60 years of independence - A reason to celebrate for Madagascar?

Madagascar has been nicknamed "the green island". But the unique plant world of the former tropical Paradise in danger: Bush fires have devastated in the past

60 years of independence - A reason to celebrate for Madagascar?

Madagascar has been nicknamed "the green island". But the unique plant world of the former tropical Paradise in danger: Bush fires have devastated in the past few years, large parts of the mountainous island, and bald red faces transformed. With a mammoth project, the Madagascan government wants to reforest the Land now.

60 million new trees to be planted - the number is symbolic: Because on 26. June celebrates Madagascar 60 years of independence from France. But there's not much to celebrate, say experts. Since the autonomy of the colonial power in 1960 in the summer the Land is become in the Indian ocean, the poorer. Also the relationship with France is strained.

a success story

"is A success story of Madagascar's independence, certainly not," says Constantin Grund, head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in the capital Antananarivo. "60 years after the independence of Madagascar, extreme poverty characterizes large parts of the population, there is great social inequality between the rich and Poor prevails, the level of education is low, the economic value added," says reason.

To do this, something Tragic is yet to come: "The country was 60 years ago already." The decline has taken place without an externally induced crisis, as a conflict with a neighbouring country or a civil war could be held responsible, he adds. "In this respect, 60 years of independence, large sections of the population are also disappointed hopes, the equivalent of 60 years," reported the FES Director in Madagascar.

an Enormous amount of money - in the wrong hands,

It would, at first glance, such a gloomy conclusion is not necessary, because the country has the best conditions for economic recovery: "It is a very rich country", emphasized reason. Madagascar have lots of raw materials, such as Gold, Saphire, ores, and agricultural and there is plenty of rain. Why is Madagascar so hard in gear? Of money it does not lack: "It is only in the wrong hands," says the expert from Germany. 95 percent of the economic activities were informal and criminal networks through sets. The state of access to tax revenues for necessary investments in social infrastructure is lacking.

Similar to the Paul Melly of the British think tank Chatham House States: "There is a lack of strategic focus, particularly for the development of the country, where most people live." Madagascar has 26 million inhabitants. "The island is far away from markets and is committed little on the African mainland, they are isolated." In addition, the high level of corruption investors shrink from.

Other factors affected the development: Only in 2003, Madagascar became a currency of their own, and I have been hanging for almost forty years "on the drip of the French". Also Constantin criticized for the reason that there is no long-term economic plan, only spontaneous government programs just before an election campaign. 60 years after independence, the relationship to the French was highly ambivalent.

France-Afrique-policy nac h

This have to do with the colonial history, but also with a "continuing colonisation". After the liberation of Madagascar more than a decade has been to rely on French help, alone, the school system worked only on the Basis of the French teaching staff. Today, the former foreign political situation in Paris, referred to as "France-Afrique" cast: "This is a foreign economic and intelligence policy, which should ensure the influence in the newly independent African countries in the future."

According to the assessment of Chatham House expert Melly, the current reasons for the never-ending Failure of the state in the recent history and the consequences of the military coup of 2009. Thereafter, the island was ruled for four years by a non-constitutionally-recognised transitional regime. This development remained assistance and investment and the exports of the Malagasy textile industry in the U.S. has been limited, Melly.

Hardly any development without plans

at the Time, the Opposition had urged the President Marc Ravalomanana from office. The leader of this movement, Andry Rajoelina was. He was interim President and remained without democratic legitimacy, in Power - up, after long negotiations, the end of 2013, but elections were held, from which the Minister of Finance of the transitional government, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the winner was.

Only in 2019, was elected Ex-Putschist Rajoelina officially to the presidency. Melly looks at the roots for the lack of development of the island state in Rajoelinas policy, also in relation to France.

a point of contention between France and Madagascar, the five "Illes Eparses to stay". The small Islands are located around Madagascar and scattered. Fresh water and thus drinking water there. The real treasures of these Islands lie underground: Huge gas reserves make them sought-after. Prior to independence, France has the Islands split off, and owns the sovereignty. However, Madagascar continues to struggle to be entitled to the Illes Eparses.

solution for the Illes Eparses not in sight

Madagascar's President Rajoelina and his French colleague Emmanuel Macron had formed in 2019, a Commission of up to the independence celebrations on 26. June to find a solution in the island dispute - without success. "The French focused on the protection of the valuable Ecosystem of the Islands and proposed to manage you together with Madagascar," says Melly. "Madagascar insists on sole Highness." What could be the solution? "The gap seems insurmountable. In the near future, no reason to re-negotiate."

Paul Melly is still optimistic that Madagascar could take advantage of its huge potential. "But the Malagasy people have no time to lose. The pressure on natural resources is large, the forests and trees disappear, the smuggling of rose-wood blooms." Only a real Vision for the country could bring progress.

author: Martina Schwikowski

*The post "60 years of independence - A reason to celebrate for Madagascar?" is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 25 June 2020, 17:26

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