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INSIDERS MADAGASCAR
Published 04/02/2013

Mamy Ravatomanga,
businessman and "éminence grise"

Born in 1968 in MorondavaSodiat chairman

Entrepreneur Maminiaina "Mamy" Ravatomanga, whose business has been booming in recent years, is an unwavering supporter and unofficial adviser of transition president Andry "TGV" Rajoelina. The two men were brought together in 2008 when their respective companies were having problems as a result of fiscal investigations initiated by the entourage of the then president, Marc Ravalomanana. Subsequently, Ravatomanga backed TGV’s bid for power in March 2009 and has remained a supporter ever since.

His association with TGV has boosted the activities of the Sodiat group he set up in May 1990 and which today counts a dozen or so companies in different fields of activity. In return, Ravatomanga advises Rajoelina on economic matters, helps him with contacts outside the country and appears regularly with him in public.

Ravatomanga is seen by his business partners as a man who keeps his word and who is honest in his business dealings. He is nevertheless frequently criticised by others for being too close to the transition president and has even been publicly accused of involvement in trafficking in rosewood, despite his constant denials.

The presidential election scheduled for May 8 2013 and postponed to July 24 could be decisive for "Mamy" who had looked to have a more promising political and business future on the basis of the hypothesis that Andry Rajoelina would run for and be elected president. On January 15 2013, however, Rajoelina announced that he would not be standing. Ravatomanga will have to find another candidate, therefore, to serve as a protector and it looks very likely that his choice will fall on current deputy prime minister in charge of development and territorial planning, Hajo Andrianainarivelo, who is expected to run in the presidential race.(3886 words) 40 EUR

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