Relations between the two countries have traditionally been friendly, as attested by the German-Malagasy Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Trade signed in 1883.
The coup in Madagascar in 2009 and the subsequent severe political and economic crisis that endured until 2013 resulted in the temporary suspension of development cooperation, which had traditionally played a key role in bilateral relations. Development cooperation was resumed in 2014 and now focuses on environmental protection and the preservation of Madagascar’s biodiversity, renewable energy and agricultural production. Germany also supports Madagascar in the fields of decentralisation and fighting corruption, and provides humanitarian assistance above all in the south.
Germany is the third-largest bilateral donor and the biggest donor in the environmental sector. In addition, Germany contributes to development in the country through European Union and UN programmes.
Madagascar is interested in increased activity by international investors and is also keen to enhance economic relations with Germany. Germany is currently one of the largest markets for products from Madagascar, the focus here being on agricultural products. Germany likewise exports products to Madagascar, but on a smaller scale.
Cultural relations with Madagascar are nurtured by the work of the Goethe-Zentrum – the Cercle Germano-Malagasy (CGM) and through academic exchange (German Academic Exchange Service, the Charité hospital and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine). The CGM promotes the German language by offering a large number of German courses and German language exams. It has for decades been the organiser of a wide range of events and a recognised and highly regarded institution in the cultural life of the capital Antananarivo.