Any travel and wildlife enthusiast wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to visit Madagascar.The name is relative to country and island whereby Madagascar as a country occupies the island of Madagascar, the fourth largest island.Some of the other titles accorded to Madagascar include the great red island, the Isle of St Lawrence, Republic of Madagascar, Malagasy Republic, Repoblikan’I Madagasikara and Republique de Madagascar. The country’s capital is Antananarivo.
Considering that the country is located about 280 miles from Africa, many would assume that the inhabitants are African but Contrary to this, the population of this country is primarily related to the people of Indonesia (Dresch, Deschamps, & Southall, 2017).That stated, this essay entails all that can be established about this country: political landscape, the history of the land, the main attraction features among others.
History and politics of Madagascar
According to the history books, the island of Madagascar has had inhabitants for about 2000 years.The first people to migrate to the island were the indo-Malaysian, Arabs and Africans subsequently migrating later on.Furthermore, there is the Malagasy group who are the natives of the country (Yirka, 2017).
In 1500, European discovered the island accidentally in attempts to locate another island called Madagascar, as described by a Portuguese explorer, Diogo Dias.This was the first known sight of the island but it was known as the ‘island of the moon’ to Arab traders but since the Europeans had stumbled upon it while looking for Madagascar, the name was adopted.In comparison to Madagascar, there were no lions, elephants or giraffes in this island and scholars believe that Paolo was trying to explain an island off the coast of Somalia.
Initially, the country was controlled by kings from two ruling communities: Sakalava in the Northern and western regions and the Merina in the central plateaus.Considering that the Sakalava were the larger group, the kingdom was controlled by a king from their tribe but times changed and in the 18th century, the Merina took the helm of power.In 1810 the son of the Merina king took the helm and he managed to forge a friendship with the British favoring their policies and in return got military help, ensuring his kingdom grew.After his death, the following regimes were followed by pro and anti-European rule until in 1894.This was when the French invaded the island leading to the fall of the capital Antananarivo in 1894, subsequently making Madagascar a colony of France.
The second world war meant that most of the citizens of Madagascar attained French citizenship under the French union consequently meaning that the assembly was composed of the natives and the French.This was to go on until 1947 when there was an uprising against the French and later on led to the institutional reforms and referendum.All this led to the formation of the Malagasy Republic in 14 October 1958 and the country gained independence on 26 June 1960 (ACTSA, 2010).
Philibert Tsiranana was the first president of the country being confirmed in 1960 after being the president of the provincial government.His government fell in 1972 leading to the formation of a military directorate and subsequently to a state controlled by the Supreme Council of revolution.Finally, the democratic Republic of Madagascar was formed in December 1975 with Ratsiraka as president.
Some other historical events that occurred include the coup-which meant the country was suspended from participating in the African Union and SADC activities- in July 1992 and recently in 2009, and the disputed presidential results in December 2001.The disputed presidential election was a major blow to the country primarily because bridges connecting the main port to Antananarivo were blown up after Ravalonmana seized the presidency from Ratsiraka in February 2002.Later on, Ravolanana became the outright president after intervention by the superpowers in July 2002 and was elected to a second term in 2007.Ravalomanana was displaced by a former Dj through a coup d’etat which subsequently led to a crisis in Madagascar.Rajoelina’s government was not recognized by the international community meaning that most of the donors withdrew their activities from the country and also imposed unfavorable trade tariffs.It was the presidential elections whereby Hery Rajaonarimampianims won the presidency that restored the country’s economy in 2013.
Geology And The Ecology Of Madagascar.
The country has been described to house some of the unique animals mainly due to the isolation from the mainland.In this aspect, Madagascar has been observed to have 9000 plants that are native to the continent but not found anywhere else on the planet (A world apart: the unique Spirit of Madagascar, 2016).More to this is the fact that the country has some of the best tropical rainforests, tropical dry forests, thorn forests,deserts, and shrublands.On a downside, most plant species in this country have been regarded as endangered with the country having lost 90% of its original forest (Rogers, 1999).
The animal species in Madagascar are suitably tailored to the country primarily because of the uniqueness of climate and location.Some of the animal species in the country include lemurs, varying types of insects, birds, insectivores, crocodiles, and snakes.
Due to the diversification and uniqueness in the plant and animal species, various measures have been taken to ensure that there is the continuity and the stop to the endanger of flora and fauna.One unique project is the living laboratory of planetary health in Madagascar (Wright, 2014).it is a unique partnership between PIVOT center Valbio, the government, and other partners with the main aim to study the planetary health in Ranomafana (Wright, 2014).
Considering this biodiversity, the country can be regarded as a tourist destination.Progress was made on tourism beginning the late 1980s due to the implementation of programs that encouraged tourism but the conflicts and the coups of 2001 and 2009 have had a significant impact on the decline of this sector. Finally, on the economy, the country has been described as poor and most of the population practice subsistence farming and/or informal employment with the main items for export being vanilla and cloves.
The country has gone through turbulent times after its establishment as a republic with most internal conflicts stagnating the country’s economy.The Outstanding feature of this country is the diversity of the flora and fauna particularly the plant species though there is an increase in degradation. Therefore, only with good governance will the country attain its full potential of being a tourist destination.
A world apart: the unique Spirit of Madagascar. (2016). Retrieved from WWF: http://www.worldwidelife.org/magazine/issue/fall-2016/articles/A world apart: the unique Spirit of Madagascar
ACTSA. (2010). Madagascar.
Dresch, J., Deschamps, H. J., & Southall, A. W. (2017). Madagascar. Retrieved from Britannia: britannia.com/place/Madagascar
Rogers, C. (1999, February 21). Watching the Lemurs Play. Retrieved from Madagascar Travel: nhytimes.com/travelguides/africa/madagascar/overview/html
Wright, p. (2014, August). Retrieved from Bonds Ecology Of Poverty LabPlanetary health: bondslab.com/ecology-of-poverty/planetary-health/
Yirka, B. (2017, July 18). Genetic study reveals ancestry of Madagascar people. Retrieved from Phys.org: fttps://phys.org/news/2017-07-Genetic study reveals ancestry of Madagascar people