Madagascar is a country that occupies a large island of the same name, located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. It is the fourth largest island in the world. Madagascar is famous for pepper, vanilla, and of course the lemurs.

While Madagascar is an island off the coast of Africa, it was originally settled by people from Indonesia. Only later did African and Arab immigrants mix into the population of the island. As a result, Madagascar is a little bit of an oddity when compared to other African nations.

Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, but regained its independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential and National Assembly elections were held, ending 17 years of single-party rule.