Location: on the southern Mediterranean,
bordered by Tunisia and Libya to the east and Morocco to the west
Area: 2,381,740 sq km
Coastline: 998 km
lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m
highest point: Tahat 3,003 m
Official languages: Arabic
Second languages: Berber, French
0-14 years: 29.9%
15-64 years: 65.6%
65 and over: 4.6%
Currency: Algerian Dinar (DA)
Member: Arab League
Algeria lies in north Africa on the southern Mediterranean coast. It is bordered to the west by Morocco, to the south by Niger, Mali and Mauritania, and to the east by Libya and Tunisia. The main cities are the capital Algiers, Wahrane, Annaba, Constantine and Tlemcen. Its population is about 28 million.
In early times the Phoenicians ruled North Africa and from their capital in Carthage they controlled Algeria, until the Romans occupied it in 42BC.In 682 AD it was conquered by the Arabs and ruled by successive dynasties: Fatimids, the Bani Abd el Wahids and the Hafsids.
In 1518 Algeria came under Ottoman rule. In 1830 it was occupied by the French. Abd al-Qadir al Jaza’iri led a rebellion against French rule. In 1954 the Algerian War of Independence began, and it continued until independence from the French in 1962.
Algeria is the second largest country in Africa after Sudan. 94% of the total population lives in the northern region, between the Atlas Mountains and the coast.
The remaining population lives in the oases of the southern desert region, in Anfusa, Waqala, Hasi Masoud.
The climate is arid to semiarid. Along the Mediterranean coast the weather is temperate, in the interior and the south it is hot and dry. There is large temperature difference throughout the country between day and night, varying form 36C during the day to 5C at night.
Between May and September the country is subject to the hot desert wind called sirocco, which fills the air with fine sand.
Algeria is a vast desert country with a fertile coastal plain, about 800km in width. The plain rises to the Little Atlas mountain range, also known as Tell. In the south and bordering the Sahara are the Great Atlas or Saharan Atlas mountains. The highest peak is at Tahat, an elevation of 3303m. Other mountain ranges are the Aures Mountains in the east of the Saharan Atlas and the al-Qabail mountains in the Jurjura range in the east of the Little Atlas, (highest peak is Djebel Chelia, 2320m).
The main river in Algeria is the Chelif. It flows northeast and is 690km long. During the winter rainy season the wadis –dry river beds – fill with water and the land along the wadis becomes arable. Rain water also flows into closed bays which are called “chott”. The main chotts are Hadna, Malfeegh.
Agriculture products are grains, wheat, dates, grapes, citrus, olives, barley, and tobacco,
livestock (sheep, goats and cattle) and cotton which is grown in the oases.
Algeria’s natural resources are oil and natural gas, iron ore and phosphate.
Industrial production includes: petroleum, textiles, cement and building material, agricultural machinery, car assemblies, and foodstuffs.
The main exports are: petroleum, natural gas, iron, phosphates, cork, edible oils, dates, fruits and vegetables.
Nature reserves: Tassili N’Ajjer Biosphere Reserve, Kala Biosphere Reserve, Djurdura Biosphere Reserve
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