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.
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. Madagascar recently held its presidential elections which were generally determined to be free and fair. In January 2019, Andry Rajoelina was inaugurated as President.
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.
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.
The U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar is currently Michael Pelletier; 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
CIA World Factbook Madagascar Page
USAID Madagascar Page
History of U.S. Relations With Madagascar
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