madagascar, 2003
Country name: Republic of madagascar
Governement type: Republic
National holiday: Independence Day, 26 June
Historical background: Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, but regained its independence in 1960. In 1993 the first free presidential and National Assembly elections were held, ending 17 years of single-party rule. In 2002, Mr Marc Ravalomanana was annonced the winner of the presidential elections after a long clash with the former president, Didier Ratisraka.
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a vertical white band of the same width on hoist side. Flag.
National anthem: listen the anthem illustrated with the madagascarvian coat of arms.
Geographic coordinates:
20 00 S, 47 00 E
Map: Madagascar
Highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m
Border countries: World's fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel
Capital: Antananarivo
Major cities: Toamasina, Majunga, Fianarantsoa, Antsirabé, Toliara, Antsiranana
Population: 17,5 millions (2003)
Density: 28.06 hab./km²
Life expectancy: 57 years
Ethnic groups: Malayo-Indonesian, Cotiers, French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Languages: French (official), Malagasy (official)
Religion: Indigenous beliefs (52%), Christian (41%), Muslim (7%)
Currency: Malagasy franc 
GDP per capita: € 800 (2003)
Internet country code: .mg
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