After a coup d’état in early 2009, Madagascar plunged into a protracted political crisis that lasted five years and undid much of the recent progress in the country. Madagascar was suspended from participating in African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) and most donors suspended direct assistance to the Government. Thanks to the mediation efforts by former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano and the acceptance by all belligerent parties of a roadmap for ending the crisis, two-round presidential elections were held in mid and late 2013 that the international community deemed fair and transparent. Hery Rajaonarimampianina was the President and sworn in on January 25, 2014.
The US government removed all restrictions on cooperating with the Government of Madagascar on May 27, 2014 and all other donors have also resumed direct relations with the government. Madagascar is now back in the fold of the African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC), and is eligible for the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) effective from June 26, 2014.
While the advent of a democratically elected government brought back some aid, Madagascar is still struggling to impose a stable government and economic reforms. President Rajaonarimampianina set the standards for national politics, saying the government was ready to fight against poverty, ready to fight for the development of infrastructure, for education, for health. Building the energy sector was also to be given special attention. However, recent natural disasters (floods, locusts, and a drought in the south of the country) and continued high rates of extreme poverty are hampering recovery efforts.
The United States is one of the largest bilateral donors to Madagascar, which is a priority country for the President’s Malaria Initiative and Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths (EPCMD). Additionally, approximately 150 Peace Corps volunteers serve in Madagascar.
Last updated: April 23, 2015