Madagascar's leader seeks to win over donors

2014-03-19 11:03
President Hery Rajaonarimampianina (File: Alexander Joe, AFP)

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina (File: Alexander Joe, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - Madagascar's new president has launched a charm offensive against the world's biggest aid institutions, hoping to revive the support to his impoverished country that was cut off five years ago.

Seeking to end the isolation that followed a 2009 coup that stalled the economy, Hery Rajaonarimampianina's efforts in Washington could mark a turning point for the African nation.

"Madagascar has turred a page through these elections," Rajaonarimampianina told AFP. "I don't need to convince the international community, they're already convinced."

Major donors like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United States and the European Union cut off the flow of aid to the Indian Ocean island after the coup.

That in turn spurred private investors to pull out, aggravating the economic woes of one of the world's poorest countries.

"We have had over the past five years very weak economic and investment activity combined with a deterioration of social indicators," George Tsibouris, head of the IMF mission to the country, told AFP.

According to the World Bank, around 30 000 jobs were directly lost after the 2009 coup. The country was hit especially hard by losing the trade privileges which helped it export to the United States.

Today more than 90% of the population survives on less than two dollars a day, a level almost unparalleled on the globe.

"You have a combination of different crises - an infrastructure crisis, a political crisis and a social crisis - that have converged," said the World Bank's Madagascar mission chief, Haleh Bridi.

 IMF could lead revival

The visit of the new president to Washington is thus crucial, with major donors waiting, as is traditional, for the IMF to give its green light in order to resume aid.

The Fund has already lifted one barrier, officially recognising the new government.

Bridi called recognition "an extremely important step," but Madagascar now need needs a formal IMF program to pave the way for large donors.

Tsibouris said that the IMF could provide direct financial support, policy advice, technical assistance and training. "Everything is now possible, he said.

The IMF has already sent a team quietly to review the economy; there has been no formal IMF evaluation visit since June 2007.

"The fiscal situation has been kept reasonably under control in spite of very intense pressures," according to Tsibouris.

The country has a wealth of assets that could underpin a revival, from mineral resources to the attractions that could still make it a strong tourist destination.

The country's agricultural potential is also under-exploited: only one-third of the arable land is cultivated, according to the World Bank.

While in the United States President Rajaonarimampianina was also planning to meet executives of ExxonMobil and other oil companies, in hopes of attracting their investment.

But the World Bank said these assets are not enough without effective, transparent management. "The problems of governance have been a major brake on local and foreign investment," said Bridi.

Rajaonarimampianina said: "My priority is to restore the rule of law in Madagascar, which will serve underpin sustainable development."

Anti-poverty group Oxfam applauded international reengagement with Madagascar, stressing that new programs should be targeted to help the country's poorest people.

"Too often the decision to cut or restore aid to a country are made without listening or taking into account the needs of the population," said Nicolas Mombrial, chief of Oxfam's office in Washington.

Read more on:    imf  |  oxfam  |  hery rajaonarimampianina  |  madagascar  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

150 refugees drown

39 minutes ago

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 20:17 PM
    Road name: MetroRail
    Due to extensive vandalism on the Central Line a limited Bus Service will operate between Nyanga/Chris Hani and Nyanga/Kapteinsklip - EXPECT DELAYS
  • Wednesday Montague Gardens - 19:58 PM
    Road name: Montague Drive
    ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R99.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.