State reconstruction in Madagascar: an opportune moment for participation of local voices and promotion of intra-Africa trade

SOURCE: Africa Insight
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
DEPARTMENT: African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10823

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Madagascar experienced conflict in 2009 that had a negative impact on its economy and social conditions. The country is currently on a laudable path of reconstructing its state-politically and economically. Economically, the reconstruction provides an opportunity for the implementation of intra-Africa trade. Politically, the reconstruction provides a space for increased participation of local voices. This article is an analysis of the process of reconstructing the Madagascan state and the factors that contributed to the 2009 crisis. The people of Madagascar are mainly involved in agriculture, predominantly the production of rice. The demand for rice in African markets has been increasing steadily, owing to rapid urbanisation on the continent. Investment in the agricultural sector would directly benefit the Malagasy farmers at various levels and contribute exports to African markets. To this end, the article recommends that more emphasis be placed on the promotion of intra-Africa trade, specifically the trade between Madagascar and other countries on the continent, especially in terms of rice production and export. The reconstruction of the Madagascan state is viewed through the lens of a developmental state. The article argues for the increased participation of local voices in this process. In the conclusion, the article considers the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community as platforms through which to encourage and promote intra-Africa trade.