Andry Nirina Rajoelina, President of the Republic of Madagascar addresses the general debate of the 76th Session of the General Assembly of UN.
Holijoana Raboana: Coordinator Emergence Madagascar, DGPP Special Economic Zones.
Madagascar is in the midst of a transformation, despite the profound upheavals on a global scale. To chart its economic emergence, Madagascar has put in place a green and accelerated growth strategy that is both detailed and innovative.
《 We have been developing the Plan Emergence Madagascar (PEM) since 2019 under the leadership of His Excellency Mr. President of the Republic of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina 》 says Holijaona Raboana, who has overseen each step of the process.
A clear vision, complemented by a strong political will to act for the well-being of all Malagasy. "To emerge on a human, social, economic and environmental level, based on good governance and carried by the use of sustainable technologies", this is the leitmotiv of the Plan Emergence Madagascar.
《 Flagship projects are catalyzed by zones that will capitalize on Madagascar's strategic position. The Special Economic Zones, or as they are now called in the PEM, Zones of Economic Emergence, are growth "pullers". Their impact on the national growth rate is fundamental for a country adopting an accelerated growth strategy. Flagship projects are thus "locomotive" projects that create related projects, such as connecting infrastructures, value chains, strong job creation and so on 》, stresses Holijaona Raboana.
With the launch of the PEM scheduled for 27, 28, 29 October 2022, the "Great Island" is preparing to receive substantial investments, set in motion its sovereign fund and welcome international banks. It intends to ensure its energy sovereignty and convert its potential in strategic resources, particularly to exploit its oil and gas deposits by initiating win-win industrial partnerships in promising sectors.
Energy is one of the pillars of the programme. The President of the Republic of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, reiterated this at the United Nations during its 77th General Assembly: "Energy is the pillar of development. 85% of Malagasy households still use candles and paraffin to light their homes. Despite this, Madagascar is a blessed country because we have water resources for hydraulic dams, a very high rate of sunshine for solar power plants and wind power for wind farms. At a time when many countries are facing energy problems, we need to accelerate the production of renewable energy to achieve self-sufficiency within five years. We plan to double or even triple our production capacity."
Indeed, the installed capacity is 729 MW while a potential of 7800 MW is evaluated by the best experts. The country also plans to exploit its potential in the sectors of the future and is considering becoming one of the top exporters of green energy in Africa. 《 To this end, reforms are underway to encourage green investments by deploying a mix of doubly adaptive and incentive-based technical and financial proposals through, among others, the Economic Emergence Zones. 》advises Holijaona Raboana, for whom green finance is an opportunity to be seized. Overall, the PEM foresees a sustained pace of reform for a more diversified and open economy, strongly linked to global value chains. While some have begun as early as 2019 and are completed, the continuation of these structural reforms will strengthen economic resilience, establish green growth and promote export-oriented industrialisation by fostering regional integration.
Agriculture is the backbone of many emerging economies. Madagascar will be no exception. The sector accounts for about 25% of GDP in low-income countries and more than 80% of the extremely poor live in rural areas.《 We know that in the medium term, public policies that support agricultural growth are at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors. Supporting agripreneurs is a necessary step to enable their businesses and families to get back on their feet. It is with the objective of transforming and creating added value locally that the State has set up the Fihariana and ODOF (One District One Factory) mechanisms,》 analyses an expert from Jeunes Emergence Madagascar, a think tank that has been campaigning for the implementation of such a programme in Madagascar for several years. With 2.6 million hectares of arable land (31% arable area) and a diversified livestock sector (cattle, pigs, goats, poultry and fish), Madagascar can once again become the breadbasket of the region if the Agricultural Emergence Zones are properly implemented.
Madagascar is not only an island with a unique biodiversity and an above-average number of endemic species: the subsoil is full of coveted and unexploited treasures. Gold, precious stones, iron, graphite, thorium, uranium, mica, nickel, graphite, chromite, rare earths, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, oil sands, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and many semi-precious stones, to name but a few. Several international mining companies are already established. In the PEM, the equitable governance of natural resources is of strategic interest. If a Programming Law for the industrial development of the mining sector is in the works, the main objective assigned to the mining sector remains essentially the same. Namely, while ensuring the protection and preservation of the environment, the substantial increase of the share of mining products in the GDP. In this sense, the mining sector must ensure the promotion of an equitable and optimal exploitation of mining resources for sustainable growth and sustained socio-economic development.
The specific objectives of this policy are defined on the basis of seven major challenges: improving governance of the sector, providing Madagascar with an efficient geo-scientific information base and system, providing the country with basic infrastructure, improving the structuring and supervision of the artisanal mining sector, improving the quality of human resources, integrating the mining and petroleum sectors into the national economy as a whole, and transforming the mining sector into a vector for sustainable development. Within the framework of the flagship projects included in the PEM: industrial exploitation of gold deposits, implementation of oil and gas projects on its unexploited blocks (onshore and offshore), exploitation of mining deposits (bauxite, marble, granite, malachite, etc.) through semi-public companies and a strategic role granted to the sovereign wealth fund.
《 It seems that the strategy adopted by Madagascar to finance its green emergence is based on public development aid in the form of grants and loans with very favourable conditions, which it already benefits from for the social sectors, education and health, and more generally for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Secondly, on PPPs and its BOT derivatives (BOO, BOL, BOOT, BTO, DBFO, ROO, ROT, DCMF, etc.) with a marked desire to attract foreign, especially Asian capital, and also through the constitution of a Sovereign Wealth Fund following the promulgation of Law No. 2021-024 and the recent appointment of members of the Board of Directors. Finally, the Green Climate Fund, especially since the commitments in this regard reaffirmed at COP 26. Moreover, as the President of the Republic recalled in New York on 21 September 2022, Madagascar is the fifth African country to have finalized its National Adaptation Plan, which makes it eligible to benefit from it.》estimate an external observer.
Opportunities in the tourism sector will also be presented on 28 October. Holijaona Raboana approaches this meeting with optimism: 《 At the global level, the sector has recovered nearly 60% of its pre-pandemic level and Madagascar, which managed Covid-19 well, notably thanks to the CVO+, was classified as a green zone very early on. This allowed it to lift travel restrictions. It is now time to rethink tourism, its impact for humanity and for the planet, and to aim for eco-luxury projects, smart and sustainable marinas yacht club, and tourist emergence zones on our paradise islands》.