Algeria (GPS: 28 00 N, 3 00 E) located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia. The country’s area measurements are total: 2,381,741 sq km; land: 2,381,741 sq km, water: 0 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas. The total irrigated land is 5,700 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Algeria: Largest country in Africa but 80% desert. Canyons and caves in the southern Hoggar Mountains and the barren Tassili n’Ajjer area in the southeast of the country contain numerous examples of prehistoric art-rock paintings and carvings depicting human activities and wild and domestic animals (elephants, giraffes, cattle) – that date to the African Humid Period, roughly 11,000 to 5,000 years ago when the region completely vegetated.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Algiers’s GPS coordinates are 36 45 N 3 03 E. Algiers’s local time is 6 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+1.
After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria’s primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and had since largely dominated politics. In the Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest. Still, the surprising first-round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 legislative elections led the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power.
The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to start attacking government targets. Fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence from 1992-98, resulting in over 100,000 deaths – many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS’s armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election that was boycotted by several candidates protesting alleged fraud and won subsequent elections in 2004, 2009, and 2014.
The government in 2011 introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions and increasing women’s quotas for elected assemblies while also increasing subsidies to the populace. Since 2014, Algeria’s reliance on hydrocarbon revenues to fund the government and finance the massive support for the population has fallen under stress because of declining oil prices. Protests broke out across the country in late February 2019 against President BOUTEFLIKA’s decision to seek a fifth term. BOUTEFLIKA resigned on 2 April 2019, and the speaker of the upper house of parliament, Abdelkader BEN SALAH, became interim head of state on 9 April. BENSALAH remained in office beyond the 90-day constitutional limit until Algerians elected former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE as the country’s new president in December 2019.
Algeria’s names conventional long form: The people’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, traditional short form: Algeria, local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza’iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha’biyah, local temporary state: Al Jaza’ir, etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Algiers. The country name derives from the capital city of Algiers.
Algeria’s terrain is typically mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain. The country’s mean elevation: 800 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m, highest point: Tahat 3,003 m.
The country’s general climate is arid to semiarid: mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along the coast: drier with cold winters and hot summers on the high plateau: sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer.
The total number of border countries is 7, Libya 989 km, Mali 1,359 km, Mauritania 460 km, Morocco 1,900 km, Niger 951 km, Tunisia 1,034 km, Western Sahara 41 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Algeria’s coastline is 998 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nautical miles. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 17.3%; arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 13.8%; forest: 0.6%; other: 82% (2011 estimate).
The population in Algeria 41,657,488 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 70.7% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: ALGIERS (capital) 2.594 million; Oran 858,000 (2015), while Algeria has the vast majority of the populace is found in the extreme northern part of the country along the Mediterranean Coast. Their spoken languages are Arabic (official language), French (lingua franca), Berber or Tamazight (official language); dialects include Kabyle Berber (Taqbaylit), Shawiya Berber (Tacawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq).
Algeria’s main religions are Muslim (official; predominantly Sunni) 99%, other (includes Christian and Jewish). The nation uses mixed legal system of French civil law and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials including several Supreme Court justices. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Revolution Day, 1 November (1954).
Economic overview for the country: Algeria’s economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of its socialist post-independence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy, pursuing an explicit import substitution policy. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 30% of GDP, 60% of budget revenues, and nearly 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas globally – including the 3rd-largest reserves of shale gas – and is the 6th-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in proven oil reserves. Hydrocarbon exports enabled Algeria to maintain macroeconomic stability, amass sizeable foreign currency reserves, and maintain low external debt while global oil prices were high.
With lower oil prices since 2014, Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves have declined by more than half, and its oil stabilization fund has decreased from about $20 billion at the end of 2013 to about $7 billion in 2017, which is the statutory minimum. Declining oil prices have also reduced the government’s ability to use state-driven growth to distribute rents and fund generous public subsidies. The government has been under pressure to reduce spending. Over the past three years, the government has enacted incremental increases in some taxes, resulting in modest increases in prices for gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol, and certain imported goods. Still, it has refrained from reducing subsidies, particularly for education, healthcare, and housing programs.
Algiers has increased protectionist measures since 2015 to limit its import bill and encourage domestic production of non-oil and gas industries. Since 2015, the government has imposed additional restrictions on access to foreign exchange for imports and import quotas for specific products, such as cars. In January 2018, the government imposed an indefinite suspension on the importation of roughly 850 products, subject to periodic review. President BOUTEFLIKA announced in fall 2017 that Algeria intends to develop its non-conventional energy resources. Algeria has struggled to develop non-hydrocarbon industries because of heavy regulation and an emphasis on state-driven growth. Algeria has not increased non-hydrocarbon exports, and hydrocarbon exports have declined because of field depletion and increased domestic demand.
Natural resources of Algeria: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc.
Main export partners for Algeria, Africa are Spain 18.8%, France 11.2%, US 8.8%, Italy 8.7%, UK 7.1%, Brazil 5.2%, Tunisia 4.9%, Germany 4.5% (2015) for petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97% (2009 estimate), while the main import partners for the country are: China 15.6%, France 14.4%, Italy 9.4%, Spain 7.4%, Germany 5.6%, Russia 4.1% (2015) for capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Algeria: Mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes, mudslides, and floods in the rainy season, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Algeria faces the following environmental issues: Air pollution in major cities, Soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices, Desertification, Dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters, Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff, Inadequate supplies of potable water.