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#278
Madagascar
Keymaster

By the end of the nineteenth century, Madagascar has many more or less important commercial ports (Bulletin of the Committee of Madagascar, 1898).
In the north-west of the Great Island, in Nosy Be, the port is a center Hellville
quite big business. The ships of the company maritime couriers are calling twice a month to go and return. After the passage of mail from France (one), it is also the terminus of the cabotage operations carried out by the small steam mpanjaka serving the West Coast stops and loads the main products of the region.
Many dhows put in Nosy Be relationship with Great land and Comoros. On the coast to Mahajanga, trade is in the hands of Indians who are supplied in English or German goods and Bombay tissues. Two major German trading houses are then installed in Nosy Be, Oswald et Cie House and Ostrafrikanische Deutsch Gesellschaft.
Further south, Mahajanga. Given its position in the Mozambique Channel and thanks to its excellent harbor, Mahajanga is destined to become one of the head ends of the road to Antananarivo and is called to a commercial future. A beautiful pathway, course Betsiboka, allows small vapor reaching Suberbieville (near Maevatanàna) to 200 km inland, for nine months of the year.
From this point in Antananarivo, the path followed by the CEF improved rapidly and the commercial power that existed under the Merina monarchy, between the Boeny and the Central Plateau, soon to resume and increase as the security is restored in the country.
The location of Mahajanga puts the port in easy relations with southern Africa. It is set to become an important outlet for certain products of Madagascar, such as food animals, food, fresh vegetables, peas Cape, etc.
Some vapors owned trading houses (Mantes and Borelli, Oswald)
frequently visit Mahajanga. The city is also stocked with goods dhows that move back and forth with Zanzibar and those taking advantage every year of the northeast monsoon, come directly from Bombay in March. They expect the southwest monsoon in August to join India, responsible for products
Malagasy. These dhows are, in general, buildings of 90 to 120 tons, manned by crews of six to eight men. Twenty five to thirty approach every year in Mahajanga.
smaller dhows also connect Mahajanga and Nosy Be in Zanzibar, Comoros, Morondava and Nosy Be. Similarly, a small steam maritime couriers carried out each month a return trip from Nosy Be Nosy Be, making the connection between this island and the Bay of St. Augustine in the extreme south of Madagascar, with stops in Mahajanga and Maintirano.
South of Cape St. Andrew, in the Melaky region extending to height Barren Islands, one encounters several small ports, the principal, and Tombolarano Maintirano were large deposits of Kaffirs brought by slaves sailing ships from the coast of Africa. Later, four or five dhows continue these trips each year the monsoon December. The occupation of this coast by French troops will end this traffic.
Earth products now replace slaves. The herds of cattle are one of the riches of the region where there is also rubber, ebony wood, wax and peanuts. An American house Boston is once introduced gunpowder and flintlock guns in large quantities. Then the trade is in the hands of the Indians and a few Arabs and Comorians. Only the rubber is embarked on the SS Annex maritime couriers, other products being loaded onto dhows.
After Boeny and Melaky, other smaller ports line the Menabe to the south of Great Island, but their commercial importance is well established.