Algeria (Arabic: الجزائر, Tamazight: Dzayer), officially named the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. Algiers is the capital. Algeria is a sovereign country, a gateway between Africa and Europe, and part of the Maghreb region. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea in the north, Tunisia in the northeast, Libya in the east, Niger in the southeast, Mauritania and Mali in the southwest, Western Sahara in the west and Morocco in the northwest..
In terms of land area, it is the largest country on the Mediterranean Sea, in the Arab world and in the African continent, and the 10th-largest country in the world, covering an area of nearly 2.4 million km². Its population of more than 45 million inhabitants is mainly concentrated in the northern part of the country.
A large part of southern Algeria is the Sahara Desert. The Aures, Djurdjura and Atlas mountain ranges are in the north. The highest point is Mount Tahat (3,003 m).
Algeria is divided into 58 provinces (wilayas), 548 districts (daïras) and 1,541 municipalities (baladiyahs). Algiers is the capital of the country. Besides the capital city of Algiers, the most populous cities are Oran, Constantine, Setif, and Annaba. There are over 40 cities with more than 100,000 people.
Algeria has a diversified climate. It is Mediterranean throughout the northern fringe that covers the coast and the Tell Atlas (hot and dry summers, wet and cold winters), semi-arid across the highlands in the center of the country, and arid in the desert, south of the Saharan Atlas mountain chain.
Algeria’s coastline stretches over more than 1200 km. Going south, one crosses successively the Tellian Atlas, a green and densely populated region; the Highlands, a flat area dedicated mostly to wheat growing and sheep farming; the Saharan Atlas; the Sahara, a hot desert where most oil and gas activities are located; and the national park of the Ahaggar, a large volcanic rock mountain range.
The highest point of the country is Mt. Tahat culminating at 3,003 m; the lowest point is Lake Chott Melrhir at -40 m. Lake Chott Melrhir is an endorheic (closed basin) salt lake, whose size varies throughout the year. It is the largest lake in Algeria with its maximum area reaching about 6,700 km2.
Fauna and flora
The vegetation of Algeria is varied according to the region; it could be coastal, mountainous and grassy desert, regions that all support a wide range of wildlife. The most commonly seen animals include the wild boars, jackals, and gazelles, although it is not uncommon to spot fennecs (foxes) and jerboas.
The forests are inhabited by the sole native monkey Barbary macaques, snakes and monitor lizards. Many animals are now extinct like the Barbary lions and atlas bears.
In the north, some of the native flora includes macchia scrub, olives trees, oaks, cedars. In the Sahara region, the predominant flora in some oasis is palm trees.
Algeria has the 4th largest GDP on the African continent (USD 181 billion in 2021) and the highest GDP per capita in the Maghreb.
During the 2000s, the wealth of Algerian soil (oil and gas resources) combined with the rise in the price of hydrocarbons on international markets enabled the authorities to have significant resources allowing the implementation of ambitious economic and social policies.
Algeria is a key producer of hydrocarbons in Africa, ranking first in gas output and second for oil. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 49% of budget revenues, 20% of GDP, and over 91% of revenue export (2021).
Hydrocarbon’s resources are mostly located in the Algerian Eastern Sahara. Huge infrastructures have been built with important links to Europe through gas pipelines to Spain and Italy. Algeria is the third gas provider to Europe.
Algeria has the 11th largest gas reserves (4.5 milliards m3) in the world, and 15th rank in oil reserves. It depends on the sector for the majority of government revenue and nearly all exports.
Algeria is a Founding Member of APPO, AFREC and GECF, and a member of the United Nations, Arab League, African Union, OPEC and OAPEC.
On 1st January 2021, the total resident population in Algeria has reached 44,6 million people. The natural growth rate is around 2% per year. Almost half of the population is under the age of 20 years. The working age population (15 to 59) represents 62.5%.
Algeria is a great country for the richness of its history and culture that can be discovered by visiting the different Algerian towns. The Algerian population is very warm and hospitable.
Ancient Algeria has known many dynasties, mainly Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Almoravids, Almohads, Ottomans and the French colonial empire
Several sites are classified by UNESCO as world heritage: The Qal'a of Beni Hammad (1980); Djémila (1982); Tassili n'Ajjer (1982); Timgad (1982); Tipasa (1982); the M'Zab Valley (1982); the Casbah of Algiers (1992).