- A renewed commitment by the government of Madagascar, under President Marc Ravalomanana, is testimony that African leadership could do exceptionally well in managing the wealth created by their countries' resources.
The recent attraction of massive foreign investments in the mining and oil sectors in Africa's largest island, have influenced even stronger economic growth, estimated at 6.3 percent in 2007 and a greater outlook in Madagascar's wealth.
Though the country remains impoverished, new revenues earnings from the country's resources have had the leadership thinking the unthinkable, in managing not only the current investment flows but to even investing for the future generations. The 'fund for future generations' is one of the priority plans by the government of President Ravalomanana to ensuring that a portion of the expected income from the extraction industry is invested abroad.
Madagascar is also tightening laws to fight both official corruption and economic crimes, with the government seeking amongst others, technical assistance from the International Monetary Fund in helping out for the instruments to be put in place to work. With an independent funding, the government will establish a Finance Intelligence Unit, expected to be in operation in the first quarter of 2008, that will monitor all transactions, financial activities as well as conduct by entities within the national economy. The unit will further participate in international cooperation and networks that combat money laundering.
Transparency is also a yard-stick commitment by the Malagasy administration, having established an all-inclusive - government, private sector, press and civil society – monitoring initiative specifically for the extractive industries, as a way of ensuring transparency in the collection of the mining and petroleum extraction revenues.
Madagascar is currently implementing an action plan supported by the IMF for the year 2007/08 under which specific objectives are targeted at the one side financial budget programming and mid-term expenditure frame work, while on the other, it would improve on policy framework and reforms.
With the current promise of investment flows, the government of Madagascar will also be tabling for enactment, laws aimed at protecting investments as well as boosting investor confidence in the country. The laws expected by mid-2008, will also amongst draw private sector participation in ensuring protection and access to property rights by investment projects regardless of whether or not they are foreign controlled.
For President Marc Ravalomanana, and the Malagasy leadership, economic reforms and the newly found wealth for the country calls for greater participation by all sectors in order to fight poverty and in ensuring a better future for all citizens of Madagascar.
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