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 relations. Development cooperation was resumed in 2014 and now focuses on environmental protection (preservation of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity), energy and agriculture. Germany is the third-largest bilateral donor and the biggest donor in the environmental sector. Germany also supports Madagascar in the fields of decentralisation and anti-corruption and additionally provides humanitarian assistance to help alleviate the famine in the south.
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) – whilst also being maintained through academic contacts. 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 in the capital Antananarivo.