People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
2 381 741 Km²
Algeria is the largest country on the Mediterranean and forms a gateway from Africa to Europe. The country has a predominantly young population of almost 35 million people, concentrated mainly on the north coast.
The country's official language is Arabic but the Berber language (Amazigh) is also recognised and is spoken by the Kabyle population. French is widely used in business and media.
Algeria has a rich and varied history. Originally inhabited by Berbers, the country became part of the Roman Empire in 200 BC and Roman ruins can be found throughout Algeria, particularly on the northern coast. Arabs arrived in the 8th century. The country was made part of the Ottoman Empire by Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa and his brother Aruj in 1517 who established Algeria's modern boundaries. Algeria was colonised by France in 1830, gaining independence in 1962.
The country is led by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who came to power as leader of the National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1999 on a platform of national reconciliation following the Algerian Civil War. He was reelected in a landslide victory in 2004, and for a third term in April 2009. President Bouteflika has gained international recognition for stabilising the country and encouraging international investment.
Algeria is a key oil and gas producer and major supplier to Europe. The revenues from oil and gas are being used to improve the country's infrastructure and invest in industry. Algeria is a member of OPEC, the Arab League, United Nations and the African Union.
Algeria - the largest country on the Mediterranean
For further information, please refer to the following links:
CIA World Factbook
Ministry of Energy and Mines, Algeria
Ministry of Industry and Investment Promotion