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What is the Malagasy ariary (MGA)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.


In 2010 the total GDP was $8,720,543,553 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $420. It grew by 1.57% over the previous year.


The latest unemployment rate for 2005 is 2.60%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 158.85.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Prime Minister Omer Beriziky, and the head of state is President Andry Rajoelina (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The Malagasy ariary is the official currency of Madagascar. The ISO code for the Malagasy ariary is MGA. The ariary is only one of two circulating currencies in the world with division units not based on a power of ten, but instead each ariary consists of five iraimbilanja. On January 1, 2005 the ariary replaced the previous currency, the Malagasy franc. One Malagasy franc was valued at 0.2 ariarys (one iraimbilanja). The banknotes show how many francs they are worth, however it has not been done for the coins.

Sovereign Ratings for Madagascar

Madagascar is not rated.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

The republic of Madagascar is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The executive branch consists of a president, prime minister, and a cabinet called the Council of Ministers. The president serves a five-year term and is elected by popular vote. The president appoints the prime minister and the Council of Ministers. The legislative branch is composed of a bicameral National Assembly with 160 seats. The members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. There is also a Senate with 100 seats. Two-thirds of the seats are members of regional assemblies who are elected by popular vote while the other one- third of the seats is appointed by the president. All of the 100 members serve a four-year term. The judicial branch is comprised of a Supreme Court and a High Constitutional Court.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State President Andry RAJOELINA (since 18 March 2009) Head of Government Prime Minister Albert Camille VITAL (since 18 December 2009) Cabinet Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister Elections president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 December 2006 (next to be held in October 2010); prime minister appointed by the president Election Results percent of vote – Marc RAVALOMANANA 54.8%, Jean LAHINIRIKO 11.7%, Roland RATSIRAKA 10.1%, Herizo RAZAFIMAHALEO 9.1%, Norbert RATSIRAHONANA 4.2%, Ny Hasina ANDRIAMANJATO 4.2%, Elia RAVELOMANANTSOA 2.6%, Pety RAKOTONIAINA 1.7%, other 1.6%; note – RAVALOMANANA stepped down on 17 March 2009 note:: on 17 March 2009, democratically elected President Marc RAVALOMANANA stepped down handing the government over to the military, which in turn conferred the presidency on opposition leader and Antananarivo mayor Andry RAJOELINA, who will head the High Transition Authority; a power-sharing agreement reached in August 2009 established a 15-month transition period, concluding in general elections in 2010; as of December 2009 the agreement had not been fully implemented

Key Economic Factors

Although formerly a socialist economy, Madagascar has been following a World Bank and IMF led policy of privatization and liberalization since the mid-1990s. Since then, the country’s economy has been following a slow and steady growth path from an extremely low level. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing four-fifths of the population. Exports of apparel have boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the United States. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel are serious concerns. President Ravalomanana has worked aggressively to revive the economy following the 2002 political crisis, which triggered a 12% drop in GDP that year. Poverty reduction and combating corruption will be the centerpieces of economic policy for the next few years.

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