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’ Madagascar operations. 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) under the leadership of current President Andry Rajoelina 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 uphold the electoral process for presidential elections in late 2013. Hery Rajaonarimampianina was elected president and took office in January 2014. Madagascar’s 2018 presidential elections, which Rajoelina won to regain the presidency, were generally determined to be free and fair.
U.S. Assistance to Madagascar
The United States is one of the largest bilateral donors to Madagascar, with a USAID focus on humanitarian assistance, health and education, good governance, and environmental protection. The U.S. also provides maritime security capacity building projects for the Malagasy military. Additionally, Peace Corps volunteers serve in Madagascar.
The United States suspended some assistance after the 2009 coup d’etat until President Rajaonarimampianina was inaugurated in 2014, although the United States continued to provide direct health and food security assistance to the Malagasy people during that time.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S. exports to Madagascar include machinery, vegetable oil, rice and wheat, aircraft, and vehicles. U.S. imports from Madagascar are primarily apparel, vanilla beans, and precious stones/metals. 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. 98.4% of Malagasy goods imported by the United States benefit from reduced tariffs from the African Growth and Opportunity Act or Generalized System of Preferences.
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. Madagascar is also a member of the African Union, Southern African Development Community, International Organization of Francophonie and the Indian Ocean Commission.
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: