Industrial development : is Madagascar cursed by its natural resources ?


Yesterday was held at Chef Avenue Analakely – Antananarivo a forum on industrial development. Organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, topics focused on the role of industry in economical development where quality speakers were invited to share point of view, experiences and more important debated the case of Madagascar. The forum took the Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere’s word to open the forum  « We don’t consume what we produce and  we don’t produce what we consume ».  Convincing malagasy people to  consume the « Made in Madagascar » is still a challenge.


Industrial development : a misunderstood issue

In Madagascar, industrial development has never been a topic of debates for presidential candidates. The economy is a political matter but has been addressed in a blurred vision behind the expression « fight against poverty » ; an abstract model which has lead to nowhere.  However, politizing the economy question is a mandatory step to attain development  for it’s not for nothing we call developed countries  « industrial countries ».  


Which model for Madagascar ?


« Madagascar is the only country in the world to have potential in all sectors of industry tourism, extractives industries, environment … » stated Hyacinthe BEFENO, Advisor of the President of Republic.

 Madagascar is rich, blessed by the Lord … these are sentences usually heard that however countersay the World Bank report, 92 % of malagasy people is poor, 50 % of children undernourished  and famine crisis is enduring in the South. The « Abundance paradox » is blowing the country : 94 % of Malagasy population is classified within the informal sector, a forsaken part of the active population working in a non-manufacturing industry. Madagascar is not producing to respond to its population need.  Other countries like India, China, Mauritius or Germany are producing for Madagascar.

 With too much potential, choosing the right industrial model for Madagascar is a hard task. Will we focus on making the country a reference in tourism or will we focus on mining  economy … ? Such questions pinpoint the high level degree of the need to establish  a long term vision. From 1960 to 2012, the GDP per capita in Madagascar has fallen down from 460 $ to 200$ and we have noticed that each economic revival has been all the time followed by cyclical crisis.  Madagascar relies too much on natural resources which in return prevent it from getting enough.


An absence of Vision

 The Vision should be embraced by all, not foiled or changed by the following regime after each election. Industrial development needs intereventionist policy and the role of government goes beyond the sole fact of faciliting funding access to private companies or improving services public such as energy provision for all.

Finally, developing the industry means investing in people first, the human resources of the industry sector and the future of a Nation. Indeed, population constitutes the foundation of the big industry. Madagascar needs people empowerment through education, profesionnal training, and development of entrepreneurial spirit in youth …  


Published on Saturday, 24 September 2016 13:10