Mahajanga (mäˌhäjängˈgä) [key], formerly Majunga mäjōngˈgä, city (1993 pop. 100,807), NW Madagascar, on the Mozambique Channel. Despite its shallow harbor, Mahajanga is one of the nation's chief ports. The Betsiboka River valley provides access to the interior. Mahajanga has food processing, cement, and sisal processing industries. Mahajanga has a fishing industry and coffee, rice, sugar, and sisal are grown. The city was the capital of the Sakalava kingdom, which flourished in the 18th cent. France occupied Mahajanga from 1883 to 1885 and retook it in 1894. The city experienced major immigration from Comoros until riots (1976–77) resulted in the immigrants' deportation.