GIZ has been implementing activities in Madagascar on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 1982. A total of 123 Malagasy and 32 German or international experts are currently working there.
Madagascar is one of the world’s largest islands. It is more than one and a half times the size of Germany and is home to a unique wealth of flora and fauna. Its agricultural and extractive sectors offer huge potential.
However, Madagascar is also one of the world’s poorest countries, and progress on reducing poverty since 2000 has been negligible. Its current population of 21 million looks set to double within 30 years. This will exert growing pressure on natural resources and increase the challenges involved in ensuring food security and achieving social and economic development. Development of the country’s democratic institutions and civil society is at an early stage. The activity of the government and administration could also be more transparent and aligned more closely with the rule of law.
Political crises have repeatedly set the country back in its development. In response to the unconstitutional power shift in March 2009, German international cooperation actors suspended all project and programme activities at ministerial level but continued to support the people, working closely with the countries’ municipalities. At the start of 2014 new elections were held in Madagascar. These resulted in Germany resuming talks with the government and in a decision to expand cooperation between the two countries.
Environmental policy, protection and sustainable management of natural resources
Madagascar is one of the countries worst hit by global climate change. It suffers frequent cyclones, which not only destroy harvests, but repeatedly lay waste to the country’s infrastructure.
Natural resources and biodiversity are threatened by serious poverty in rural regions, low agricultural productivity and a rising demand for farmland and fuel wood for the country’s growing population. Under the provisions of an agreement between the Malagasy and German governments, the priority areas of GIZ’s work are therefore environmental policy and the protection and sustainable management of natural resources. Under the German-Malagasy Environmental Programme, for instance, extensive areas have been re-afforested and their sustainable management improved. GIZ is also supporting local self-government in more than 30 municipalities by providing training and helping to draw up land use plans.
Only around five per cent of Madagascar’s rural population has access to electricity. The country’s new energy policy, adopted in September 2015, aims to provide almost three quarters of people with power by 2030. Eighty five per cent of this energy is to be provided from renewable sources. Madagascar has huge potential in the field of renewables, especially hydropower and solar energy. The Ministry of Energy and Hydrocarbons (MEH) is GIZ’s main partner in Madagascar, but the company also collaborates with the national Rural Electrification Agency (ADER), the Board of Electricity Regulation (ORE) and the private sector, which is to play a role in significantly expanding electricity coverage. The aim is to improve the framework conditions for investing in the expansion of coverage using renewable energies. To achieve this, GIZ is providing advice on topics including energy policy and strategy, funding mechanisms, tendering procedures, the legal framework, expansion planning and project development.
Strenghtening the rural population in the south of Madagascar
In the south of Madagascar, climate change is resulting in lower rainfall and more persistent droughts. A project launched in October 2012 aims to help improve the economic situation of the rural people. In close cooperation with this measure, GIZ is also implementing an EU project to develop value chains in the south-east of Madagascar. One aim of this project is to increase castor oil, honey, bean and goat meat yields.
Decentralisation and municipal development
On behalf of BMZ, GIZ is supporting the Malagasy partner authorities with the decentralisation process. For example, the company is providing advice on how to implement national laws for improving the general conditions for municipal administration, and on how the administrations can enhance their services. Another key topic is ensuring a secure funding basis for the municipalities. GIZ is also involved in crisis management in the framework of a partnership with the municipal administration of the capital, Antananarivo. The aim is to protect the population from the impacts of natural disasters.
Cooperation with the private sector
GIZ is working with the private sector within the scope of several programmes to improve the situation of the local population. One cooperation arrangement with Symrise and Unilever aims to reduce the vulnerability of Malagasy vanilla farmers to fluctuating prices and harvest losses. GIZ is also working with Rio Tinto and Titanium to involve small and medium-sized enterprises in mining areas in the value generated by this sector and to promote responsible mining.
Projects and Programmes
Governance and democracy
Environment and climate change
Completed Projects and Programmes
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