Saturday, October 10, 2009
Madagascar was a French colony until 1958, when it became the Malagasy Republic. During World War II, Madagascar was administered by the collaborationist Vichy Government until 1942, when it was turned over to the Free French by the British following the Battle of Madagascar. To celebrate the liberation, the Free French overprinted the Map Airmails then in use "FRANCE LIBRE" (Scott # C27-36; Scott '10 Catalog Value as unused = $ 125.50). Only 7,000 sets were overprinted, because the 1.75fr Orange and Red (Scott #C28), which became the key stamp of the set, was in short supply.
Though still a poor nation of about 20 million, the Malagasy Republic has great potential if it institutes political and economic reforms and develops its agricultural and mining sectors. Annual GDP growth has been humming along at 5%-7% over the last 5 years. Several major projects are underway in the mining and oil and gas sectors that, if successful, will give a significant boost to the Malagasy economy.
This set should do well based solely on interest from French Colonies collectors. It will do extremely well if a collector market develops in the Malagasy Republic.