Rajaona Andriamananjara

(1943 - 2016)

The class has learned from the Embassy of Madagascar in Washington, DC that Rajaona died in 2016. Rajaona entered Princeton junior year after transferring from the University of Michigan and studied at the Woodrow Wilson School.


Charles Plohn contacted the embassy after adding one of Rajaona's books to the class library, as the University had no record of Rajaona. The embassy responded quickly:


"We are very sorry to inform you that Dr. Rajaona Andriamananjara passed away in September 2016. Dr. Rajaona A. was indeed one of the most renowned and influential professors in the Malagasy language, and his students and acquaintances knew it. Madagascar, the Malagasy people and his family will be certainly be proud that his book will be added to the 66 Class Library of the Princeton University."


Rajaona's son, Soamiely Andriamananjara, lives in Washington, DC, and is also a writer. Soamiely forwarded this this brief bio on June 12. The bio was composed by his wife.


Click here for the PAW memorial.


Rajaona Andriamananjara

Born December 01.1943 .  Died September 30. 2016.


After obtaining the diploma of Baccalaureat, left Madagascar on a Scholarship from the African American Institute, NewYork July 1963. Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs: Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and Internationa Affairs -Cum Laude. Phi Beta Kappa. 1967. Master of Arts in International Affairs: George Washington University DC 1967. PhD in Economics: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1971


He then started working:

Economist at the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC

Back in Madagascar in 1973, he was an advisor to the director of Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Planning. 

Director General of Planning i1972n the same Ministry 1975-1982.

Deputy Comptroller ath the Central Bank of Madagascar.

Director General of the Institute of Madagascar for the Techniques of Planning.

(IMATEP).  He founded this Institute and worked there to the end. 1982- Sept 2016.


Other responsibilities: 

Advisor to the Prime Minister 1988-1991

Consultant in Training at the Development Institute of the University of Pittsburgh - Summer programs 1985-1995

Consultant for the  Indian Ocean Commission

Various consultancy for the United Nations

Regional Director of PRIDE (Programme regional integre de la Commission de l’ Ocean Indien. 1996-1997

President of the Board of Tany Meva (Environment Foundation) 1997-2003

Unesco – Vice President World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) 2013-2015

The Malagasy Akademy of Arts, Letters and Sciences: President 2002- Sept 2016.


We are thankful to have basked in his unconditional love all those years.  We proudly recall his ever meaningful life, 73 years of hard work and success.  He was a “good” student from Grade One.


Mika, his wife. His two sons, Tahiry and Tija and their four children: Kaliana, Tsiory, Antso and Antsaly. Soamiely and Mialy and their two children: Ranja and Soa. 


Here is a summary of Rajaona's career on the World Academy of Sciences web site. An obituary, with photo, in the Malagasy language, is here on the Akademia Malagasy website. Google Translate provides a very rough translation. Note that only graduate education is mentioned, and the.Michigan PhD is omitted.


Following the death of Ratsimandrava Juliette, a member of the Malagasy Academy, her president, the King of God, passed away yesterday morning. In addition to being the president of the Academy, he also co-founded and is the Director of the Institute of Malgache des Techniques de Planification (ImaTeP).

Dr. Rajaona Andriamananjara is an outstanding member of the nation in many fields. Specialist in Economics. He received many international degrees, including a Master of Arts at the University of Michigan, after graduating from George Washington University. He also received his Doctor of Philosophy during his studies in Washington. His first job as an economist was at the FM headquarters in Washington.

When he returned here, he held a leading role, before he founded ImaTeP. He has previously held positions with the Central Bank, the Somalac Company, the Prime Minister's Counsel, the President of the Sixth Board of Directors and the Foundation. Dr. Rajaona Andriamananjara also taught at a university in the United States.

Dr. Rajaona Andriamananjara is fluent in many languages, such as French, English, German and Mandarin (Chinese). However, he was one of the most influential people in the Malagasy language, and all his students and acquaintances knew it.



In 1978 he joined the Academy. He served as president of the Department of Moral and Political Sciences, then Vice President in 1991. In 2002, he was elected President of the Malagasy Academy.


In addition to the timing of the final honors, it is known that Dr Rajaona Andriamananjara's body was at his house in Avaradrova. The funeral will take place on Sunday in South Capital.


Classmate Memories of Rajaona


From Jim Holman:

i did indeed room with Rajaona junior year in 1938 Hall. He did not arrive at Princeton (from Ann Arbor) until junior year. John Black (now John Bright) and i picked him up upon arrival and took him to the Annex for tea, where he taught me to squeeze extra by putting the bag in a spoon and wrapping the string tightly around the bag. i thought it was a Malagasy tradition, but he told me he had learned that at U of Michigan.


He was among the brightest people i have ever known, due to the rigorous French system of education. i believe he was an engineering major, but what impressed me more was that he took Chinese as an elective!


He had a wonderful sly and impish sense of humor. i spoke to him once more, when Mrs. Holman and i visited the Malagasy Republic about 25 years ago. He had risen to become something like head of the Malagasy Federal Reserve. Even the taxi drivers knew of him as the only honest man in the country. We had a brief telecon as we were leaving. He was very special.


From Jamie Spencer:

A real and bonafide feather in our splendid Class cap!


From Eric Berman:

I remember Rajaona from our undergraduate days.  One of the funniest things I recall was that Rajaona would look forward to receiving “CARE” packages from home, and we would all pile into his room to see what ‘comfort food’ meant to somebody from Madagascar.  As he unpacked each carefully wrapped delicacy, he explained what it was, when he might have enjoyed it last with family or friends back home.  Alas, as much as he was eager to share, when we saw the coarse chopped pigskin with fat and hair preserved for easier eating, or some other thing that he waxed wistful about but which seemed indigestible, we begged off, making a mental note to stick to the French cuisine side of of his native land if we ever visited.  East is East and west is west and all that. . .

What I remember most about Rajaona, though, was his inextinguishable good humor, his endless curiosity about life in the US, and his appreciation of the jokes we told when we were all together, like the one about the fireman all the way up his ladder, but baffled how to rescue a very fat lady until someone down on the street shouted up to him: “Make two trips!”  That one really cracked him up.

In recent years, and, I guess coincidentally, I tried to find Rajaona on the internet to see what he had become, what his many talents and cultural embrace led him to do with his life.  I was puzzled that although there were plenty of admiring, impressive references, none seemed new enough to contact him.   Now I see why, and I grieve his loss. What a fine fellow!





The top photo is from the Nassau Herald.


The photos below were found on the obituary and profile.