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), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa.
The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), and numerous smaller peripheral islands.
Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantial economic growth, but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class.
As of 2017 The name Madageiscar was first recorded in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted transliteration of the name Mogadishu, the Somali port with which Polo had confused the island. Laurence's Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed on the island and named it São Lourenço.
Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian peninsula around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation.
Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth.
Since 1992, the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo.
To the west of this ridge lies a plateau in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 750 to 1,500 m (2,460 to 4,920 ft) above sea level.Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as the state of Comoros and the French territory of Mayotte to the north west.The nearest mainland state is Mozambique, located to the west.The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar dates to 2000 BC.