Speech by Mrs Rafaramalala Florenz Isabelle, sp. Ratsimba, Chargé d’Affaires a.i.

Excellencies,

Dear compatriots, Dear Consuls,

Honorable guests, (dear Children),

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for honoring this invitation to celebrate together the 59th anniversary of the return of the independence of Madagascar. Today, I have set myself the challenge to deliver my speech in German.

Why and what for?

1)      This day is a celebrating day for the entire Malagasy population, thank you for being with us. I should then deliver my speech, at least part of it, in Malagasy but among compatriots here in Germany, I am perhaps the last in the list not to speak fluently and master German. So instead of delivering my speech in Malagasy, I can endeavor to do it in German.

2)      In order to have a shorter speech, which will be delivered in a rather difficult language.

3)      Madagascar I have the honor to represent, can commit itself to take a new beginning, not wait to be perfect to dare to do better. Please be tolerant because I am more than likely not to pronounce words, sentences correctly, but I will carry on deploying efforts :

  •  In the image of the National (men) football team, Barea, who has shown
    courage and valiance during the first match, whose results give ground
    for hope.
  •  In the image of young people coming here to Germany to be open to the world to seek for better opportunities, who generally do well.
  • In the image of committed people acquitting of their responsibility zealously and honestly, people who usually are behind the scenes, but together we’ll start to reap results, sooner or later; but we must begin and believe in.
  • In the image of dynamic leaders with political will and readiness to learn lessons from the past, from pioneers.
  • In the image of the state reforms and the many reforms that are being undertaken in Madagascar with the coming in power of President Andry Nirina Rajoelina since last January.

What have been done so far and what are planned?

The progress under way to learn and implement democracy following the state of the arts can be translated into deep commitments to deliver. As a reminder, to be elected means to honor a social contract, accountability is the key word.

I will list just a few reforms and commitments in key sectors (IEM) :

  • In the energy sector: to double production of renewable energy within
    five years, to triple access to energy for the population. The visit to Germany of the Minister of Energy, Water and Hydrocarbons allowed talks on this sector, and is promising for deeper cooperation, Madagascar is committed enough to be part of the programme : “Green people’s energy for Africa”.
  • On environment and reforestation, among the top priorities of Madagascar, and a domain in which Germany is a precious supporter. In our ambition to achieve 50 000 HA of trees planned this year, in a decentralized and even at household level, that is encourage each  family, each individual to plant 5 trees per year.
  • On agriculture, 100 000 HA arable land to grow food, so that Madagascar become the agribusiness hub for the Indian Ocean.
  • On mineral sector, in which the natural resources wealth of Madagascar is famous 

worldwide; suspension of membership to EITI has been waived. Moreover, regulatory framework and implementation are being worked out. Indeed, however rich you are, if it is not well-managed, the population cannot benefit from it.

Excellencies, Honourable guests,

Measures are being taken to implement state reforms:

All the reforms that are being undertaken are not totally new by themselves
: the strong political will of implementation for better governance,  to observe financial orthodoxy, to spare means at state level for better deliveries of social and administrative services, to meet the population’s high expectations, to work more efficiently at a decentralized level, to raise funds allocated to Communes and community level authorities, and to ease investments, those are new.

Last but not least, business incentives have always been provided among others, freedom of investment for all nationalities and sectors ; freedom to transfer profits, dividends, wages, savings ; tax incentives on imported materials for renewable energy use.

However, we must not forget that if there are too many incentives, if everyone wishes to pay as less taxes as possible, or not at all, how can the State be run? How can weak States deliver services to their own population?  We must then strike a balance and Madagascar has also a lot to learn from Germany and other countries on tax collection and tax efficiency.

Digitalization has a key role to play on all fields, and new measures to that end are being taken.

Indeed, we are not working alone, I thank in the passage my collaborators for the wonderful job that has been done, for the efficiency, I thank all the Consuls here present or those who could not come for some reason or another.

I thank all the partners of Madagascar in supporting us, especially Germany, on the many fields in which good cooperation could be achieved. The recent meeting of the Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina with the German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel in Geneva on 11th of June, along with two ministerial visits on technical aspects of cooperation, let’s hope many others are to come, gives a new impetus to the cooperation between Germany and Madagascar.

We remain optimistic for the future, optimistic for our next football matches in the framework of the Africa Cup of Nations, why not? Without setting aside the principle: may the best win!

Thank you for your patience and for your kind attention.

Diplomat Magazine