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Madagascar: Glossary
Country Study > Glossary


CFA - Communauté Financière d'Afrique (African Financial Community). The CFA covers those African countries whose currencies are linked with the French Franc at a fixed rate of exchange.

Comoran franc (CF) - One Comoran franc = 100 centimes; in June 1995 US$1.00 = CF363.98.

crown colony - A colony of the British Commonwealth over which the crown maintains some control, as through appointment of the governor.

European Community (EC) - See European Union.

European Currency Unit (ECU) - Standard currency unit of the European Union; in April 1995 ECU1 = US$0.75.

European Union (EU) - Formerly the European Community, it was established by the Maastricht Treaty of December 1991 to expand European cooperation from economic and commercial into monetary, security and judicial matters. It officially came into being at the end of 1993.

exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - A wide belt of sea and seabed adjacent to the national boundaries where the state claims preferential fishing rights and control over the exploitation of mineral and other natural resources. Madagascar claims a 150-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles, and Maldives all claim 200 nautical miles. Boundary situations with neighboring states sometimes prevent the extension of the exclusive economic zones to the full limits claimed.

fiscal year (FY) - Same as the calendar year for all except Mauritius, in which it runs from July 1 to June 30.

Franc Zone - A monetary union among countries whose currencies are linked to the French franc. Members are France and its overseas appendages and fourteen African countries, including Comoros.

gross domestic product (GDP) - A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only output values of goods for final consumption and intermediate production are assumed to be included in the final prices. GDP is sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that indirect taxes and subsidies have been eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The word "gross" indicates that deductions for depreciation of physical assets have not been made. See also gross national product.

gross national product (GNP) - Gross domestic product (qv) plus the net income or loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries. GNP is the broadest measurement of the output of goods and services by an economy. It can be calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost, removing indirect taxes and subsidies.

import substitution - The replacement of imports by domestically produced goods, often supported by tariffs or import quotas, and motivated by foreign exchange considerations.

International Development Association (IDA) - See World Bank.

International Finance Corporation (IFC) - See World Bank.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Established along with the World Bank (qv) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members (including industrialized and developing countries) when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing countries.

Lomé Convention - The first Lomé Convention (Lomé I) came into force in 1976, Lomé II came into effect in 1981, and Lomé III came into force in 1985; Lomé IV came into effect in 1990. The convention covers economic relations between the members of the European Economic Community (EEC) and their former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific (ACP). The convention allows most ACP exports to enter the EEC duty-free or at special rates and, among other things, provides funds through the Stabex system (qv) to offset adverse fluctuations in the prices of ACP exports.

London Club - An informal group of commercial banks that come together to negotiate a debt rescheduling agreement with a country. The group has two committees, an economics committee that develops economic data projections and a negotiating committee. Committee members usually come from the five principal banks that hold the largest amounts of a country's debt.

Malagasy franc (FMG) - 1 Malagasy franc (franc malgache-FMG) = 100 centimes; in May 1995 US$1.00 = FMG4,236.9.

Mauritian rupee (MauR) - 1 Mauritian rupee = 100 cents; in August 1995 US$1.00 = MauR14.43.

parastatal - A semi-autonomous, quasi-qovernmental, state-owned enterprise.

Paris Club - The informal name for a consortium of Western creditor countries (Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States) that have made loans or guaranteed export credits to developing nations and that meet in Paris to discuss borrowers' ability to repay debts. Paris Club deliberations often result in the tendering of emergency loans to countries in economic difficulty or in the rescheduling of debts. Formed in October 1962, the organization has no formal or institutional existence. Its secretariat is run by the French treasury. It has a close relationship with the International Monetary Fund (qv), to which all of its members except Switzerland belong, as well as with the World Bank (qv) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Paris Club is also known as the Group of Ten (G-10).

rufiyaa (Rf) - Maldives currency; 1 rufiyaa = 100 laari; in June 1995 US$1.00 = Rf11.77.

Seychelles rupee (SRe) - 1 Seychelles rupee = 100 cents; in August 1995 US$1.00 = SRe4.25.

Shia (from Shiat Ali, the Party or Ali) - A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam. The Shia supported the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive right to the caliphate and leadership of the Muslim community, and on this issue they divided from the Sunni (qv) in the major schism within Islam. Later schisms have produced further divisions among the Shia over the identity and number of imams. Most Shia revere Twelve Imams, the last of whom is believed to be hidden from view.

South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) - Comprises the seven nations of South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; founded as South Asia Regional Cooperation (SARC) organization at a meeting of foreign ministers in New Delhi on August 1-2, 1983; a second organizational meeting of foreign ministers was held in Thimphu in May 1985; inaugural meeting of heads of state and government in Dhaka on December 7-8, 1985. The goal is to effect economic, technical, and cultural cooperation and to provide a forum for discussions of South Asia political problems.

special drawing rights (SDRs) - Monetary units of the International Monetary Fund (qv) based on a basket of international currencies including the United States dollar, the German deutsche mark, the Japanese yen, the British pound sterling, and the French franc.

Stabex system - A system of export earnings stabilization set up by the European Community (EC) in accordance with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states. Under the system, the EC helps developing countries withstand fluctuations in the price of their agricultural products by paying compensation for lost export earnings.

Sunni - The larger of the two great divisions of Islam. The Sunni, who rejected the claims of Ali's line, believe that they are the true followers of the sunna, the guide to proper behavior set forth by Muhammad's personal deeds and utterances. See also Shia.

World Bank - Informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance specifically designed to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in the less developed countries. The MIGA, founded in 1988, insures private foreign investment in developing countries against various noncommercial risks. The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The four institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (IMF -- qv).

Last Updated: August 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Madagascar was first published in 1994. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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