Rindra Hasimbelo Rabarinirinarison, the distinguished Minister of Economy and Finance of Madagascar, recently engaged with the African Leadership Magazine team in a captivating interview. Her insights shed light on effective leadership strategies and the remarkable strides achieved under her stewardship. Recognised as the 2023 African Minister of the Year, Minister Rabarinirinarison outlined the strategies and initiatives driving Madagascar’s economic growth, recovery, and advancement, as highlighted below.
Economic Drivers in 2023
Minister Rabarinirinarison highlighted key factors set to maintain Madagascar’s economic growth at a stable 4.0 percent in 2023. The forthcoming Indian Ocean Islands Games in August are anticipated to boost the tourism industry, propelling expansion across transportation, accommodation, and entertainment sectors. Additionally, progressive mining legislation and relaxed restrictions on gold exports aim to cater to the rising global demand for minerals essential to battery production. Investments in agriculture and agro-industry seek to attain food self-sufficiency, offering cost-effective alternatives to imports.
Economic Resilience and Climate Disaster Mitigation
Addressing climate-related challenges, Minister Rabarinirinarison prioritised disaster and risk management (DRM) and resilience development. Measures such as establishing a contingency fund, forging alliances with international bodies, and instituting insurance programmes aim to alleviate pressure on public finances. Furthermore, initiatives like the new public investment management framework and the Climate Macroeconomics Assessment Programme underscore the significance of climate-resilient investments.
The World Bank’s Development Policy Operation (DPO)
Minister Rabarinirinarison shared insights into Madagascar’s $100 million Development Policy Operation (DPO) agreement with the World Bank. This initiative seeks to bolster robust and equitable growth, focusing on structural reforms in critical sectors, fiscal stability, and governance. Anticipated to accelerate economic recovery and elevate real GDP growth, the DPO prioritises medium-term objectives.
Agricultural Sector Development
Recognising the pivotal role of Madagascar’s agriculture sector, which employs 80 percent of the workforce and contributes over 25 percent to the GDP, Minister Rabarinirinarison underscored strategic policies. These encompass investments in climate-resilient crop varieties, facilitating land access for productive agricultural activities, and allocating 10% of the budget to agriculture, livestock, and fisheries.
Encouraging Industrialization and Mining Opportunities
The Minister highlighted the “One District, One Factory” (ODOF) programme, aiming to establish factories in each of Madagascar’s 119 districts to promote local production and reduce import dependency. Moreover, transparency, appeal, and competitiveness are enhanced through new investment laws, while underutilised energy resources present investment prospects for structural transformation.
Attraction for Mining Investors
Emphasising Madagascar’s significant reserves of vital minerals and “rare earths,” Minister Rabarinirinarisonencouraged potential investors to explore opportunities in the country. The revamped mining regulations and participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative bolster investment attractiveness and transparency.
Addressing Africa’s Debt Profile
In addressing Africa’s burgeoning debt, the minister stressed the importance of structural adjustments, prudent fiscal measures, and international support. To achieve developmental goals, she advocated for additional concessional finance, innovative mechanisms, and debt restructuring for nations facing financial challenges.
Recognition for Excellence and Developmental Dedication
Acknowledging the honour of being named African Minister of the Year, Minister Rabarinirinarison expressed immense pride and a renewed commitment to Madagascar and the entire African continent. Her dedication to cooperation and partnerships for shared development signifies her unwavering focus on driving sustainable growth and amplifying Africa’s global influence.
Minister Rabarinirinarison’s interview provides a comprehensive insight into Madagascar’s economic landscape, showcasing innovative leadership, calculated strategies, and a commitment to sustainable growth. Under her guidance, Madagascar strides towards resilience and progress, poised for a promising future.