Father Jean Pierre Bodjoko - Antananarivo
Pope Francis’ visit to the Indian Ocean Island of Madagascar is top news in all Malagasy papers on Saturday.
“Midi Madagasikara” focusses on a communion of spirit among the people for the arrival of the Pope and points out that his arrival is doing much to create a feeling of unity. It has also brought hope, it says, as so many continue to suffer grave socio-economic problems in Madagascar.
The daily “Madagascar Express” notes the great sobriety, simplicity and humility with which Pope Francis arrived in the country, an attitude that has made the people extra happy to welcome this “very humble and sober Pope”.
Another daily paper, “Les Nouvelles” refers to the dignified welcome ceremony the Malagasy put on for the Pope and speaks of how his presence here is a very special event for the population.
Daily struggle for survival in Antananarivo
The island, of course, is teaming with international press trying to understand the complex reality of Madagascar and seeing how poverty in the capital city forces so many to seek expediencies to survive.
The big, modern hotel in the center of Antananarivo is in stark contrast with the poor neighborhoods that surround the city.