Madagascar: A lemur with an offspring

Development potential Vast resources, biodiversity, and a young population

Notwithstanding the massive challenges facing Madagascar, the country has a good basis for sustainable development. However, this potential can only be tapped if the political situation is stable, reforms and social spending are stepped up, and human rights are respected.

The country has a young population, and at the economic hub in the capital one can witness the potential for innovative entrepreneurship. The country's natural conditions mean that environmentally friendly energy can be produced in the form of solar, wind and hydropower. Moreover, Madagascar's vast biodiversity is one of its greatest assets. This biodiversity is also invaluable globally because it is so unique. Tourism is already an important economic factor and can be further developed – on a sustainable basis. Ecotourism in particular is a potential new source of income for the people.

And the country's biodiversity also offers opportunities for research into and the use of medicinal and healing plants. There is also great potential in increasing agricultural productivity. However, efforts to increase economic activity and secure the basis for people's livelihoods need to be harmonised with the conservation and sustainable use of nature and of the remaining rainforest.

Mining, too, can contribute to sustainable development. Madagascar has rich deposits of titanium, nickel, bauxite and graphite. In order to foster sustainable development, it must be ensured that mining does not lead to far-reaching environmental degradation, and the income generated from mining should benefit the population at large. However, risks in the sector are high, including with regard to corruption.

At this point, the social situation – which is partly dramatic –, lack of access to education and healthcare, corruption, and a lack of rule of law are still major impediments to national development.

As at: 12/01/2024