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Flag : Madagascar
 

 
Fact file : Madagascar
 
Area587,041 sq km
CapitalAntananarivo
Population16,979,744
LanguageFrench (official), Malagasy (official), Hova and other dialects
Currency1 Malagasy franc (FMG), consisting of 100 centimes

 

Madagascar

The island country of Madagascar lies southeast of the African mainland, in the Indian Ocean. It is the fourth largest island in the world. Its capital Antananarivo is also its largest city.
The majority of the people are of black African descent. They live mostly in the coastal areas. The rest are descendants of Indonesians who arrived there more than a thousand years ago.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people and rice is the chief crop. Madagascar is the world's biggest producer of vanilla and cloves.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Madagascar was used as a base by sea pirates, including the famous 18th-century Scottish pirate, Captain William Kidd, who was immortalised in legends and tales and in the song, 'The Ballad of Captain Kidd'.
In 1896, Madagascar, which was then ruled by a local king, fell to the French. It gained independence in 1960. But French influence is still very strong. French and Malagasy are the official languages of the country and the franc, which is the currency used in France, is also the unit of currency here.

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