Relations between the two countries have traditionally been friendly. Germany’s then Federal President Horst Köhler visited Madagascar in April 2006. In 2009 a coup plunged Madagascar into a deep political crisis and led to the country’s international isolation. Germany resumed development cooperation in 2015 in the wake of the country’s successful democratic elections.
In late 2016, the German and Malagasy Governments held their first formal talks on development cooperation since 2008. Germany provided Madagascar with a total of 59.6 million euros in 2016. Bilateral cooperation focuses on the environmental sector, the expansion of infrastructure and the fight against poverty. Support is also being given to projects by non-governmental organisations in fields such as disaster preparedness and food security. Humanitarian assistance totalling millions is provided to the country through the implementing organisations the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
In 2017, German imports from Madagascar were worth 229.9 million euros and German exports to Madagascar approximately 42 million euros. Germany’s main imports from Madagascar were agricultural products, clothing, food and animal feeds, and metals. Germany’s main exports to Madagascar were machinery, chemical products, data processing equipment, motor vehicles and vehicle parts.
Madagascar is keen to attract tourists from the German-speaking countries and has been participating in the international travel trade show ITB Berlin since 2003. Germany accounts for only about three percent of the tourists visiting Madagascar. The vast majority come from France.
Madagascar is a partner country of German development cooperation. Germany has traditionally been one of the country’s main cooperation partners. Bilateral cooperation focuses on the sustainable use of natural resources, in particular environmental protection and the preservation of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity. Madagascar National Parks (MNP) is an important partner in setting up and extending the national network of protected areas. Ancillary measures include support for non-governmental institutions, rural grassroots organisations and the private sector.
Following the March 2009 coup, government-level development cooperation was temporarily suspended pending a return to democracy. Since the resumption of development cooperation in 2014, bilateral development cooperation has been significantly extended, especially in the priority areas. Bilateral development cooperation funds totalling 29.6 million euros were made available for the year 2018.
The main German non-governmental organisations active in Madagascar include Welthungerhilfe (formerly German Agro Action), Care Germany, the German Red Cross and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). Since 2006, a microcredit bank (AccèsBanque Madagascar) has been receiving support in the form of German expertise and co-funding.
In 2018, the German Africa Foundation honoured Clovis Razafimalala, the chairman of a Malagasy environmental protection organisation, with the German Africa Award. Razafimalala is an activist who seeks to protect the forests, campaigning against illegal deforestation and the trafficking of rosewood.
Important elements in cultural relations with Madagascar are the work of the Goethe-Zentrum – the Cercle Germano-Malagasy (CGM) – as well as academic contacts in the fields of natural sciences and German studies. With approximately 900 pupils learning German, the CGM helps spread the German language and has for decades been the organiser of a wide range of events and a recognised and highly regarded player in Madagascar’s cultural life – particularly that of the capital city of Antananarivo – and an important complement to the still strong French influence on the country’s culture. Since its establishment, the CGM has been funded from the Federal Foreign Office’s cultural budget. There are a total of some 30,400 pupils learning German at private and public secondary schools. Since 2008, two grammar schools have been partner schools under the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH).
There is an Institute for German Studies at the country’s largest public university, Université d'Antananarivo, for which the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides a lector. The DAAD also awards scholarships, organises internships and assists students entering the labour market.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.