Philibert Tsiranana

MADAGASCAR (formerly Malagasy)

Mr. Philibert Tsiranana, President of the Malagasy Republic was born on October 18, 1912 at Anahidrano, in Majunga province. He often recalls how he used to till the soil on his grandfather's piece of land at Majunga, and looked after goats as a child.

He completed his early studies in his native town, and went to France for further studies. After that, he taught in the technical school at Tananarive until 1955.

President Tsiranana at one time was elected to the Provincial Assembly of his own province, to the Representative Assembly of Madagascar, and then to the French National Assembly.

Inspired by the ideas of Christian Socialism - a socialism that led him to achieve noble performances for his people, he founded the Madagascar's Social Democratic Party, and later on became its secretary-general

When he became Vice-President and then President of the Government Council of Madagascar, he fought diligently for the adoption of the Constitution of the 5th Republic in the referendum of 1958.

After he became head of state, and indeed throughout his entire public career, he made it clear that political independence means practically nothing, unless it is followed by rigorous and overall economic freedom.

His entire life has been dedicated to the task of making his countrymen happy and duty minded.

He is always active, full of life and vigor. He rises at dawn and goes to bed after mid-night. Many observers believe that under his careful but strict leadership, his countrymen are achieving tremendous progress in many respects.

He attaches great importance to socialism so much so that many of his people are now convinced that under this system, the hopes for greatness to Malagasy will not be distant. He often tours the country, speaks to the people, listens attentively to their problems, and in turn, reassures them that the day when their country will be one of the finest in Africa, is not far; that they must not sacrifice the luxury of political freedom to the degeneration of economic slavery; that they in turn should not ask what "Malagasy will do for them", but what "they will do for the young republic"; that they should not abuse and pay lip-service to their citizenship, but prove it by concrete results, such as hard work, intelligence, dedication and commitments of the mind, that can bring lasting rewards to all.