Madagascar On Long Path to Economic Recovery

After a five year suspension Madagascar will be reintegrated into the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), according to its Secretary General Abdou Diouf speaking Friday in Paris.

Diouf said that after five years of political instability the Indian Ocean island has now engaged in the normalisation of political life and the restoration of constitutional order.

The first democratic elections since the coup in 2009, which toppled President Marc Ravalo-Manana and led international donors to slash its aid, were anxiously held in December 2013.

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, promising a crackdown on corruption and better management of its natural resources, was officially elected in January and formed a new national assembly.

The seizure of power left the country isolated by the international community including the African union, and deprived it of vital foreign aid.

Madagascar is the world's largest producer of vanilla but suffers from food shortages and 90 per cent of Malagasy scrape by on less than two dollars a day.

OIF, which counts around 60 members and three associates including Ghana, has promised to restart cooperation efforts.

Madagascar hopes to boost trade, not least with francophone countries in West Africa.

Madagascar's finance minister Lantoniaina Rasoloelison also said on Thursday that the country's troubled economy could grow by 3 percent this year and hit 12 percent in five years' time.

Rasoloelison added that an International Monetary Fund mission would visit the island from April 22 to May 5 to draw up a new funding framework.

'Very Intense' Cyclone Strikes 

Very intense tropical cyclone Hellen struck Madagascar at about 00:00 GMT on 31 March. see more »