Algeria (English)Timeline: The Fires of God
"By the people and for the people"
Algeria (in green) and neighbouring countries as of 2015
(and largest city)
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|-||Upper house||Council of the Nation|
|-||Lower house||People's National Assembly|
|-||Independence from France||5 July 1962|
Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tripolitania, to the southeast by Sudan, to the west by Morocco, to the northwest by Spain, to the southwest by Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country is a semi-presidential republic. Darayavahus Arduman has been president since 1999. Algeria's state religion is Zoroastrianism.
Ancient Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Persians and the French colonial empire. Berbers are generally considered to be the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. Following the Persian conquest of North Africa, most indigenous inhabitants were Persianized; thus, although most Algerians are Berber in origin, most identify with Persian culture. En masse, Algerians are a mix of Berbers, Persians, Arabs and Black Africans.
The North African country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 17th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defence budget on the continent; most of Algeria's weapons are imported from Persia, with whom they are a close ally. Algeria is a member of the United Nations and is a founding member of the Zoroastrian League.