U.S. Relations With Madagascar

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 20, 2018


More information about Madagascar is available on the Madagascar Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-MADAGASCAR RELATIONS

Prior to independence in 1960, Madagascar was a French colony, although British missionaries were also very influential in the decades before France overthrew the monarchy in 1895. Relations between the United States and Madagascar began with the establishment of a consulate in the port city of Tamatave in 1867. Relations were strained during the 1970s, when President Ratsiraka expelled the U.S. Ambassador, closed a NASA tracking station, and nationalized two U.S. oil companies. In 1980, relations at the ambassadorial level were restored.

In 2009, Madagascar's democratically elected president was driven from power in a coup that was supported by the military, which ended with the transfer of power to the head of the opposition. The self-proclaimed High Transitional Authority (HAT) ruled Madagascar from 2009 until international pressure led to elections in 2013. During this time Madagascar experienced negative economic growth and diminished government revenues, undermining the political, social, and economic stability of the country. The United States supported international efforts led by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) to ensure that the electoral process was upheld, which began with presidential elections in late 2013. An elected president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, took office in January 2014. An interim government, led by Prime Minister Christian Ntsay, has been in place since June 4, 2018 following the May 25, ruling by the High Constitutional Court (HCC) requiring President Rajaonarimampianina to establish a consensus government.

U.S. Assistance to Madagascar

After the 2009 coup d’etat, the United States suspended direct assistance to or through Madagascar’s governmental authorities as well as all non-humanitarian activities. However, the United States continued to provide assistance in health and food security through nongovernmental organizations, community associations, and other private groups. All sanctions were lifted following the election of President Rajaonarimampianina. The United States is one of the largest bilateral donors to Madagascar, which is a priority country for the President’s Malaria Initiative. Additionally, 154 Peace Corps Volunteers serve in Madagascar.

Bilateral Economic Relations

U.S. exports to Madagascar include machinery, vegetable oil, rice and wheat, aircraft, and vehicles. U.S. imports from Madagascar include apparel, vanilla beans, precious stones/metals, and perfumes/cosmetics. The United States has signed a trade and investment framework agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, of which Madagascar is a member. Madagascar’s eligibility for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was reinstated in January 2015. (After the 2009 coup, because the de facto regime failed to meet the necessary economic and political governance criteria, Madagascar had lost its eligibility.)

Madagascar's Membership in International Organizations

Madagascar and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar is currently vacant; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Madagascar maintains an embassy in the United States at 2374 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-265-5525).

More information about Madagascar is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Madagascar Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Madagascar Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Madagascar Page
History of U.S. Relations With Madagascar
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Madagascar
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel Information