Madagascar: The Other Independence

Africa after Independence
A Revolution against the Cooperation Agreements
By Françoise Blum

The events of May 1972 in Madagascar revealed the superficiality of the Independence proclaimed in 1960. The ruling party was formed by local elites, while political, social and cultural life in the Great Island was still strongly influenced by French power and its intervention through various cooperation agreements. The higher education system was a case in point. It was in the schools and universities that a nationalist movement had been born, then joined in support by the rest of the population. But the system was characterized by profound social, political and ethnic gaps which divided Malagasy society – gaps which were a legacy of colonial domination. Forms of rebellion and languages of mobilization in 1972 underline the effort to attain a real independence – one freed from all forms of neo-colonialism.


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