Algeria is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, Tunisia, and Western Sahara. Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in the Arab world and Africa (followed by Democratic Republic of the Congo). Only 12 percent of its land is inhabited with over 90 percent of the country covered by the Sahara Desert. Algiers is the country’s Capital City and an important economic, commercial and financial centre. The name Algiers, is a truncated form of the city’s older name Jazā’ir Banī Mazghanna (جزائر بني مزغنة, “Islands of the Mazghanna Tribe”.
The former French colony which gained its independence in 1962 is well known for its cherries and dates which are amongst the best in the world. There is also a variety of bird species which makes the country an attraction for bird watchers.
The country has an estimated population of 42.2 Million and a GDP of $180 Billion (World Bank 2018). Petroleum and natural gas make up 98 %t of the country’s exports. The country’s crude oil reserves were the 16th largest in the world with 12,200 million barrels of oil reserves (at the start of 2017) and they are the 3rd largest producer of crude oil in Africa (2019). Algeria’s economy is highly dependent on hydrocarbons, and on global oil and gas prices. GDP growth reached 1.5 percent in 2018, compared to 1.4 percent in the previous year, and was sustained at 1.5 percent the first quarter of 2019. Growth in the hydrocarbon sector was slow, with economic activity contracting by 6.5 percent in 2018
During the 1990s – 2000s, Algeria fought a brutal civil war against an Islamist insurgency and the memories of those dark years have often kept demonstrators at bay. The protesters have rejected the vote, the first since former President Bouteflika was forced out by the military amid nationwide demonstrations in April, citing fears that the election is a mechanism for the political elite to retain power.
Algeria’s religion composition is made of Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%. Women in Algeria, unlike those in other Islamic nations, make up 60 percent of the student population. They also have considerable prominence in society as 70 percent of Algeria’s lawyers and 60 percent of its judges are women. Algerian women make a larger contribution to household income than their male counterparts which is special looking at their religion and culture on gender orientation.
On the Neil Economic Scale, the price of a can of coke is 69.57 Algerian Dinar (DZD) (R8.59) and the price of a litre of petrol is 41.97 DZD (R5.18). The country has an average inflation rate of 2.5%.
Algeria is one of a handful of countries that have achieved 20% poverty reduction in the past two decades. The Algerian government took significant steps to improve the well being of its people by implementing social policies in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The country’s oil boom has enabled the authorities to clear Algeria’s external debt, invest in infrastructure projects, and improve the country’s Human Development Indicators. Algeria has significantly improved its human capital development: its position on the World Bank Human Capital Index (HCI) that measures five key indicators in health and education is 93rd out of 157 countries. Between 2012 and 2017, its HCI value remained more or less constant at 0.52, however in 2017, it was lower than the average for its region and income group. The resignation of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has also left the country uncertain and the youths hoping for regime and system change.