Saturday, January 7, 2012

155th Country Visitor - From MADAGASCAR..

Wow !! A visitor from Madagascar? Whoever you are, thanks for visiting my Blog...
I have to admit that I know little about this country, except the name - MADAGASCAR.
Let's learn more about Madagascar:
The Republic of Madagascar (older name Malagasy Republic) is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (at 587,041 square kilometres (226,658 sq mi), the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which include Nosy Be and Nosy Boraha.
The country's low-lying coastal area gives way to a central plateau. The once densely wooded interior has largely been cut down. Madagascar is the world's 47th-largest country.

As a result of the island's long isolation from neighboring continents, Madagascar is home to a vast array of plants and animals, many found nowhere else on Earth. Approximately 80% of all plant and animal species found in Madagascar are endemic, including the lemur infraorder of primates, the carnivorous fossa and three avian families. This distinctive ecology has led some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent" and the island has been classified by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot.
Over 10,000 plant species are native to Madagascar, of which 90% are found nowhere else in the world. Seven plant families are only found here, the highest number of any biodiversity hotspot in the world. The plant family didiereaceae, composed of four genera and 11 species, is limited to the spiny forests of southwestern Madagascar. Four-fifths of the world's pachypodium species are endemic to the island. Three-fourths of Madagascar's 960 orchid species are found here alone, as are six of the world's eight baobab species. The island is also home to around 170 palm species, three times as many as are found on mainland Africa; 165 of these are endemic. Many native plant species are used as effective herbal remedies for a variety of afflictions, including the Madagascar periwinkle, which has recently been established as the most effective treatment for leukemia and Hodgkin's disease. The traveler's palm, endemic to the eastern rain forests, is highly iconic of Madagascar and is featured in the national emblem as well as the Air Madagascar logo.

The Malagasy are of mixed Malayo-Indonesian and African-Arab ancestry. Indonesians are believed to have migrated to the island about 700. King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810) ruled the major kingdom on the island, and his son, Radama I (1810–1828), unified much of the island. The French made the island a protectorate in 1885, and then, in 1894–1895, ended the monarchy, exiling Queen Rànavàlona III to Algiers. A colonial administration was set up, to which the Comoro Islands were attached in 1908, and other territories later. In World War II, the British occupied Madagascar, which retained ties to Vichy France.

President: Andry Rajoelina (took over leadership in 2009; legitimacy is in question)
Prime Minister: Omer Beriziky (2011)
Land area: 224,533 sq mi (581,540 sq km); total area: 226,656 sq mi (587,040 sq km)
Population (2010 est.): 21,281,844 (growth rate: 3.0%); birth rate: 37.9/1000; infant mortality rate: 52.8/1000; life expectancy: 63.2; density per sq km: 34
Capital and Largest City: Antananarivo, 1,390,800
Monetary unit: Malagasy franc
National name: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara
Languages: Malagasy and French (both official)
Ethnicity/Race: Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Côtiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry: Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Religions: indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Islam 7%
National Holiday: Independence Day, June 26
Agriculture: coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products.
Natural resources: graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower.
Exports: $1.04 billion (2009 est.): coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton cloth, chromite, petroleum products
Imports: $1.8 billion (2009 est.): capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, food.
Major trading partners: U.S., France, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Mauritius, South Africa.

Air Madagascar..
 schooling in Madagascar..
Miss Madagascar...
Have a nice day....

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