Antananarivo is the capital and most populous city of Madagascar. As of 2013, the city had a population of 1,300,000 with the Merina people being the major ethnic group living in the city. The city also hosts 18 Malagasy groups and immigrant communities from other parts of the world. It is the nerve center of Madagascar and is the political, educational, financial, and cultural hub of the country.
Where Is The Capital Of Madagascar Located?
Antananarivo is based in central Madagascar’s highland region. The city is located about 1,280 m above sea level.
How And When Did Antananarivo Become The Capital Of Madagascar?
Even before the colonial rule established itself in Madagascar, the city of Antananarivo was already flourishing. According to accounts, the city was founded in either 1610 or 1625 by the Merina king Andrianjaka who built a fortified royal dwelling at the site. Future Merina kings built their palaces in the city and constructed an agricultural system of irrigated paddy fields around the city that continue to operate even today. The city rapidly expanded after World War II. The second phase of growth happened post-independence, after 1960, when Madagascar attained independence. It then became the capital city of Madagascar.
Climate Of Antananarivo
The capital city of Madagascar experiences warm, rainy summers, and mild, dry winters. The period between November to April is the rainiest period of the year. The higher areas occasionally experience frost in winter.
The Demographics Of The Capital City Of Madagascar
Antananarivo houses nearly 10% of the country’s population. Believing they would find better living opportunities in the big city, many people migrate from the rural locations to Antananarivo. The city hosts various ethnic communities and is associated with a cosmopolitan aspect. The rapid population growth of Antananarivo in recent years has triggered a shortage of space, infrastructure, and employment in the city that has encouraged the development of high levels of poverty and unemployment, crime, and poor health conditions.
The Economy Of Antananarivo
The capital city of Madagascar is the biggest hub of industrial activity in the country. Antananarivo has the most developed infrastructural facilities in the country to support industrial growth. Most of the country’s industries are based in or around the city. The major industries operating in Antananarivo include processing of tobacco and food, leather and soap manufacture, brewing, textiles, etc. Key businesses are located here. However, despite the role of the city as an industrial and financial center of the country, the residents of Antananarivo suffer greatly from unemployment and poverty. The lack of sufficient employment opportunities, well-planned development programs, and the rapidly multiplying population all act as factors that reduce the quality of life of the people of Madagascar’s capital city.
How To Reach Antananarivo?
The Ivato International Airport is the most important airport in the country that is located about 15 km away from the city center. Soarano hosts the main railway station of the city that connects Antananarivo to other parts of the country. A fleet of private and government minibuses run on designated routes in the city but are often criticized for failing to meet safety and air quality standards. A large section of the city’s residents prefers to travel on foot for their daily activities and work. Licensed and unlicensed taxis are also available with the newest vehicles congregating near tourist locations.