National Airline and Politics are killing Economy
Perched on the muddy bank of a river meandering through rolling green hills, the Lemurs’ Park near Madagascar’s capital is rated one of the city’s top attractions, but you would not know it from the number of visitors. On a Saturday in what is meant to be high season, only a handful of tourists are in the park to catch a glimpse of the furry creatures endemic to the tropical forests of this vast Indian Ocean island. Tour operators blame the latest drop in visitor numbers on mass cancellations that followed a month-long Air Madagascar strike that grounded all internal flights.
But to Rakotomamonjy Andrianantoanina, a veteran Lemurs’ Park guide, the long-term trend since a 2009 coup that scared off visitors and ravaged the economy has b…
Economy shows first Signs of Recovery after 2009 Coup
Madagascar’s economy showed early signs of recovery in 2014 with growth estimated at 3%, which could rise to 5% in 2015, but political instability, weak institutions and weak governance are hurting prospects, the IMF said. The Indian Ocean island’s economy was battered after a 2009 coup that drove away donors and investors. A peaceful 2013 election has brought back some aid, but the nation is still struggling to impose stable government and economic reforms. The cabinet resigned last week and a new prime minister, Jean Ravelonarivo, an air force commander and businessman, was sworn in on Saturday. But his appointment faces a legal challenge, which could prolong efforts to pick new ministers.
“In a fragile environment, the uncertainty …
US restores AGOA Privileges after Elections
At the same time when Swaziland looses its privileges, Obama restored Madagascar’s AGOA eligibility yesterday in the wake of elections late last year. The United States had suspended the island from the trade deal after a military coup in 2009.
The United States already announced in May that it was lifting restrictions on assistance to Madagascar. Obama has invited President Hery Rajaonarimampianina to Washington for a US-Africa summit in August.
The United States established AGOA in 2000 in hopes of promoting democratic and economic standards by offering market access to the world’s largest economy.
Robinson in the lead at Presidential Elections
Madagascar’s national electoral commission says preliminary results show Dr. Jean Louis Robinson leading the 33-candidate race with 29 percent of the votes counted. The election body, on its website, says results are from 1,255 of the 20,001 polling stations. To win in the first round, a candidate must get more than 50 percent of the votes. A second run-off election between the top two candidates is scheduled for Dec. 20.
Elections postponed until July 24
After repeated logistical setbacks and also political deadlock between the president of the transitional government, Andry Rojoelina, and his opponents, the Independent National Election Commission of the Transition (CENIT), has announced that the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections will be postponed until July 24. CENIT through its president, Attallah Beatrice had earlier announced that Madagascar will hold presidential elections on May 8, 2013, and met with donors to present the budget and necessary resources for elections, calling on donors to lift all financial sanctions they took in 2009 because of the political crisis in the country. Madagascar has been in political crisis since December 2008 following a stalemate be…