Country Profile: Algeria
Capital and largest city
Languages and dialectsArabic, Tamazight, Kabylia
Area2 381 741 sq km
Population33 769 669 (2007 est.)
The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is in North Africa, and the largest country on the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali and Mauritania, Morocco and the Sahara. Algeria is a member of the Arab League, UN, African Union and OPEC.
Arabic is the official language of Algeria, with many of the population speaking Algerian Arabic and Hassaniya. The dialect Tamazight is also spoken by a considerable percentage of the country's population. French is widely spoken across the country as a second language, and taught in most schools.
Algeria's economy is almost entirely dependant upon the production of fossil fuels, and in particular natural gas, of which it has generous reserves. The government has put sustained effort into attracting foreign investment for the country. Industry and agriculture are important economic sectors for Algeria, employing the biggest percentage of the workforce. Agricultural produce includes wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep and cattle. Apart from petrol and natural gas, Algeria's main industries are light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical and food processing. Algeria's major trading partners are France, Italy, China, Germany, Spain, US and Turkey.
Because of Algeria's dependence on fossil fuels for its main source of income, it is unsurprising that natural gas and petroleum produce most of the country's energy. In the future, however, Algeria will have to look for more long-term and sustainable methods of producing fuel, for example from the renewable hydro and solar power.
Algeria attracts tourists to the country through its several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Tipasa, Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad and the mountain range Tassili n'Ajjer.
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