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Algeria

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People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية
Al-Jumhūriyyah Al-Jazāʾiriyyah Ad-Dīmuqrāṭiyyah Ash-Shaʿbiyyah

Flag of Algeria Seal of Algeria
Flag Emblem
Algeria (orthographic projection)
Capital

Algiers

Languages
Demonym

Algerian

Currency

Algerian dinar (DZD)

Establishment

-Independence recognized

July 3, 1962

-Independence declared

July 5, 1962

GDP (PPP)
-Total

$263.661 billion (2011)

-Per capita

$7,333 (2011)

GDP (nominal)
-Total

$190.709 billion (2011)

-Per capita

$5,304 (2011)

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The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Arabic: الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية, Al-Jumhūriyyah Al-Jazāʾiriyyah Ad-Dīmuqrāṭiyyah Ash-Shaʿbiyyah), or simply Algeria (Arabic: الجزائر‎, al-Jazā'ir; Berber: Dzayer Berber Dzayer) is a country located in the Maghreb region of Africa. It is bordered by Morocco and Western Sahara to the west, Mali and Mauritania to the southwest, Niger to the southeast, and Libya and Tunisia to the east.

EtymologyEdit

The country's name is derived from the city of Algiers, which was established in 944. The most common etymology links the city name of Algiers to al-Jazā'ir (الجزائر, "The Islands"), a shortened form of the city's older name Jazā'ir Banī Mazghanna (جزائر بني مزغنة, "Islands of the Mazghanna Tribe"), which was used by medieval Egyptian geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi and other individuals from the same time period. Others claim that the name was derived from Ldzayer, the Maghrebi Arabic and Berber word for "Algeria" possibly related to the Zirid Dynasty King Ziri ibn Manad or his son Bologhine ibn Ziri, who founded the city of Algiers.

HistoryEdit

Umayyad750ADloc

The Umayyad Caliphate introduced Islam to Algeria.

The lands of Algeria have been populated as early as 10,000 BC, during prehistoric times. The many different groups of people in Northern Africa eventually coalesced into a distinct native population, which became known as Berbers. Since 4000 BC they were pushed away from the coasts by waves of Phoenician, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Arab, Turkish, and French invaders. Phoenician traders arrived on the North African coast around 900 BC and Carthage (in modern-day Tunisia) in 800 BC. From Carthage, the Carthaginians expanded and established settlements along the North African coast, including lands located within modern-day Algeria. Eventually, the Berber people rebelled and managed to obtain control of much of Carthaginian territory, and by 146 BC, Carthage fell to the Roman Republic. As Carthaginian power waned, the influence of the Berber people in the neighboring lands grew. By the 2nd century BC, several large but loosely administered Berber nations emerged in Algeria. After that, King Masinissa managed to unify Numidia during his regency. Berber territory was eventually annexed to the Roman Republic during 24 AD, and remained in possession of Rome for two centuries. When Muslim Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate arrived in Algeria during the mid-7th century, a large number of the local Berbers converted to the new faith. Following the fall of the Umayyads in 751, numerous local Berber dynasties, including the Aghlabids, Almohads, Zayyanids, Zirids, Rustamids, Hammadids, Almoravids, Fatimids, and Hafsids emerged. Several towns and outposts on the Algerian coast became conquered and occupied by the Spanish Empire during the early 16th century. The leaders of the city of Algiers sought aid from the Barbary corsairs Hayreddin Barbarossa and Oruç Reis. In 1516, Reis conquered Algiers with support from 1300 Turkish soldiers and became its ruler, with the city joining the Ottoman Empire. Algeria remained an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire until the French invaded Algiers in 1830 and successfully annexed it to the French Empire. The country then remained a department of France until it was declared independent on July 5, 1962.

EconomyEdit

45px-Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg.png This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Main article: Economy of Algeria
Béjaïa port

An oil port near Béjaïa.

The export of fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas accounts for roughly 60 percent of Algeria's budget revenues, 30 percent of GDP, and over 95 percent of export earnings. The country ranks 14th in petroleum reserves, containing about 11.8 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and it is estimated that the actual amount is even greater. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that Algeria had 160 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves in 2005, the tenth largest in the world. Between 2003 and 2007, average annual non hydrocarbon GDP growth averaged 6 percent, growing at an average of 4.5 percent during the same period. Algeria's external debt has been nearly eliminated, and the government has amassed large savings in its oil-stabilization fund. Inflation, the lowest in the region, remained stable at 4 percent on average between 2003 and 2007.

Algeria's financial and economic indicators improved during the mid-1990s, partly due to policy reforms supported by the International Monetary Fund and debt rescheduling from the Paris Club. The country's finances benefited from an increase in oil prices and the government's strict fiscal policy in 2000 and 2001, which lead to a large increase in trade surplus and reduction in foreign debt.

The government has continued efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside of the energy sector has had little effect in reducing high unemployment and improving living standards. In 2001, the Algerian government signed an Association Treaty with the European Union that will eventually lower tariffs and increase trade. Russia agreed to erase roughly $4.74 billion of Algeria's Soviet-era debt during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the country in 2006, and in return, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika agreed to purchase $7.5 billion worth of combat planes, air-defense systems, and other arms from Russia.

Also in 2006, Algeria decided to pay off its full $8 billion debt to the Paris Club before schedule. This would reduce Algeria's foreign debt to less than $5 billion by the end of 2006.

Algeria announced a budgetary surplus of $26.93 million in 2011, a 62.46 percent increase in comparison to the surplus of the previous year. In general, the country exported $73.39 billion worth of commodities while it imported $46.45 billion.

Numismatic historyEdit

Hafsids Bougie Algeria 1249 1276 ornemental Kufic

A Hafsid coin struck in Algeria.

The first coins issued in Algeria were likely brought over by the Phoenicians during their settlement of the Mediterranean coast. Numidian and Mauretanian coins were likely the first to be struck in Algeria. Following the collapse of these local dynasties, coins of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire were issued for the next 400 years. Byzantine and Vandal coins then began circulating in Algeria following the disestablishment of the Roman Empire. The Umayyads eventually took control of much of the Byzantine and Vandal possessions along the northern coast of Africa, and in the process introduced their currency. Later, under the Abbasids, the Aghlabids ruled portions of modern-day Algeria for a short period of time and introduced a new currency system. Later, Almoravid, Almohad, Zayyanid, Zirid, Hammadid, Fatimid, and Hafsid coins were issued in Algeria during the reign of each respective dynasty. When Algeria became a province of the Ottoman Empire in 1536, the budju became the primary unit of account, though Spanish and Portuguese coins continued to circulate. This currency was replaced by the French franc and Algerian franc following the successful French invasion of Algeria in 1830. Two years after being declared independent, Algeria introduced the dinar, the country's current currency, which officially replaced the franch in 1964.

Currency History
Code Currency Name Dates Conversion Divisions
Algerian budju
- 1848
  14-1/2 Asper = 1 Kharub; 2 Kharuba = 1 Muzuna; 24 Muzuna = 3 Batlaka = 1 Budju
Algerian franc
1848 - 1959
  100 Centimes = 1 Franc
Algerian new franc
1960 - 1964
1 new Franc = 100 Francs 100 Centimes = 1 Franc
DZD Algerian dinar
1964 -
1 DZD = 1 new Franc 100 Centimes = 1 Dinar

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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Africa
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