The Business Year

Hery Rajaonarimampianina

MADAGASCAR - Diplomacy

USD245 Million Recently Invested in Airport Infrastructure

President, Madagascar


Hery Rajaonarimampianina grew up in the Malagasy capital Antananarivo, and graduated with an MBA from the Etablissement d’Enseignement Supérieur de Droit d’Economie, de Gestion et de Sciences Sociales (EESDEGS) — Université d’Ankatso Antananarivo in 1982. After this he moved to Canada to earn a postgraduate diploma (DEA) in accounting science in 1986. In 1991 he began working as a studies director at the National Institute for Business Administration and Accounting Science (INSCAE) and as a teaching assistant at Antananarivo University. In 1995 he set up Auditeurs Associes — C.G.A, and went on in 2003 to become President of the Ordre des Experts Comptables et Commissaires aux Comptes de Madagascar and Vice-President of the Conseil Supérieur de la Comptabilité. He has been President of Madagascar since 2014. Prior to his current position he served as Minister of Finance for four years.

"Energy is an important issue on the international agenda today, even more so due to climate change."

What initiatives and sectors are currently at the top of your administration’s priority list?

The focus of the UK-Madagascar Trade and Investment Forum was mainly on energy and mining, but those are not the only key sectors. We chose them in particular based on the research carried out on the potential of energy and mining in Madagascar based on the first UK-Madagascar Forum. But agriculture also stands out as an important sector for us, and we have identified many opportunities in agro-business. Similarly, eco-tourism also offers many opportunities for growth, and we have designed a special new product in that sector where we believe there is high potential for growth. There is interest in the UK for environmental and biodiversity issues. When you consider that Madagascar possesses truly unique biodiversity, it is clear that the environment coupled with tourism constitutes a rare opportunity for the country in terms of developing its ecotourism sector—not just for Madagascar, but also for the UK. The underlying principle of the partnership between the UK and Madagascar is a win-win. That being said, energy and mining stand out from the other sectors. Energy is an important issue on the international agenda today, even more so due to climate change. There is particular interest in renewable energy. Madagascar is currently going through a transition toward developing more of it. As for mining, it is a diverse and large sector, and Madagascar has all kinds of resources, from precious stones to oil and gas. That is why we have identified energy and mining in particular as the sectors where we see the most opportunities.

You mentioned ecotourism and environment on the one hand, and extractive industries on the other, two industries that don’t always complement each other. How do you strike a balance between extracting mineral resources and protecting biodiversity?

This is the key objective and responsibility of the state; to strike a balance between mining activities and the protection of the environment. This is even more important when you consider that all the mining resources like gold and precious stones are located in the protected areas. Therefore, our primary task has been to create a legal framework for the conservation of protected areas and the overall environment, a legal framework that is already in place.

There has been an investment of USD245 million in two of Madagascar’s international. What do you expect to be the economic impact of these?

Madagascar is a long way from Europe, North America, and Asia. That is why international aviation and air connections are crucial for the country, which is the logic behind our modernization of those two airports in Antananarivo, the capital, and Nosy Be, a tourism hotspot. Airports are the first and last windows into Madagascar; therefore, we want to increase the capacity of these airports to be able to receive and attract a greater flow of tourists and visitors to our country, as well as more investors and scientists. So, a more modern and safer transportation and aviation infrastructure is the first step to achieving this.

Are any of these investments being done through PPP partnerships, and is there an outlook for legislation regarding public-private partnerships in the near future?

We already have the legislation in place for PPPs, and these two airport projects are both PPPs. To start off two major projects like that as PPPs has been a great experience for us, and we want to replicate this in other projects and sectors as well.



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