Algeria (Arabic: al-Jaz’ir; Berber: Dzayer, ;), formally the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. Algiers, the country’s capital and most populated city, is located in the country’s far north. Algeria is the tenth-biggest country in the world and the largest in Africa, with an area of 2,381,741 square kilometers (919,595 square miles).
Algeria is surrounded by Tunisia to the northeast, Libya to the east, Morocco to the west, the Western Saharan region, Mauritania, and Mali to the southwest, Niger to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. The nation is divided into 48 provinces and 1,541 communes and is governed by a semi-presidential republic (counties). Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been the President of Algeria since 1999.
Many empires and dynasties ruled over ancient Algeria, including the Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Idrisids, Aghlabids, Rustamids, Fatimids, Zirids, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Ottomans, and the French colonial Berbers are often regarded as Algeria’s original population. Following the Arab conquest of North Africa, most indigenous populations were Arabised; consequently, while the majority of Algerians are Berber in origin, the majority identify as Arab.
Algerians are primarily Berbers, with some Arabs, Turks, Sub-Saharan Africans, and Andalusians thrown in for good measure (people from southern Spain who migrated after the reconquista).
Algeria is a regional and middle-of-the-road power. The North African country sells a considerable amount of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports constitute the economy’s backbone. Algeria has the 17th biggest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, according to OPEC, and the 9th largest natural gas reserves. Sonatrach, the national oil corporation, is Africa’s largest.
Algeria has one of Africa’s largest military and the continent’s highest defense budget; the majority of Algeria’s weaponry are bought from Russia, with whom it has a close alliance. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations, and the Maghreb Union, which it founded.