Dubai: The Republic of Madagascar celebrated its Expo 2020 Dubai National Day on Thursday, with colourful cultural performances while drawing focus to its enormous investment opportunities and untapped wealth.
Chamarly Jonchelin Andrianjafimananjara, Chargé d’Affaires A-I of the Embassy of Madagascar in Saudi Arabia, said: “Representatives from all over the world are meeting here at Expo 2020 Dubai to connect minds in order to build the future, and it is a great honour for my country to contribute our humble stone to this edifice. My country has opted for the Sustainability District because we are convinced that the improvement of our future depends, above all, on the state of our environment.”
He added: “Madagascar is one of the few countries that still has a lot of untapped wealth, creating various economic opportunities in all sectors. In agriculture, Madagascar has 36 million hectares of fertile land, of which only six per cent is cultivated. Our climate and rainfall are optimal, and our land is fertile. The proof is in the fact that Madagascar’s vanilla has been the world’s leading crop for years.
Madagascar is still preserved from mass tourism but is a reference for lovers of nature and hospitality. Energy, textiles and service sectors are also booming, with legislation that is favourable to investors.
Andrianjafimananjara underlined: “We offer a solution well suited to these times of crises and pandemic: It is Madagascar. Come and discover it, admire all its riches, and invest in this safe and favourable place to bring a lasting solution to the improvement of the future of all humanity.”
Unique ecotourism destination
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of the Office of the Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai welcomed Andrianjafimananjara. Al-Ali said: “As one of the world’s most unique ecotourism destinations, Madagascar invites our visitors to discover a ‘sustainable sanctuary of nature’ within its pavilion, and sheds light on its efforts towards building a synergetic relationship with its environment, and improving education and equality.
“We are proud of the friendly relations that the UAE shares with Madagascar, and strongly believe that Expo 2020 is an exceptional platform for Madagascar to promote its sustainable development and tourism, and to showcase its efforts towards achieving a blue economy,” he added.
Traditional song and dance
Following the speeches were traditional song and dance by Baba Raprosy and ZMG, playing the national instruments of Madagascar — the valiha (a tube zither made from bamboo) and the jejy voatavo (a stick zither with one or two strings) — accompanied by a violin. The rhythmic dancers delighted many onlookers and those from the Madagascar diaspora living in the UAE.
Located in the Sustainability District, Madagascar Pavilion introduces visitors to the plant and animal species on the island, many of which are found nowhere else on the planet, such as lemurs. The pavilion showcases the best of the island’s tourist attractions, and highlights the potential for investors to get involved in one of the world’s most unique destinations.