Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sao tome and Principe, Introduction

Officially known as Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe,is a portuguese speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equitorial coast of Africa. It consists of two Islands. Sao tome and Principe , located about 140 kms apart and about 250 and 225 kms. respectively, off the north western coast of Gabon. both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountai range. Sao Tome , the sizable southern island , is situated just north of the equator. It was named in honour of St. Thomas by portugueseexplorerswho happened to arrive at the island on his feast day.
Sao Tome and Principe
Sao Tome and Principe is the second smallest African Country in terms of population( the Seychelles being the smallest). it is the smallest country in the world and is the smallest Portuguese speaking country.
Its rank from the bottom 24th and from the top is 179, with national average per capita income using atlas method (est.2003) is 320 $. In other methods IMF (est.2007),WB (est.2007), and CIA (est.2008) in US dollar is

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cambodia, People's Republic of Kampuchea(1978-1993)

People's Republic of Kampuchea (Vietnamese occupation) : !979-1993
In december, Vietnam announced formation of the Kampuchean United front for national salvation(KUFNS) under Heng Samrin, a former DK division commander.It was composed of Khmer comminists who had remained in Vietnam after 1975 and officials from the eastern sector-like heng samrin and Hun Senwho had fled to vietnam from Cambodia in 1978. In late Dec. 1978 vietnamese forces launched a full invasion of Cambodia, capturing Phnom penhon Jan. 1979driving the remnants of democratic Kampuchea's army westward toward Thailand.
Communist Vietnam installed Heng Samrin as head of Statein the new People' Republic of kampuchea (PRK).
The paris conference reconvened to sign a comprehensive settlement giving the UN full authorityto supervise a ceasefireand prepare the country for free and fair election.
The Cambodian National Assembly ratified an agreement with the UN, on the establishment of a tribunalto try for the atrocities committed by the Khmer Roughe .Donor countries have pledged the $ 43 million international share of the three year tribunal budget, while the Cambodian Govt. share of the budget is $ 13.3 million.
New Year, cambodian

Mosque,Phnom Penh

Monsoon Season in Kampong Speu province
Rice cropping plays an important role in the economy
National high way

Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979)

Immediately after its victory , the CPK ordered the evacuation of all cities and towns, sending the entire urban population into the country side to work as farmers, as the CPK was trying to reshape society into a model that Pol Pot had conceived.
Thousands starved or died of disease during the evacuation and its aftermath. Within the CPK , the paris educated leadership- Pol Pot,Ieng Sary, Nuan Chea, and Son Sen -were in control. A new constitution was adopted in Jan. 1976, establishing Democratic Kampuchea as a Communist People's Republic , and a 250-member assembly of the representativesof the people of Kampuchea (PRA)was selected in March to choose the collective leadership of a state presidium,the chairman of which became the head of state. prince Sihanouk resigned and was practicallyremained under house arrest.Pol pot became the Prime Minister and state presidium was also selected.
Life in democratic Kampuchea was strict and brytal, even crying for dead loved was not allowed. Estimates of the number of deads between 1975-1979 wee not available. Some estimate s gave figures of dead from 1 to 3 million out of a population of 7.3 million in 1975. CIA estimated that 50,000-1,00,000 were executed and 1.2 million died from 1975-1979.
Funan map

Ankor wat
Democratic Kampuchea's relations with Vietnam and Thailand worsened rapidly as a result of border disputes and ideological differences. they established ties with People's Republic of China. the reasons for Chinese support of the CPK was to prevent a pan-Indochina movement and maintain Chinese military supremacy in the region

Cambodia, Post colonial period

Between 1969 and 1973 , US forces bombed and briefly invaded cambodia in an effort to disrupt the Viet Cong and Khmer rouge .Some two million Cambodians were made refugees by the war and fled to Phnom Penh and number of Cambodians killed during the bombing were unknown.The US Seventh Air Force agreed in 1973 they had prevented fall of Phnom Penh by killing 16,000 to 23,000Kher Rouge fighters.
As the war ended , a draft US AID report observed that the country faced famine in 1975, with 75 % of its animals destroyed and that rice planting of the next harvest would have to be done by the hard labour of seriously malnourished people.
The Khmer republic's leadership was plagued by disunity among its members, and it became difficult with 30,000-man army to fight against 2,00,000 men supported by supplies of men and material by north Vietnam. Under the leadership of Pol Pot and Ieng sary the Khmer Rouge forces gradually began to gain strength. On new years day 1975, communist troops launched an offensive and in 117 days of hardest fighting over run the bases. on april 1975, US mission was evacuated within 5 days. This time Kampuchia was heavily influenced and backed by China.
As the Vietnam war progressed, Sihanouk adopted an official policy of neutrality in the cold war. But some of the Cambodiansbegan to take sides and he was ousted in 1970, by a military coup led by prime Minister Gen. Lon Nol and Prince SisowathSirik Matak, while on a trip abroad. From Beijing Sihanouk realigned himself with communist Khmer Rouge rebelswho had been slowly gaining territory in the remote mountain regions and urged his followers to help in overthrowing the pro-United States govt. of Lon Nol, hastening the onset of civil war.
Stupa which houses the skulls of those of those killed atChoeung Ek
The Cham muslims suffered serious purges with as much as half of their population exterminated. The professions, such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers, were also targeted. According to Robert D Kaplan, "eyeglasses were as deadly as the yellow star"as they were seen as signs of intellectuals.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cambodia, Colonial and post Colonial Period

Areas of french colony
Cambodia continued as a protectorate of France from 1863 to 1953, administered as part part of the colony of French Indochina, though occupied by the japanese empire from 1941 to 1945. Cambodia gained Independence from France on Nov. 1953 It became a constitutional monarchy under King Noroom Sihanouk. When french indochina was given Independence , Cambodia lost officil controlover the Mekong deltaas it was awarded to Vietnam. The actual Independence of cambodia came after the geneva conference to settle the dispute in the french-Indochina war.
Neutrality was the central element of cambodian foreign policy during the 1950s and 1960s . By the mid-1960s, parts of Cambodia's eastern provinces were serving as bases for north Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong (NVA/Vforces operating against South vietnam, and the port of Sihanoukville was being used to supply tham.As NVA/VC activity grew , the US and South vietnam became concerned, and in 1969,the US began a series of air raids against NVA/VC base areas inside Cambodia.
Throughout the 960s , domestic politics polarized.Opposition grew within the middle class and among leftists, including Paris educated leaderssuch as Son Sen, Ieng Sary and saloth Sar 9later known as PolPot), who led an insurgencyunder the clandestine Communist Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK).

Cambodia, Pre-Colonoal Period

Over aperiod of 300 years between 900 and 1200AD,The Khmer Kingdom, in a pre-industrial civilisation,created world's most magnificient architectural masterpieces stretching over an area of 15 miles by 5 miles. Ankor Wat portrayed a Hindu cosmology created between 1112 and 1150.Ankor Thom,the capital city builtafter the Cham sack of 1177is surrounded by a 300-foot wide moat. The construction of Ankor Thom coincided with a change from Hindism to Buhism. temples were altered to display images of the Budha, and the Ankor Wat became a Budhist shrine.
The Ankor Wat temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia
During 15th century, Ankor was abononed and the buildings were swallowed up by jungle creating a myth of a hidden lost civilisation.
In 1863, King Norodom, who had been installed by Thailand,sought the the protection of France from the Thai and vietnamee . In 1867 , The king signed a treaty with France . cambodia continued as a protectorste of France from 1863 to 1953.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cambodia (Asia),Introduction

Cambodia, Formerly known as Kampuchea, is a country in south-east Asia.
Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Budhist Khmer Empire, , which ruled most most of the IndochinesePeninsula between the 11th. and 14th centuries. The country bordes Thailandand Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east and south, and Gulf of Thailand to the west. Cambbodia is ominated by the Mekong river.
This is third poorest country in Asia and 23rd. from the poorest of the world with national average per capita income using atlas method (est.2003) is 310 $. Its rank is 183. In other methods, IMF (est.2007), WB (est. 2007),CIA (est. 2008) its rank/ est is

A Khmer army going to war against the Cham, from relief on the Bayon.
The first evidence of an advanced civilisation in present day Cambodia are artificial circular earthworks estimated to be from the ist millenium BC. During the 3rd., 4th., and 5th. centuries,the Indianised statesof Faunan and Chenla coalesced in what is now present day Cambodia and south western Vietnam. These states are assumed by most scholars by to have been Khmer for more than 2,000 years, cambodia absorbedinfluences from China and India, passing them on to other South-east Asian civilisations that are now Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Gambia, Socio-eco-politics

The present boundaries are due to the agreement between UK and France in Paris in 1889 which was completed in 1891.
The Gambia was one of the existing multi-party democracies in AfricaThe peoples Progressive Party (PPP), headed by president Jawara, had dominated for nearly 30 years.
90 % of the people practsed Islamic religion thogh the Govt. did not declared it as a state religion.
Gambians are known for their excelent music and their dancing.
Signs of oldest human habitation
A village
A map of James Islnd and Fort Gambia

The Gambia, Independence Era

The Gambia achieved Independenceon Feb. 1965 as a constitutional monarchy within the commonwealth.Govt. held a referendom to elect President as Head of State but it failed to secure 2/3 majority. but the honesty, civil rights and libertiesshowed by the people of Gambia was remarkable.Queen Elizabeth II remained as head of state till the next referendom held onApril, 1970, following Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, became the pResident as head of state.Until a military coup in July 1994 Jawara was re-elected five times as president.
During this time two events occured that enabled the tiny nation to survive an even prosper. for a decade after independence, the world price for groundnuts increased significantly,raising the country's gnp three times. The second event wasgambia became a tourist spot earning lots of foreign money. In the first coup of 1981 when Jawara was in london, took the help of the military of Senegal to suppress the coup. the two countries then made a treaty Senegalese troops for the protection of both but Gambia withdrew from the confederation in 1989. On a protest of low salaries the soldiers led by a young lieutenant, Yahya Jammeh, who in 1996 held an election and won for both in 2001 and 2006. The next election willbe in 2011.
Gambia accepted a non-permanent seat on the UN security council from 1998 to 1999.
Gambia National Assembly
Arch 22 monument, a memorial of the 1994 coup
mosque in the Gambia

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The gambia, Colonial era

In 16th. century, when Gambia was under the control of Songhai empire , the area began to suffer from continuous invasion and looting by moroccanand portuguese. As the raids continued the empire collapsed and was conquered and claimed by Portugal. In 1588, the claimant to the Portuguese throne ,Antonio sold exclusive trade rights on the Gambian river to English merchants, this grant was confirmed by by letters patent from ueen Elizabeth I. In1618, King James I granted a charter to a British company for trade with the Gambia and the the Gold Coast 9Now Ghana).Between 1651 and 1661 part of gambia became a colony of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Later on settled on James Island, they called Andrews Island and used as a trade base from 1651 until its captureby the English in 1661.

During the late 17th. and throughout the 18th century, England and France constantly struggled for political and commercial supremacy in the regions of the Senegal and Gambia regions. the 1783 treaty of parois gave Great britain possession of the the Gambia, but the french retained a tiny enclave at Albreda on the north bank of the river , which was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1857.
As many as 3 million slaves might have been taken from the region during the three century. The Gambia received its own executive and legislative councils in 1901 and gradually progressed toward self government. In 1906, slavery was abolished by an ordinance.
During WWII , Gambia did a lot to allied powers.
After WWII, and following a general election in Great Britain in 1962, full internal self govt. was granted to Gambia in 1965, Feb.

The Gambia, Introduction

The Gambia, officially known as Republic of Gambia, commonly known as gambia, is the smallest country on mainland of Africa situated on the westcoast. It is a long horizontal strip surrounding the river Gambia and enclosed by senegalto the north,south and east. It has a small coast on the Atlantic Ocean in the west. It is about the same size as that of Tripura, India. Its national average per capita income using atlas method (est.2003) is 310 $ and rank from the bottmis 22nd. and from the top is 183. In the methods of IMF (est.2007), WB (est.2007), CIA (est.2008) rank/gni........rank/gni..............rank/gni
Signs are available of human existence in the GambiaKnown as joa. There are fragments of pottery dated about 5,500 years old.

Ancient Pottery, Gambia
Some ancient people of Europe were in continuous contactwith the west Afrcan region. The first written record about the Gambia is a notationin the writings of Hanno,the carthaginian, in about 470 BC. These links declined the fall of Roman Empire and rise and expansion of Islam from north of Africa.
The modern-day Gambia was once part of the Ghana, Mali and Songhai Empires.the first written recrds came from Arab traders in the 9th. and 10th. centuries ADthe reign of the Mali Empire brought world wide recognitiondue to its enormous wealth, scholarships, and civility. The north Afrcan scholar and traveler Ibn Battuta visited the area and said "the negroes possess some admirable qualities. They are seldom unjust, and have a greater abhorence of injustice than any other people."

The Gambia

Togo, Economy

Togo is a small sub-saharancountry dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture which provides employment for 65 % of the labour force. Cotton, coffee, and Cocoa together generate about 30 % of export earnings. Togo is self sufficient in basic food goods when harvest are normal. In the industrial sector, phosphate mining, whis now a decaying industry ue to the collapse of world phosphate prices,increased foreign competition,and financial problems.
Once togo was regarded as pearl of west Africa for its woderful beach, good market and charming people. Togo was overwhelmed with riots and human rights abuses.

When dictator Gnassinbe died in 2005 and his son took the power many people were killed and many fled away.
Nurses of the Holy Trinity

Monday, May 25, 2009

Togo,as Colony

The surrounding region of Togo was known as "The Slave Coast."
Togo passed a colonial life of 76 years under two European powers. The first part was of Germany. In an 1884 treaty signed at Togoville, Germany declared a protectorate over over a stretch of territory along the coast and gradually extended its control inland. This became the German colony Togoland in 1905. After the German defeat in WWI Togoland was split up between the British and the French under League of Nations mandate after World War I (1918) . After WWII, these mandates became UN trust Territories. The residents of British Togoland voted to jointhe Gold Coast as part of of the new independent nation of Ghana, and French Togoland became an autonomous republic within the French Union. They got their Independence in 1960 under Sylvanus Olympio who was assassinated in a military coup on Jan. 1963 by a group of soldiers under the direction of Sergent Etionno EyademaGnassinbe. Opposition leader Nicolus Grunitzky was appointed president by the Insurrection Committee headed by Emmnuel Bidjolle. But Gnassingbe overthrew Grunitzkty in a bloodless coup and assumed the Presidency, which he held from that day till his sudden death on feb,2005.
Gnassinbe died in 2005, after thirty eight years in power, the longest sitting dictator in Africa.His son Faure Gnassinbe was given the chair of the President by the military for a short period. Faure Gnassingbe under presure step down and called an election when he won two months later. In 2006, the govt. and six political parties signed an agreement for creation of a transitional govt. and Yawovi Agboyibo took office as prime minister. In 2007, parliamentary election were held prticipating the opposition parties after about 20 years and Komlan Mally became the President.

Togo (Africa), Introduction

Togo, officially Togolese Republic, is a country in West Africa bordering Ghana to the west,Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. It extends south to the Gulf of Guineaas a perpendicular line, its height is five times larger than its base. its size is smaller than that of Orissa.
Togo, Birdering red
Its rank from the bottom is 21st. and from the top is 166. Its national average per capita income using atlas method (est. 2003) is 310. In other methods and measurements IMF(est. 2007), Wb (est.2007), CIA (est.2008) is
The voltaic peoples and the Kwa, from along the Volta river, were the earliest known inhabitants. Over the next 200 years, the Ewe people, fromNigeria, followed in the 14th. century and the Ane , from Ghana, in the 18th century. In the 18th. century , the coastal region was occupied by Danish colonists who controlled the slave trade in the region. In the 19th. century Danish had been replaced by germans.The first German connection with Togo was the arrival of missionaries in 1847 to work among the largest trbal group in the region, the Ewe. German traders soon follw, establishing a base at Anecho on the coa. When Bismarck decided to put together an off- the- peg German empire in Afrca, Togo was one of the three places he selected on the west coast.His representative, Gustav nachgal, duly arrived in 1884 to persuade several of the tribalchieftainsto accept the protectionof the German empire. Togo was recognised by the European powers as a German colony.During the next decades German military expeditions won control over the interior. By the end of the centuryit was possible to establish the inland frontiers with Germany's two colonial neighbours, France in 1897 and Great Britain in 1899.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Burkina Faso, After Independence (continued)

Map of Burkina Faso
The national Council for the Revolution, formed by Sankara, contained two small intellectual Marxist-Leninist groups : Sankara,Compaore, Capt. Henry Zongo, and maj. Jean-Baptiste lingani- all leftist military officers- dominated the regime.
Th constitution of june, 1991 was amended to reduce the term of office of the President from 7 to 5 and to be effected during the election of 2005. The sitting President, Compaore, need not appear the election
Children of the 1983-1987 revolution
Large Ceramic Storage Cotainer
Traditional Huts in South east Burkina Faso

Burkina faso, After Independence

The first President of Independent Burkina Faso was Maurice Yameogo, amended the constitution , soon after taking office,to ban opposition poltical parties. His Govt. lasted until 1966,when the first of several military coups placed Lt. Col.Sangoule Lamizanaat the head of a Govt.of senior army officers.Lamizanaremained in power throughthe 1970s, as president of military and then elected Govt.
With the support of unions and civil groups , Col.Saye Zerbo overthrew President Lamizana in 1980. COL. Zerbo also encountered resistance from trade unions and was overthrown two years later by Maj.Dr.Jean Baptisteouedraogoand the council of popular salvationFactional infighting developed between moderates in the CSP and radicals led by Capt. Thomas Sankara, who was appointed Primeminister in Jan. 1983, but was subsequently arrested.Efforts to bring about his release, directed by Capt.Blaise Compaore , resulted another coup led by Sankara and Compaore ion Aug. 1983.
Sankara established the national Revolutionary Committee with himself as President and vowed to mobilize the masses.But the committee's membership remained secret and was dominated by Marxist-leninist military officers. In 1984 , Upper volta changed its name to Burkina Faso ,meaning "the country of honourable people." But many of the strict security and austerity measures taken by Sankara was assassinated in a oup which brought Capt.Blaise Compaore to power in Oct. 1987.Compoare pledged to pursue the goals of the revolution but to "rectify" Sankara'sdeviations from the original aims . In fact , Compoare reversed most of Sankara's policies and combined the leftist party he headed with more centrist parties after the 1989 arrest and execution of two Colonels who had supported Compaore and Governed him up to that point.

Burkina faso, History

From the discovery of scrappers, chisels, and arrowheads It was assumed that Burkina faso was inhabited as early as 12,000 to 5,000 BCE where settlements appeared between 3000 to 2000 BCE with farmers. The use of iron, ceramic and polished stones were developed between 1500 and 1000 BCE and remains of spiritual performances like burials etc. were also found.
Until the end of the 19th. century the history of Burkina Faso was controlled by the empire building Mossiwho were believed to have come from the central and eastern frica sometimes in the 11th. century. For centuries Mossi the Mossi peasants were both farmers and soldiers and Mossi peole were able to defend their religious beliefs and social structures against forcible attempts to convertthem to Islam by Muslims from the north west.
The central part of Burkina Faso were occuppied by a number of Mossi kingoms, the most powerful of which were that of Wagadogo (Ouagadougou) and Yatenga. Probably these kingdoms emerged in the early sixteenth century by heterogeneous set of warriors.
French colony
After a decade of intense rivalry and competition between the English and the French, the Mossi kingdom of Ouagadougou was defeated by French colonial forces and became a French protectorate in 1896. By a French and English convention of 14th June, 1898, the majority of Burkina Faso became a colony of France, though it took about seven years war to complete the process with the local authorirties. In 1904, a larger part of the Volta basin including Senegal and Niger formed French West African colonywith its capital at Bamako.During WWI in 1915 and 1916 the districts in the western part of Burkina Faso and the bordering of eatern Mali staged a armed oppositions to colonial govt. , known as Volta-Bani war. In March,1919, to protect from the recurrence of armed uprising Burkina Faso was restructured in the name of Upper Volta.For internal change of Basic law of france in July,1956, after WWII, a revision of French overseas territories took place and ultimately accorded full independence in 1960.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Burkina faso, Introduction

Burkina Faso, a land locked country in the middle-west of Africa. It is surrounded by six countries, Mali to the north,Niger to the east, benin, Togo, Ghana to the south and Cote D'ivoire to the west. Its size is slightly less than that of Madhyapradesh, India, but its population is four times less than that of Madhya Pradesh.Formerly it was called the Republic of Upper Volta. Formerly, it was named called the Republic of Upper Volta. it was renamed on Aug., 1984, by President Thomas Sankara to mean "the land of upright people". liteally "Burkina" may be translated, "men of integrity" and faso means "father's house."
Its rank and gnp , national average per capita income using atlas method (est. 2003) is 20 th. from bottom and 169th from top.
In other methods, gdp (nominal) per capita, IMF (est. 2007), WB (est.2007), CIA (est. 2008) is :
rank/est..........rank/est..........rank/ est.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

madagascar,The independent Malagasy republic

The independence of Madagascar did not come peacefully.In 1947, the prime Minister of France, Paul Ramadier of Worker's international party, suppressed a revolt, a nationalist uprising,at the cost of 80,000 to 90,000 lives of the Malagasy during a year of bitter fighting.
Landing of the 40th.battalion de Chasseur a Pieds in Majunga, between 5 May and 24th May, 1895.
Poster of the French war in Madagascar
Tsiranana's rule was a continuation of french settlers. Unlike many of France's former colonies, the Malagasy Republic strngly resisted movements towards communism. In 1972, protests against these policies came to a head and Tsirananahad to step own. He handed power to General Gabriel Ramanantsoa of the army and his provisional Govt.This in turn reversed previous policy in favour of closer ties with the Soviet Union. after two changes of hands Lieutenant-commander Didier Ratsiraka came to power in a coup.and was elected as president for a seven year term.Ratsiraka moved further towards socialism,nationalising much of te economy and cutting all ties with France. But as French immigrants left the country , leaving a shortage of skills and technology, a decline in economy of Madagascar occur resulting a change of govt. policies under some presure from the public to turn again to market economy with adoption of a new and a democratic constitution. In a multiparty election Albert zafy came to power defeating Ratsiraka, in 1993. Zafy failed to re-unite the country and suffered impeachment in 1996 followed by a re-election when Didier ratsiraka again came to power. he in, this time, moved to capitalism with the introduction of IMF amd World Bank. Opposition Party began to grow and in an election in 2001, Ravlomanana's I love madagascar party achieved overwhelming victory and suceeded an attempted coup in 2003. Ravalomananaafterr being elected for a second term in 2006 dissolved the National assembly in 2007. In 2009, a violent protests caused ultimately to a seizure of military power.

Madagascar, Colonial period

Beginning in the 1790s, Merina rulers succeded in establishing hegemony over the major part of the island , including the coast, In 1817, the merina ruler and the British governor of Mauritius concluded a treaty abolishing the slave trade,which had been important in Madagascar;'s economy,. In return , the island received british military and financial assistance,. British influence remained strong for several decades , during which the Merina court was converted to Presbyterianism, Congregationalism, and anglicanism.
The british accepted the imposition of a french protectorate over Madagascar in 1885 in return for eventual control over Zanzibar and as part of an overall definition of speres of influence in the area. Absolute French control over Madagascar was established by military forcein 1895-96, and the merina monarchy was abolished.
Malagasy troops fought in France, Morocco, and Syria during World War I . After France fell to the Germans , the vichy government administered Madagascar. British troops occupied the strategic island in 1942 to preclude its seizure by the Japanese. The Free French received the island from the United Kingdom in 1943.
In 1947, the French Govt. suppressed a national uprising after bitter fighting for several years.After passing their overseas Reform Act in 1956 they decided to move peacefully toward independence of Madagascar. It was proclaimed to be an autonomous state within French Community, in Oct. 1958.They were given full independence in June, 1960, after a period of provisional govt.
The first president of Madagascar was Philibert Tsiranana, elected from his party, Social Democratic Party when they got power in 1960.

Madagascar, Immigration

Arab and Bantu Immigration
Madagascar gets it current name from Macro Polo (1254-1324),the venecian explorer, who described an Africanislandof untold wealth called Madeigascar in his memomoirs (1298-!320). Polo heard about the Island , second hand, during his travel in Asia (1271-1295). Most scholars believe that he described Mogadishu, the port located in present day Somalia. Neverthless, Italian cartographers during the Renaissance attached the name Madagascar to the Island.
According to the traditions of some Malagasy peoples, the first bantus and Arabs to settle in Madagascar came as refugees from the civilwars that followed the death of mohammed in 632. Begining in the tenth or eleventh century, Arabic and Zanzibari slave-traders worked their way down the east coast of Africa in their dhows and established settlements on the west coast of Madagascar. The last wave of Arab immigrants came from eastern African colonies. They settled north-west of the island and introduced , for the first time , Islam to Madagascar.
Rise of the Sakalava
The island's chief began to extend their powers through trade with their Indian Ocean neighbours , notably East Africa,the Middle east and Indi. Large chiefdoms began to dominate cosiderable areas of the land.Among these were the Sakalava chiefdomsof the Menabe.According to local tradition, the founders of the sakalavakingdom were Maroserana princes . They quickly subdued the neighbouring princes , starting with the southern ones in the mahafaly area The true founder of the Sakalava dominance was Andiramisara, his son Andriandahifotsy( c 1610-1658)then extended his authority northwards , past the Mangoky river.
The Sakalava rulers of this period are known through the memoirs of Eurpeans such as Robert Drury, James Cook etc.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Madagascar, Introduction

The island of Madagascar, now known as the Malagsy republic, associated with the French community lies 240 miles south-east of Africaacross the mozambique channel. It is fifth largest island in the Worldwith 980 miles long and 360 miles breadth at its widest part.
It is one of the poorest country of the world with national average per capita income using atlas method (est. 2003) is 290 $, its rank from the bottom is 19th. and from the top 169th.
Rank in other methods, GDP (NOMINAL) pper capita, in IMF (est.2007),WB (est.2007), CIA (est.2008) in US $
The recorded history of Madagascar began in the 7th. centurywhen Arabs established tradingposts along the north-west coast of the island.Actually the first human settlers arrived from South-east Asiai.e. Indonesia and Malayasia. This explains the range of malagasy features, which formed the mixtures of Austriasians, Africans, as well as Arab, india and later Europeans. The European contact began in the 1500s when Portuguese Diego Dias found that his sheep was out of the fleet going for India.
In the late 17th.century the french established trading posts along the east coast, from about 1774-1824 it was a favourite haunt for pirates including Americans one of whom brought malagasy rice to South carolina.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mali, a cultural heritage

bamana montaba

A bamana mother

Art of Mali