Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. Madagascar has a strategic location along the Mozambique Channel. The government system is a republic; the chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Madagascar transitioned from socialist economic policies to a market economic with policy of privatization and liberalization. Madagascar is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).