Algeria is the largest country among the five countries that form the Maghreb (Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya), the second largest country in Africa, and the tenth country in the world. It covers a total area of 919,590.200 square miles and has a sea border of over 746 miles along the Mediterranean Sea.
Its territory penetrates the African continent through the Sahara, and reaches the
Mali and Niger borders



 The climate of Algeria is under the conflicting influences of the Mediterranean Sea and of the Sahara. Climate zones follow three traditional divisions, from North to South:

A Mediterranean climate prevails in the coastal zone and benefits to most of the Tell. It is characterised by mild winters ,long and warm summers that sea breezes help to cool down;

A continental climate with a steppe-like weather tendency prevails in
the High Plains;

A desert-like climate, noticeable for its aridity, prevails in the South. It is characterized by great diumal variations, extreme dryness, and, sometimes, torrential rains. In the Summer, the Sirocco, a hot/dust/sand-laden wind, blows from the Sahara to the North. The temperatures of the coastal zone vary between 41 and 590 F in Winter and 77to 950 F in Summer, whereas in the South, the temperature can reach 1220 F in the shade. There are between 15.6 to 39 inch of rainfalls per year, with only 4 inch of rainfalls per year in all the desert area. This rainfall pattern is decisive for the Algerian agriculture. However, in both the Tell and the High Plains, irrigation is necessary for agricultural activities, because rainfalls are irregular and unevenly distributed through time and space.



The urbanisation rate is high in the North where 55% of the population live in urban areas. The main cities of Algeria, located along the coast or in the high plains, are as follows:


Algiers, the Capital City of Algeria, with a population of 3 million inhabitants

Oran, 269 miles West of Algiers, with a population of 660 000 inhabitants;

Constantine, 268 miles East of Algiers, with a population of 500 000 inhabitants;

Annaba, 373 miles further East of Algiers, with a population of 400 000 inhabitants.



The division between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary powers was sanctioned by the
Constitution of February 28, 1989.


Legislative power:

The 1963 Constitution gave birth to the Algerian Parliament.
The constitutional revision of November 28, 1996 put an end to the unicameral
system by creating a Parliament that includes:


A National Popular Assembly, N.P.A. ("Assemblée Populaire Nationale", A.N.P.) with 380 deputies;

A Nation Council, N.C. ("Conseil de la Nation", C.N.) with 144 senators. The Nation Council exorcises, with the National Popular Assembly, the legislative power. It votes the laws by a majority of3/4 (three-fourths) of its members. Only texts that have already been passed at their first reading by the National Popular
Assembly can be submitted to the Nation Council who does not have, however,
amendment powers. In case there is a disagreement between the National Popular Assembly and the Nation Council, an ad hoc commission consisting of an equal representation of both chambers is set up. This ad hoc commission is instructed to propose a revised text that is submitted to the approval of both chambers, with no possibility for amendment. The Parliament legislates in areas that have a legal relevance and that are expressly specified by the Constitution.


The Constitutional Council:

Since 1989, Algeria a has Constitutional Council who controls the constitutionality of the laws. It is instructed to act by the President of the Republic, by the President of the National Popular Assembly or by the President of the Nation Council. Besides its attributions as the controlling body for the respect of the Constitution, the Constitutional Council sees that referendum campaigns, presidential and legislative elections, are conducted according to the mules of procedures established, and proclaims their results.


Executive power:
The Algerian regime is of a presidential nature.
The President of the Republic holds most of the executive power. He is elected
through direct universal suffrage and has extended powers. His main prerogatives
are as follows:


Commandment of the armed forces.

Leadership of the Ministry of Defense ("Ministère de la Défense").

Presidency of the High Council for Security, H.C.S. ("Haut Conseil de Sécurité".

Appointment of the Prime Minister.

Designation of 1/3 (one third) of the Senators.

Power to dissolve the National Popular Assembly.

The Head of the State has the authority to pass executive decrees for law implementation in areas that are not expressly devolved upon the President of the Republic.





 Algerian law shows Romano - Germanic influences. It has none of the legal
mechanisms of Common Law.The foundation of Algerian law is a mixture of Islamic law and French law. Penal law is conceived after French law, whereas family law and death duties' law have strong Islamic influences.


Judiciary power:

The independence of the judiciary power is constitutionally proclaimed. The administrative suspension of regulations is prohibited.The judiciary system is based on a dual jurisdiction: there is a judiciary order and an administrative order. Each order is aware of the principle of dual jurisdiction and of the existence of a judge that can cancel court decisions.



 Since 1985, Algeria has been divided into 48 provinces (wilayas),227 administrative districts (daîras) and 1 541 townships (baladyas).



 Each province is under the management of a Wilaya Popular Assembly, W.P.A. ("Assemblée Populaire de Wilaya", APW) of 35 to 55 deputies who are elected for four years. Each province is under the leadership of a "Prefect" (Wali) who is appointed by the President of the Republic and assisted by an Executive Council ("Conseil Exécutif'). The Wali is under the direct supervision of the central governmement. Since 1997, the Wilaya of Algiers has been divided into 28 districts
and includes 24 townships.



 a Township Popular Assembly, T.P.A. ("Assemblée Populaire Communale",A.P.C.) elected for a four-year term governs each township. It comprises 10 to 18 members, and is responsable for the local administration of the economy, of both finances and cultural affairs .The T.P.A. elects a Township Executive Council (T.E.C.) ("Conseil Exécutif Communal", C.E.C.) and its President, and all are accountable to the Ministry of Interior.

Business Sectors in Algeria