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The southwest coast in general, abandoned to itself for too long years, seems to attract the attention of investors from May 1951. Indeed, Madagascar High Commissioner Robert Bargues’ tour of the Morondava Autonomous Region gives a boost and a good economic outlook to the region.
In the multiple receptions and traditional kabary that a displacement
Many issues of local interest are raised (medical posts, hospitals, schools, water projects, etc.). Their importance is far from being negligible and Robert Bargues does not fail to listen to his interlocutors with attention and to enlighten them with his advice, even to promise his support. He explains in particular the principle of municipal or provincial borrowing with the Caisse centrale de la France d’Outremer and declares that “a credit policy is nowadays essential to any community that wants to progress”.
Above all, he insists on the enormous economic possibilities of this country, which can become, thanks to an investment policy, “the true granary of Madagascar. The Mahabo plain and the Morondava estuary already produce and will produce more abundantly – thanks to a bold policy of agricultural hydraulics – rice, tobacco, sisal, Cape peas, peanuts. It is also known at the time that the Sakoa coal, which is to be started and the oil outlook, will contribute to enriching the beautiful South-West region.
Robert Bargues does not hide his satisfaction at finding himself for the first time, “among these Sakalava populations (here we are talking about those of the Menabe) laborious and faithful to which he was not able to visit until then despite his strong desire”. As soon as he arrived in Madagascar he was soon convinced that “the solution of Malagasy economic problems must be found in a harmonious and concerted development of the possibilities of the West Coast as well as those of the East Coast. Everything must go hand in hand with the common goal of increasing production “.
That is why the Chief of the Territory can give the listeners of his public interventions the assurance that from now on the west coast will no longer be forgotten in general projects of equipment and development. Indeed, there are already significant signs of public interest in Morondava.
Beginning with the work of repairing the port of batelage and the construction of a wharf which will then have to start in the near future. This work will enable the vessels to reach Morondava in all seasons and especially to carry out very quickly their loading and unloading operations. It is estimated that in 1953-1954 these port facilities will be completed and the construction of a housing estate which will enable the city to expand. Thereafter, the airfield will be accessible in all seasons and the road from Morondava to the Highlands will be rehabilitated by Betafo, Miandrivazo and Antsirabe. The work will be carried out on the 1952 program. In progress and will allow the birth of a large sisal cultivation center in the Mahabo plain.
It is at the Chamber of Commerce that the issues of interest to the future of the region are developed in detail. The President of the Consular Chamber made a very well-documented statement. It focuses on demonstrating that financial assistance, whether from the Plan or from the general budget, if not from the provincial budget, must not haggle if Morondava is to be widely promoted. Whether it is port facilities, agricultural hydraulics, road repairs or the creation of new roads that can draw as much as possible to the port. Or in terms of public health or town planning.
Robert Bargues also took the opportunity to take a broad overview of the economic and financial news of the island. He reiterates his interest in the West Coast, “convinced that I am of his future”. His vision does not deceive him.
Investors in Madagascar also confirm that the products of the soil and subsoil of the region can be brilliantly developed. “But in order to
In addition to the private capital which must be invested in, the public authorities must be concerned to find the resources to finance the necessary capital expenditure without which no production is possible. “