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Tuesday, 1 March 2016


Madagascar is among the last major land masses to be reached by humans; its first settlers arrived on outrigger canoes from Borneo around 2350 years ago, followed over 1000 years later by migrants from East Africa.

The name Madageiscar was first recorded in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted transliteration of the name Mogadishu, the Somali port with which Polo had confused the island.

The capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, was founded in 1625 by King Andrianjaka on the site of a village occupied by Vazimba, the island's earliest inhabitants.

France took over the city of Antananarivo in 1895, and added Madagascar as a colony two years later.

The last monarch of Madagascar was Queen Ranavalona III who ruled from 1883-1897.

In 1938 Hermann Göring proposed plans to make Madagascar the "Jewish homeland", an idea that had first been considered by 19th century journalist Theodor Herzl.

The Malagasy Republic was proclaimed in 1958, as an autonomous state within the French Community. A period of provisional government ended with the adoption of a constitution the following year and full independence on June 26, 1960.

Madagascar's Rova of Antananarivo, which served as the royal palace from the 17th to 19th centuries, was destroyed by fire on November 6, 1995.

The nation comprises the island of Madagascar as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands.

Madagascar is the world's fourth-largest island behind Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo.

Because of its isolation, over 90% of Madagascar's wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth.

Madagascar is the only place where lemurs can be found in the wild.

Madagascar has the third largest coral reef system in the world, the Toliara coral reef, off the south-western coast.

The currency unit in Madagascar is the ariary, which is divided into five iraimbilanja.

Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the president of Madagascar, has a longer surname than any other president in the world.

Ninety per cent of the people in Madagascar live on less than two dollars a day.

About 80 per cent of the world's vanilla comes from Madagascar. The island also produces  half the world's sapphires.

Source Daily Express

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