Definition of Youth

According to Madagascar’s 2004 youth policy, youth is defined as aged 14-35 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • --
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • --
  • --

  • No data for opposite sex marriage with parental consent. No specific law for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts are legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Majority Age


Source: Manby (2010)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 65.36% Male (15-24) %
  • 64.78% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 30.78%Male %
  • 31.08% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 33.20% Male (13-15) %
  • 14.30% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth policy of Madagascar is from 2004. A review has begun in December 2012.

The goal of the national youth policy (2004) is to create a new vision of youth based in pluralism, openness, unity and social cohesion. To reach this goal, some objectives include: ensuring young people take charge of their own development; preventing exploitation and exclusion; promoting ethical and moral behaviour, and; engaging youth in advocacy in issues such as HIV/AIDS and corruption. It is a multi-sectoral policy involving the areas of health, food, education, employment, migration and integration.   In 2012, the Ministry of Youth and Recreation (MJL), which is responsible for monitoring & evaluation, launched a review of the policy. As described in a press release on 5 February 2014, the review is not yet complete, and an updated policy is a major objective for 2014.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth and Recreation’s goal is to provide youth with opportunities that will contribute to their development and well-being, helping them cope with globalisation while maintaining Malagasy values and culture. Its main areas of programming include socio-economic integration of young people, promoting citizenship, and developing of recreational facilities and activities for young people. According to the national youth policy, the Ministry is responsible for the monitoring of the policy, supported by an inter-ministerial committee of which it is chair.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
Decree No. 2006-728 describes the establishment and organisation of youth councils at national, regional and municipal levels. They are under the supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Recreation and the Ministry of Finance and Budget. Responsibilities include advising on youth issues and mediating disputes within youth movements.   It is unclear if there is a national youth council as there is no online presence, unlike other councils such as the municipal councils of Antananarivo (CCJA) and Nosy Be, which was also featured in a 22 May 2013 press release of the Ministry.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
No documentation could be found online on youth spending in Madagascar. According to the World Bank, Madagascar spent 21.07% of its government expenditure and 2.72% of its GDP on education provision in 2012.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From Youth at a Crossroad: Emergency Youth Assessment on the Socio-Political Crisis in Madagascar and its Consequences (2009):  
More than 12,800 youth and children took part in one of the largest emergency youth participatory assessments conducted in the immediate aftermath of political and civil unrest. Different techniques and approaches were simultaneously adopted, ranging from photo documentaries, focus group discussions, interactive recreational and psychological interventions in primary and secondary schools, one to one interviews and case studies, individual interviews with hospitalised youth injured during the political unrest, focus group discussions with street children and homeless youth in Antananarivo and open ended questions with youth in prison or recently released from police custody. [...]
There is a general perception among youth that the political crisis is simply the culmination of months of financial crisis and increased daily hardships. The youth feel that what is happening now in Madagascar, will have an immediate and long-term negative impact on their lives and future options. The impact on household socio-economic status and security has been strongly felt. Youth reveal a decrease in their household’s available income, the capacity to access basic needs, loss of employment, a decrease in school attendance and performance, alongside an increased climate of insecurity and a threat of danger for people and their properties. [...]
Youth report a general fear of divisions at community level and informed facilitators of a rapid deterioration of traditional protection and coping mechanisms. Traditional wisdom appears to have disappeared; the mediating role of the elderly seems insufficient or incapable of facing the magnitude of the problem. Solutions are now reportedly to be found through violence, riots and the use of force. Differences in political opinions are supporting the break down of traditional community unity. This appears to be a mainly urban phenomenon, compounded by difficulties in accessing basic quality services. [...]
Sadness arises out of friends having disappeared, being put in prison, wounded or killed. Images transmitted by the media have also instilled a sense of fear and anger in seeing the nation fall apart. Faced with this situation, the youth have mixed feelings; those of being powerless versus hopes of contributing towards change. Young people feel sad and in some cases powerless, as they perceive the problems around them as too overwhelming to be solved.
They feel isolated and unable to seek help because they no longer trust those who are offering assistance. On the other hand, they reveal that recent events ‘made them grow up’ and are now of the opinion that they can stand up for what they believe in, by any means possible. [...]
Youth report a progressive increase in the use of violence among young people themselves, and a rise in street gangs to ‘regulate’ life within and between their neighbourhoods. These street gangs are, in some cases, linked to ‘powerful patrons’ that provide protection and easy enrolment in organised crime. Young people also report increased pressure from peers to join organised gangs and to ‘hang around’ with them. They have also noticed an increase of ‘natural aggression’ towards neighbours. Areas within communities that previously felt safe and secure have become places to be avoided at any time of the day.