Capital: Algiers


Population: 37,367,226 (July 2012 est.)


People groups: Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

note: although almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arab), only a minority identify themselves as Berber, about 15% of the total population; these people live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools


Languages: Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber dialects: Kabylie Berber (Tamazight), Chaouia Berber (Tachawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)


Religions: Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%. the Christian section is said to be about 250,000, including about 10,000 Roman Catholics and 150,000 to 200,000 evangelical Protestants (mainly Pentecostal), according to the Protestant Church of Algeria‘s leader Mustapha Krim. Algeria had an important Jewish community until the 1960s Nearly all of this community emigrated following the country’s independence, although a very small number of Algerian Jews continue to live in Algiers.


Living conditions: Infant mortality: total: 23.4 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy: total population: 74.73 years Literacy: 70%.. Per capita GDP $7,300 (2011 est.)

The country’s economy is very dependant on oil and gas products but these have provided a sound cushion against changes in world economy. The government maintains a strong influence over the economy, a heritage from its socialist past after independence. However, 25% of young people are unemployed.


Government: Republic

Executive branch: chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999). head of government: Prime Minister Abdelmakek SELLAL


Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Council of the Nation (upper house; 144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president, two-thirds elected by indirect vote to serve six-year terms; the constitution requires half the Council to be renewed every three years) and the National People’s Assembly (lower house; 462 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)


Judicial Branch: Supreme Court (or High Court) regulates activities of courts and tribunals; Council of State regulates body of activities of the administrative jurisdictions; Tribunal of Conflicts settles conflicts between the Supreme Court and the Tribunal of Conflicts


History. The country has been under Arab influence for centuries although ethnically mainly Berber. French colonisation started in the 1800s. A war of Independence commenced in 1954 and independence was granted in 1962. A socialist government was formed under Ben Bella, the guerrilla leader but he was overthrown 3 years later. A civil war was fought in the 1990s with a Berber group seeking autonomy and resenting an Arabisation policy. The country is still subject to inter ethnic unrest.


Pray as always for the entry of the gospel through men of peace, the raising up of labourers and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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