, on the east coast betsileo kingdoms, and in the 17th century the kingdom of Merina or Imerina on the eastern part of the central high plains. A century later, a rallying process began under King Nanpoina, completed under his son, Radama I (1810-1828).
The increasingly frequent contact with Arabs and Europeans was used by Radama to build a modern army, introduce the Latin alphabet and create Madagascar’s own writing language. But the early death of the king and the long-standing succession battles created the basis for Europeans to occupy the island at the end of the century.
Colonialism felled the forests to give way to sugar cane, cotton and coffee plantations. The settlers and foreign companies conquered the best lands, and the peasants were forced to work on these under slave-like conditions. The resistance to foreign domination, the struggle for political rights and improved economic conditions led in 1947 and 48 to a revolt. It was knocked down by the French army and thousands more were killed.
When the uprising was over, the colony administration initiated a controlled transition to independence. This was declared in 1960 with Philibert Tsiranana as president. At the first election (in September 1960) the Social Democracy (PSD) won big and its leader (Philibert Tsiranana) became the President of the Republic. A post he was re-elected to in 1965 and 72.
In May 1972, Tsiranana was forced to resign following widespread unrest, and he handed over far-reaching powers to General Ramanantsoa, who in June dissolved the Senate and National Assembly. In October, he had a referendum abolishing the presidential post and repealing the 1959 Constitution, bringing together the legislative and executive power of the military, and creating an Institutional Council and a National Council. France decided the year after to withdraw its forces. The following three years were marked by considerable instability, culminating when Captain D. Ratsiraka was appointed Prime Minister in June 1975.
Ratsiraka initiated a socialist-oriented policy and printed a referendum until December 21, 1975. It massively reaffirmed his appointment as head of state for the next 7 years and adopted Madagascar’s Socialist Revolution program, which later became the basis for the country’s new constitution. On December 30, 1975, the country adopted the name of Madagascar’s Democratic Republic.
In January 1976, the country’s new power structures were established: the Supreme Revolutionary Council of 12 members and the government led by Colonel J. Rakotomalala. When Justin Rakotoniaina perished in a plane crash in July 1976, he was replaced as Head of State by Rakotomalala. The legislative power was placed in the hands of a 144-member National Council.
The popular parties joined together in the National Revolutionary Front. AREMA (Madagascar Revolutionary Avant-garde) was formed in 1975 to support Ratsiraki’s movement and is the most important front-line organization. The Supreme Revolutionary Council consisted largely of members of AREMA, but also had members from 5 other very different parties – from Marxist-Leninist to Christian Democrats. In 1977, Désiré Rakotoarijaona assumed the post of Prime Minister.