Determining the Sub-Saharan African country most similar to Southeast Asia requires considering various social, cultural, economic, and political factors.
One way to answer this complex question is by analyzing the data from the Country Similarity Index. The index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries, using a variety of statistics from five broad categories: demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography.
(Southeast Asian countries defined as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam)
Madagascar‘s demographics and geography have a lot in common with Southeast Asia. It is a unique African country, on an isolated island away from the rest of the continent. Interestingly enough, a large percentage of its population has origins in Southeast Asia.
The people of Madagascar have mixed African and Asian origins. The Austronesian migration, which originated in Southeast Asia, is believed to have reached Madagascar around 2,000 years ago. The Malagasy language belongs to the Austronesian language family, which has its roots in Southeast Asia. As a result, their people have both genetic and linguistic similarities.
The climate and landscape of Madagascar share similarities with certain parts of Southeast Asia. Both regions have tropical climates. Like most Southeast Asian countries, Madagascar features lush rainforests, mountains, and lots of coastline. Furthermore, the most commonly grown crop in these countries is rice.
The Most Similar Southeast Asian Country to Madagascar
The Country Similarity Index suggests that the Philippines is the most similar Southeast Asian country to Madagascar. Both countries are located on tropical islands. Most of their people are Christian and speak Austronesian languages. In addition, they are both multi-party democracies.