One of the basic social units in the Malagasy Republic is the "Fokonolonal" - a communal grouping of workers.
One of the basic social units in the Malagasy Republic is the "Fokonolonal" - a communal grouping of workers. In pre-colonial days, the "Fokonolona" was one of the keystones of Malagasy society, but when the East African island was under European rule, it all but disappeared. "Foko" means "clan", and the "Fokonolona" basically was the part of a clan that lived in the same village and whose decisions were taken by family heads.
Now the "Fokonolonas" have been revived, and adapted to modern social needs. The Republic is working hard to become self-sufficient, and the efficient use of the island's manpower is a premium.
Although every "Fokonolona" is different, they all have common features, like group solidarity and similar internal organisations.
The communes are engaged in a variety of projects, which reflect various regional needs. Nearly all the island's eight million inhabitants live in rural areas, and are engaged in either farming or stock-breeding.
The present government, headed by General Ramanantsoa, is keen to see these communal groups grow in importance, and soon hopes that the "Fokonolonas" will be able to have complete control of the projects they undertake and the revenue earned from their work.