English joins French and Malagasy as the official languages of Madagascar after approval by voters in referendum.
The recent referendum in Madagascar to approve several constitutional changes has been approved with a 75% majority. The referendum was called to approve a number of changes to constitution put forward by President Marc Ravalomanana including making English an official language, abolishing Madagascar's six provinces and allowing the President to amend laws in a state of emergency without parliamentary approval.
In defending the adoption of English, officials cite Madagascar's changing external economic relationships as the justification for this, in particular having joined the South African Development Community (SADC) which is overwhelmingly English speaking. Officials also believe the promotion of English will aid direct foreign investment from countries such as the United States, UK, Canada, South Africa and India.