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« Economic history of Madagascar from 1960 to nowadays: lessons from the past for the future »

December 08th, 2017

FTHM Consulting has held a press conference on 2017 December 8th at Ibis Ankorondrano on the special edition (no.78) of the MCI review which related the economic conferences during FTHM expo. Held from 2016 October 24th to 30th at the Alliance Française d’Antananarivo, these conferences were centered on Madagascar’s economic history since the independence period.

The press conference was attended by professionals and research professors from the private and public sectors, and by sponsors who contributed to the organization of the events. Co-organized by FTHM Consulting and the Economics Department of the DEGS Faculty of the Université d’Antananarivo, these public conferences and round tables have been described as successful, with more than 4500 visitors for the Exhibition and more than a hundred participants at each daily conference. This press conference was the opportunity to present the special issue no.78 of the MCI legal review which recounts the related articles, and to announce the new edition planned for October 2018, still in synergy between the Economics department of the DEGS Faculty and FTHM Consulting. The speakers were Thierry RAJAONA, Managing Partner of FTHM, Dr. Fano ANDRIAMAHEFAZAFY, Head of the Economics Department at DEGS, and Raphaël JAKOBA, Publication Director of MCI.

From the 1960s postcolonial policies to 21st century sustainable development goals, Madagascar has gone through major social and politico-economic upheavals. Building on the country Economic history analysis, the conclusion is that these changes and structural transitions raise two popular approaches: a nationalist one, in the words of Aina RAZAFIARISON, and another one of cultural import. The two current models mean that “Malagasy people themselves conceive their project of society and carry it with who they have elected while realizing it in perpetuity” (Raphael JAKOBA) along with the prevalence of populism in the political field and the absence of any real political idea in the election programs. With this apprehension, social movements succeeded one another from republic to republic and cyclic crises did not cease through the years.

In a currently poor and economically deficit country, 60% of the Malagasy live from breeding and 80% are farmers. This explains the short development initiatives through the third and fourth republics via decentralization, product diversification, and rural development: public security, opening up, rural financing, commercialization, and agricultural education and training. This way, a sustainable development would be essentially promoted by agriculture. Economic growth through efficient agricultural production benefits not only Madagascar but also neighboring countries and trading partners, and in this case, the "survival of humanity", as advocated by Domoina RAMANANTSEHENO in his article entitled "History of development of the agricultural sector in Madagascar since 1960 ". Furthermore, the modernization of the agricultural world has always been at the heart of national strategies and policies, but as we can see today, the effectiveness of these policies has not actually been perceived.

Another main point of the journal’s articles is the financial system. By claiming that the Malagasy financial system can very well be a lever for economic development, Holimalala RANDRIAMANAMPISOA denounces its excessive centralization. Indeed, with a dynamic banking system, the flexible exchange rate regime, justified by the economic, financial and geographical conditions of the country, presents both structural and economic opportunities. With greater flexibility compared to other financial regimes, greater independence of the Central Bank, it offers less risk for state bodies. Withal, "no exchange regime is suitable for any country at any time" (FRANKEL J., 1999) and that the economic cycle of Madagascar was very different from that of its economic and commercial partners. Moreover, this financial regime has a significant impact on the service sector, which is gradually taking off. Since crises affect the functioning of the services market as well as that of any other sector, the specificity of this sector in particular is that it, in point of fact, supports the development of other sectors by influencing the expansion of agriculture, industry, and Sustainable Development as a whole.

In brief, the vision is clear for all three participants as well as for the authors of the articles: the development of the country requires multi-disciplinary analyzes of key areas and sectors leading to viable economic growth. The analysis of economic history, and therefore a retrospective analysis, is a pillar for forging a committed and responsible citizen. The issues discussed during the press conference were able to highlight the importance for the Malagasy to know the past and the stake of the commitment of any entity in this responsible and integrated process. The scope of such an event fits, in a global way, in civic education and higher education. This special issue covered a wide range of topics ranging from monetary policy to the development of the agricultural sector, from the evolution of the industrial sector to the importance of services in the Malagasy economy, and then, the evolution of development economic policies. Aimed at economic and political decision-makers as well as students and technical and financial partners, the purpose of this review is to provoke reflections on Madagascar's future economic policies in order to better shape the future.

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