Transportation and Telecommunications
Figure 4. Madagascar: Transportation System, 1994
The expansion of the economy is hindered by an
transportation system that deteriorated throughout the
fig. 4). Only 4,000 kilometers (10 percent) of an
40,000-kilometer road network is asphalted (no all-weather
links the capital with the southern and northern extremes
island), and the state-controlled railroad consists of
kilometers of track in two limited (and separate) railroad
systems. The first connects the capital of Antananarivo
port city of Toamasina, the rice-producing area of Lake
and the town of Antsirabe; the second connects the
capital of Fianarantsoa with the coastal town of Manakara.
The country's ports and airports fare better than the
rail network. Madagascar has fifteen major ports along the
kilometer coastline, of which Toamasina, Mahajanga, and
Antsiranana are the most important. The air network
around the main international airport, Ivato-Antananarivo.
country technically contains 211 airfields, but only
approximately 50 percent are usable, and only thirty
permanent-surface runways. Whereas the national airline,
Madagascar, is two-thirds owned by the government (Air
owns the remaining one-third), twelve airports (including
IvatoAntananarivo ) were taken over in 1990 by a private
Aéroports de Madagascar.
In 1994 Madagascar's telecommunication system was
serving only commercial users and residents of large towns
cities. Almost 60 percent of the country's 27,200
located in Antananarivo in 1989. Figures for that year
that the country averaged only three telephones per 1,000
inhabitants, and service was limited to government
companies, and a few wealthy families in urban areas. The
telecommunications system deteriorated appreciably during
1980s so that Madagascar had fewer telephones in 1994 than
1975. Two satellite ground stations near the capital
excellent international links via the International
Telecommunications Satellite Corporation's (Intelsat's)
Ocean satellite and the Symphonie ground station, working
European telecommunications satellite.
Broadcast services are thinly scattered countrywide.
entire country has only seventeen mediumwave amplitude
(AM) radio stations--a powerful transmitter in the capital
sixteen low-power repeaters in other cities. A
AM shortwave station broadcasting in French and Malagasy
frequencies reaches listeners in remote locations and in
neighboring countries. In addition, Radio Nederlands has a
powerful station in western Madagascar that relays Radio
Nederlands's programs throughout Africa and the Indian
shortwave frequencies. Antananarivo and two other cities
have a single frequency modulation (FM) station.
low-power television transmitters broadcast for three and
hours daily in urban areas.
Data as of August 1994