Africa :: Algeria

Introduction ::Algeria

    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 has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting 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 begin 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 widely viewed as fraudulent. He was reelected to a second term in 2004 and overwhelmingly won a third term in 2009, after the government amended the constitution in 2008 to remove presidential term limits. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA, including large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing activities of extremist militants. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged with al-Qa'ida to form al-Qa'ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, which has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and bombings targeting the Algerian Government and Western interests. 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. Parliamentary elections in May 2012 and municipal and provincial elections in November 2012 saw continued dominance by the FLN, with Islamist opposition parties performing poorly. Political protest activity in the country remained low in 2012, but small, sometimes violent socioeconomic demonstrations by disparate groups continued to be a common occurrence. Parliament in 2013 is expected to revise the constitution.

Geography ::Algeria

    Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia
    28 00 N, 3 00 E
    total: 2,381,741 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 10
    land: 2,381,741 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas
    total: 6,343 km
    border countries: Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km, Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km
    998 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm
    arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer
    mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain
    lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m
    highest point: Tahat 3,003 m
    petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc
    arable land: 3.15%
    permanent crops: 0.38%
    other: 96.46% (2011)
    5,694 sq km (2003)
    11.67 cu km (2011)
    total: 5.72 cu km/yr (26%/16%/58%)
    per capita: 182 cu m/yr (2005)
    mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season
    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
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    largest country in Africa

People and Society ::Algeria

    noun: Algerian(s)
    adjective: Algerian
    Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%
    note: although almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arab), only a minority identify themselves as Berber, about 15% of the total population; these people live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools
    Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber dialects: Kabylie Berber (Tamazight), Chaouia Berber (Tachawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)
    Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%
    38,087,812 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    0-14 years: 28.1% (male 5,470,088/female 5,216,139)
    15-24 years: 18.1% (male 3,536,416/female 3,371,819)
    25-54 years: 42.7% (male 8,213,802/female 8,035,509)
    55-64 years: 6% (male 1,172,528/female 1,128,015)
    65 years and over: 5.1% (male 890,312/female 1,053,184) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 47.9 %
    youth dependency ratio: 41.1 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.8 %
    potential support ratio: 14.7 (2013)
    total: 27 years
    male: 26.7 years
    female: 27.2 years (2013 est.)
    1.9% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    24.25 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    4.31 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    -0.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    urban population: 73% of total population (2011)
    rate of urbanization: 2.49% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    ALGIERS (capital) 2.916 million; Oran 770,000 (2011)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    97 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    total: 22.57 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 82
    male: 24.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 20.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 76.18 years
    country comparison to the world: 82
    male: 74.95 years
    female: 77.47 years (2013 est.)
    2.78 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    61.4% (2006)
    4.2% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    1.21 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
    1.7 beds/1,000 population (2004)
    urban: 85% of population
    rural: 79% of population
    total: 83% of population
    urban: 15% of population
    rural: 21% of population
    total: 17% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 98% of population
    rural: 88% of population
    total: 95% of population
    urban: 2% of population
    rural: 12% of population
    total: 5% of population (2010 est.)
    0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    18,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    16% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    3.7% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    4.3% of GDP (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 72.6%
    male: 81.3%
    female: 63.9% (2006 est.)
    total: 14 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 14 years (2011)
    total number: 304,358
    percentage: 5 % (2006 est.)
    total: 21.5%
    country comparison to the world: 54
    male: 18.7%
    female: 37.5% (2010)

Government ::Algeria

    conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
    conventional short form: Algeria
    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah
    local short form: Al Jaza'ir
    name: Algiers
    geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    48 provinces (wilayat, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa, El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila, Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret, Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen
    5 July 1962 (from France)
    Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)
    8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976; effective 22 November 1976; revised several times
    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
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)
    head of government: Prime Minister Abdelmalek SELLAL (since 3 September 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 9 April 2009 (next to be held in April 2014)
    election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA reelected president for a third term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA 90.2%, Louisa HANOUNE 4.2%, Moussa TOUATI 2.3%, Djahid YOUNSI 1.4%, Ali Fawzi REBAINE less than 1%, Mohamed SAID less than 1%
    bicameral Parliament consists of the Council of the Nation (upper house; 144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president, two-thirds elected by indirect vote to serve six-year terms; the constitution requires half the Council to be renewed every three years) and the National People's Assembly (lower house; 462 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: Council of the Nation - last held on 29 December 2012 (next to be held in December 2017); National People's Assembly - last held on 10 May 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
    election results: Council of the Nation election of 29 December 2009 - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National People's Assembly election of 10 May 2012 - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 221, RND 70, AAV 47, FFS 21, PT 17, FNA 9, El Adala 7, MPA 6, PFJ 5, FC 4, PNSD 4, other 32, independents 19
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 150 judges organized into four divisions: civil and commercial; social security and labor; criminal; and administrative; Constitutional Council (consists of 9 members including the court president)
    note - Algeria's judicial system does not include sharia courts
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the High Council of Magistracy, an administrative body presided over by the president of the republic, and includes the republic vice-president and several members; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members - 3 appointed by the president of the republic, 2 each by the two houses of the Parliament, 1 by the Supreme Court, and 1 by the Council of State; Council president and members appointed for single 6-year terms with half of the membership renewed every 3 years
    subordinate courts: appellate or wilaya courts; first instance or daira tribunals
    Algerian National Front or FNA; Algerian Popular Movement or MPA; Front for Change or FC; Front for Justice and Development or El Adala; Green Algeria Alliance or AAV (includes Movement for National Reform, Islamic Renaissance Movement, and Movement of the Society of Peace or Hamas); Movement of the Society of Peace or MSP [Boudjerra SOLTANI]; National Democratic Rally (Rassemblement National Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA]; National Liberation Front or FLN [Abdelaziz BELKHADEM, secretary general]; National Party for Solidarity and Development or PNSD; National Reform Movement or Islah [Ahmed ABDESLAM] (see Green Algeria Alliance); New Dawn Party or PFJ; Oath of 54 or Ahd 54 [Ali Fawzi REBAINE]; Rally for Culture and Democracy or RCD [Said SADI]; Islamic Renaissance Movement or EnNahda Movement [Fatah RABEI]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine AIT AHMED]; Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUNE]
    note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997
    The Algerian Human Rights League or LADDH [Mostefa BOUCHACHI]; SOS Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]
    chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah BAALI
    chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
    FAX: [1] (202) 986-5906
    consulate(s) general: New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Henry S. ENSHER
    embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, El-Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16030 Algiers
    mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers
    telephone: [213] 770-08-2000
    FAX: [213] 770-08-2064
    two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace (white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim countries because the Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness
    star and crescent; fennec fox
    name: "Kassaman" (We Pledge)

    lyrics/music: Mufdi ZAKARIAH/Mohamed FAWZI
    note: adopted 1962; ZAKARIAH wrote "Kassaman" as a poem while imprisoned in Algiers by French colonial forces

Economy ::Algeria

    Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's 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. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the sixth-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in oil reserves. Strong revenues from hydrocarbon exports have brought Algeria relative macroeconomic stability, with foreign currency reserves approaching $200 billion and a large budget stabilization fund available for tapping. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about 2% of GDP. However, Algeria has struggled to develop non-hydrocarbon industries because of heavy regulation and an emphasis on state-driven growth. The government's efforts have done little to reduce high youth unemployment rates or to address housing shortages. A wave of economic protests in February and March 2011 prompted the Algerian Government to offer more than $23 billion in public grants and retroactive salary and benefit increases, moves which continue to weigh on public finances. Long-term economic challenges include diversifying the economy away from its reliance on hydrocarbon exports, bolstering the private sector, attracting foreign investment, and providing adequate jobs for younger Algerians.
    $277.4 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    $270.5 billion (2011 est.)
    $264.2 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $207.8 billion (2012 est.)
    2.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    2.4% (2011 est.)
    3.6% (2010 est.)
    $7,600 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    $7,500 (2011 est.)
    $7,500 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    41.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    45.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
    48.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 30.2%
    government consumption: 27%
    investment in fixed capital: 31.5%
    investment in inventories: 3.5%
    exports of goods and services: 36.5%
    imports of goods and services: -28.6%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 8.9%
    industry: 60.9%
    services: 30.2% (2012 est.)
    wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle
    petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing
    1.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    11.31 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    agriculture: 14%
    industry: 13.4%
    construction and public works: 10%
    trade: 14.6%
    government: 32%
    other: 16% (2003 est.)
    10.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    10% (2011 est.)
    23% (2006 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.8%
    highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)
    35.3 (1995)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    revenues: $81.23 billion
    expenditures: $84.82 billion (2012 est.)
    39.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    -1.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    7.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    8.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover central government debt; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt
    calendar year
    8.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    4.5% (2011 est.)
    4% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    4% (31 December 2009 est.)
    8% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    8% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $98.36 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $93.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $150 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    $130.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.031 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    $8.659 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $19.95 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    $19.7 billion (2011 est.)
    $71.81 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    $72.88 billion (2011 est.)
    petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%
    US 16.1%, Spain 13.9%, Canada 10.4%, Netherlands 8.4%, France 8%, Brazil 5.6%, UK 5.1% (2012)
    $48.27 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    $44.89 billion (2011 est.)
    capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
    France 17.2%, China 11.5%, Spain 9.4%, Italy 9.1%, Germany 4.6% (2012)
    $191.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    $183.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $5.942 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    $6.072 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $23.78 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    $21.78 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $2.474 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    $2.174 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar -
    77.536 (2012 est.)
    72.938 (2011 est.)
    74.386 (2010 est.)
    72.65 (2009)
    63.25 (2008)

Energy ::Algeria

Communications ::Algeria

    3.059 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    35.616 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    general assessment: privatization of Algeria's telecommunications sector began in 2000; three mobile cellular licenses have been issued and, in 2005, a consortium led by Egypt's Orascom Telecom won a 15-year license to build and operate a fixed-line network in Algeria; the license will allow Orascom to develop high-speed data and other specialized services and contribute to meeting the large unfulfilled demand for basic residential telephony; Internet broadband services began in 2003
    domestic: a limited network of fixed lines with a teledensity of less than 10 telephones per 100 persons has been offset by the rapid increase in mobile-cellular subscribership; in 2011, mobile-cellular teledensity was roughly 100 telephones per 100 persons
    international: country code - 213; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 51 (Intelsat, Intersputnik, and Arabsat) (2011)
    state-run Radio-Television Algerienne operates the broadcast media and carries programming in Arabic, Berber dialects, and French; use of satellite dishes is widespread, providing easy access to European and Arab satellite stations; state-run radio operates several national networks and roughly 40 regional radio stations (2007)
    676 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    4.7 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 49

Transportation ::Algeria

    157 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    total: 64
    over 3,047 m: 12
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
    914 to 1,523 m: 5
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 93
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
    914 to 1,523 m: 39
    under 914 m:
    34 (2013)
    3 (2013)
    condensate 2,600 km; gas 16,415 km; liquid petroleum gas 3,447 km; oil 7,036 km; refined products 144 km (2013)
    total: 3,973 km
    country comparison to the world: 44
    standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)
    narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2008)
    total: 113,655 km
    country comparison to the world: 40
    paved: 87,605 km (includes 645 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 26,050 km (2010)
    total: 38
    country comparison to the world: 77
    by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 8, chemical tanker 3, liquefied gas 11, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 3
    foreign-owned: 15 (UK, 15) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda

Military ::Algeria

Transnational Issues ::Algeria

    Algeria and many other states reject Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the National Liberation Front's (FLN) assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco
    refugees (country of origin): 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf); 1,500 (Mali) (2013)
    IDPs: undetermined (civil war during 1990s) (2012)
    current situation: Algeria is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination and source country for women, and, to a lesser extent, men subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; criminal networks, which sometimes extend to sub-Saharan Africa and to Europe, are involved in both human smuggling and trafficking; sub-Saharan adults enter Algeria voluntarily but illegally, often with the aid of smugglers, for onward travel to Europe, but some of the women are forced into prostitution; some Algerian women are also forced into prostitution; some sub-Saharan men, mostly from Mali, are forced into domestic servitude
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government has not held any perpetrators of sex trafficking or forced labor accountable with jail time; some trafficking victims are treated as illegal migrants and are subject to arrest, detention, and deportation because authorities continue to confuse human trafficking and smuggling; the government has not developed or employed systematic procedures for identifying trafficking victims and referring them for protective services; no public awareness campaigns are conducted and no plan of action was developed to complement Algeria's anti-trafficking law (2013)