Madagascar: For Business, Madagascar’s Investment Potential Hinges On Key Elections

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Photo: Phil Boyle/Twitter
The close of polling stations in the Madagascan elections shows 36 numbers on the blackboard in Mahjanga, one for each candidate.

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The results of the election, in which three former presidents – Hery Rajaonarimampianina, Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana – are the favourites, must be accepted and seen as legitimate to prevent further political instability.

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Eyes were on Madagascar as it held its first round of presidential elections on 7 November. Not many eyes, though. Madagascar’s geographic seclusion has kept it from the top of most people’s lists when covering African countries. But the ‘Big Island’ boasts an impressive array of natural resources – including chromite, bauxite, semi-precious stones and oil. The state-owned oil company, Office des Mines Nationales et des Industries Stratégiques (OMNIS), just launched its first oil licensing round since 2006.

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The licences are located in off-shore Madagascar next to Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin, in which major international companies have discovered major gas reserves. The opportunities in this area could be equally impressive, but only if there is the stability necessary for companies to make…

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