NAM COUNTRY: ALGERIA

ALGERIA
 
Introduction
Algeria, a gateway between Africa and Europe, became independent after more than 1.5 million Algerians were killed in a –seven- year fight for independence from France in a struggle that is considered as one of the greatest revolutions against colonialism during the 20th century. As a developing country, Algeria has played a great role in the achievement of the independence of many other African and Third World countries. Algeria also played a vital role within the Third World fora such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), the G77, the G15 and the African Union.
Geography
The second largest country in Africa, Algeria is bordered in the north by the Mediterranean sea, in the east by Tunisia and Libya, in the south by Niger and Mali, in the south-west by Mauritania and the Western Sahara and, in the west by Morocco. Algeria is composed of four principal sets of relief. To the north, along the Mediterranean coast, the narrow plain extends from Algerian Tell. This discontinuous plain and of variable width (80 km to 190 km) as well as the contiguous valleys, shelter the large majority of the arable lands of the country.
-Limiting the coastal plain to the south, a vast whole of higher relief is observed:
two significant East-West directed assembly lines (the Tellian Atlas in north, the Saharian Atlas and the Aurès in the south) frame an area of the desert high lands. To the south of the Saharian Atlas the immense desert extends from the Sahara which accounts for 80% of the surface of Algeria. The Sahara is composed of a great part of rock lands and stony plains. Two vast sand areas (Large Western Erg and Large Eastern Erg) constitute the principal sets of Saharan desert.
-Lastly, to the south of the Sahara the solid mass extends from Hoggar:
it is a succession of the desert high lands which rise in steps, dominated in its central part by imposing reliefs with the notched profile, which culminate to 2 908 m in the north of Tamanrasset (the point highest: Tahat 3 003m).

Climate:
The area of Tell, in the north, is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers and soft and rainy winters. The average temperatures in summer and winter are respectively of 25 °C and 11 °C. The more one goes down towards the south, the more the climate becomes dry: annual precipitations in the high lands and the Saharian Atlas do not exceed 200 to 400 mm. The Sahara is a windy and very arid area, where the thermal amplitudes are often considerable: these variations in temperatures, extremely high the day and very low the night, are explained by the total absence of a moisture able to attenuate contrasts of them. The height of the annual rains is lower than 130 mm in the whole of the Algerian desert.

Economy

The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the seventh-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the second-largest gas exporter, it ranks 14th in oil reserves. Sustained high oil prices in recent years, along with macroeconomic policy reforms have helped improve Algeria's financial and macroeconomic indicators. Algeria is running substantial trade surpluses and building up record foreign exchange reserves. Real GDP has risen due to higher oil output and increased government spending.
The government's continued efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector. The macroeconomic situation has improved and the last figures published related to 2005 give:

-Growth rate : 5.1% ,
-GDP : 101 billion USD,
-GDP per capita : 3100 USD
-Inflation rate : 1.6%
-International reserves : 62 billion USD
-External debt : 13.9 billion USD

A huge program of support to the economic re launch has been launched for an amount of 80 billions USD over five years (2005-2009) including many huge infrastructural, housing and water projects, education…while many reforms are conducted in the financial and banking system to improve its capacities. These reforms include privatizations and partnership operations which involved till 2005, 238 public companies sold to private sector including 31 companies sold to foreign private sector in agro based industry, chemicals, electronics, mining, and building materials.

The global amount of the investment during the year 2005 was 16 billion USD:

-9.7 Billion USD as State investment (more than 60%)
-3.5 Billion USD by the National privet sector
-more than 2.8 Billion USD by Foreign investors

History

Historically, Algeria was first known as the Kingdom of Numidia whose most famous Kings were Syphax, Massinissa and Jugurta who ruled the Kingdom during the III and the II century BJC. Numidia became Roman province in 46 BJC after a war between Jugurta and the Romans. The Vandals invaded the Roman North Africa 430 before the Byzantyne conquest in 533.
The Byzantyne era ended with the arrival of Islam and the Arabs in 647. Many Muslim dynasties ruled the country from 776 to 1518: the Rostomides (776 to 909), the Fatimides (908 to 972), the Zirides (972 to 1148), the Hammadites (1007 to 1152) , the Almoravides(1052 to 1147 ) the Almohades (1121 to 1235), the Zianides (1235 to 1556).
The Ottoman era started in 1518 when Algiers was placed under the Ottoman authority by Barbarous who helped the rulers to fight the threat of the Spanish. Algiers was then a recognized authority in the western Mediterranean and had established a huge naval fleet .Algiers has resisted many European offensives by the French, Spanish and English. In 1830 the French succeeded in their attempt to occupy the country but the conquest of the whole country completed only in 1857 although struggle against colonialism has continued till after 1880 in different parts of the country led by great national heroes like Emir Abdelkader, Cheikh El Mokrani, Cheikh Bouamama and Lalla Fatma N’Soumer.
During the 20th Century, the National Movement, after tough efforts, led the Algerian people to its great Liberation war against the French in 1954 which ended in 1962 by a referendum of self determination obtained after 1.5 million martyrs and a huge sacrifice from the Algerian people.

Independence

Algerian independence movements led to the liberation war of 1954, and on July 5, 1962, Algeria was proclaimed independent.

Internal Politics

On the 5th of July 1962 Algeria was proclaimed independent and on the 25th of September 1962 the first constituent assembly was elected and the first Government of Algeria was formed on 29th September 1962. After the adoption in May 1963 of the first Algerian constitution, Ahmed Ben Bella was elected in September 1963 first President of Algeria. In June 1965, Houari Boumediene was the Chairman of the new created Council of Revolution. In November 1976 was adopted the second constitution of Algeria and Houari Boumediene was elected President of The Republic in December 1976.After the death of Boumediene in December 1978, Chadli Bedjedid was elected in 1979 to the Presidency of The Republic and reelected in 1983 and 1988. After street demonstrations in October 1988, a new constitution was adopted in February 1989 which opened the era of multiparty system. Following the cancellation of legislative elections in December 1991, President Chadli Bendjedid resigned, and the High Council of State was created under the Presidency of Mohamed Boudiaf. After the assassination of the latter in June 1992, Ali Kafi headed the High Council Of State till the end of its mandate in 1994.Then Liamine Zeroual was nominated President of State and then elected President of the Republic in November 1995. In 1996 the fourth Algerian constitution was adopted by referendum and in 1997 first pluralist elections were held. In September 1998, President Liamine Zeroual announced anticipated Presidential elections held in April 1999 with the victory of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika .In September 1999, the law on civil harmony was adopted by referendum .In April 2004, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was reelected for a second mandate and in September 2005 the Charter on Peace and National Reconciliation was adopted by referendum .

President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA

Quick Facts

Official Name

People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

Capital

Algiers

Location

Located in North Africa, Algeria is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea in the north, Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania in the west, Mali and Niger the south, and Libya and Tunisia the east.

Population

33.2 million (January 2006)

Religions

Islam is the religion of the State.

Languages

Arabic is the national and official language. Tamazight is also a national language

National Holiday

Anniversary of the Revolution-November 1st (1954).

Independence

July 5, 1962

Head of State

The President is elected for a five year term by direct, secret and universal suffrage.

Head of Government

The head of the government presents members of the Government to the President of the Republic who appoints them.
Council of Ministers is Chaired by the President of the Republic.
Council of Government is chaired by the Head of Government.

Parliament

Bicameral:
The Council of the Nation
The National People’s Assembly

Legal System

Republic

Currency

Algerian Dinar (AD)=one hundred centimes.

Natural resources

Petroleum - natural gas – iron – phosphates – uranium – lead –zinc – gold…

Agricultural Products

Wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits, sheep, cattle…

Industries

Light industries - machinery – mining - electrical – electronics petrochemical, food processing …

Major trading partners
Usa - Italy –France – Germany – China – Japan - Canada
Spain – Turkey …



A national landmark: The Sanctuary of the Martyr

A scene of downtown Algiers

A water front view of Algiers

Part of the Algerian Sahara which is composed mostly of rock lands and stony plains Picture shows the highest point Tahat at 3,003m.

Djurdjura mountain


Content provided by The Embassy Of The People's Democratic Of Algeria, Kuala Lumpur