Welcome to Algeria

Most people live along the northern coastal region. The capital of Algiers is a busy port and a historic city with buildings in the old hilltop town (known as the Casbah) dating back to medieval times. Come and take a look around Algiers and places nearby like Tipaza to learn more about Algeria.

Economy & Industry

Hydrocarbons rule

Algeria’s economy depends on its large reserves of oil and natural gas, which bring in the vast majority of the country’s export revenues.

Education & Jobs

Skilled, but jobless

Algeria’s population is generally well-educated, with over 90% of young people able to read and write. However, jobs are scarce and young people can feel frustrated by the lack of opportunities.

Employment

Finding work in Algeria

It’s natural for children to have ambitions for their future, but once young people are ready for work, the reality of finding a good job can be a little different to their dreams.

Facts & Figures

Largest African country

At 2.38 million square kilometres, Algeria is now the largest country in Africa (since Sudan split into two) and the 10th largest in the world. To have an idea of its size, it is nearly ten times larger than the UK and would be able to fit much of Western Europe into its land area.

Food & Daily life

Mediterranean melting pot

Algerian cuisine is a mixture of Berber/African, Arab, Turkish, French and Spanish influences, resulting in a flavoursome, often spicy mix.

Geography & Wildlife

North and south

The low-lying coastal strip and mountains of the north give way to grasslands and the desert regions of southern Algeria.

Haraga

Looking for opportunities

As in other north African countries, it can be hard for young people to find employment and some choose to leave Algeria without visas to search for work.

History & Politics

Invaders

After centuries of being dominated by invading peoples – Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and the French – Algerians are now making their own history.

Independence

A symbol of Algeria

In central Algiers, Nardjes finds the statue of a national hero before visiting a monument which has come to symbolise the city and the Algerian nation as a whole.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Algeria map

Explore Algeria

Find out more about some of the key towns and cities of Algeria, as well as areas of natural and geographic interest to the south.

People & Culture

A mix of peoples

Algerians are mainly of Berber or Arab origins, but with recent European colonisations (the French and Spanish) and communities of Saharan-Africans, people are of mixed heritage and appearance.

Poverty & Healthcare

A good health basis

Algeria built up one of the best healthcare systems in Africa, though services are now in need of modernisation and improvement.

Tipaza

A Roman town

There are a number of places along the coast of Algeria where impressive Roman remains can be found and Tipaza is one of three ancient Roman sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Tourism & Communications

Discovering Algeria

With its rich history, Algeria has many historic sites of interest and the country’s stunning mountain scenery and desert landscapes await the adventurous tourist.

Welcome to Algeria

A coastal capital

Most of Algeria's population live along the beautiful Mediterranean coastal region, where the country's capital of Algiers is located. As well as being a busy port, Algiers is a historic city and the SOS chief reporters have much to show.

Climate & Agriculture

Plentiful rain

Though Algeria is famous for its dry Sahara desert, which takes up most of the country, the northern coastal regions have abundant rain and flash floods are not uncommon.

Climate

Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Health

Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Women

A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

History

The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Development

‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Children

Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Children's Stories

'Success in Distress' and 'SOS is always there'

Some of the children at the SOS Children's Village south of Algiers took part in a film-making workshop. Watch the films they created.

Chaabi

Folk music

As in many African countries, traditional music is still popular and chaabi or folk music players are often invited to play at special occasions.

Foods

Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Poverty

Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

Algiers

City with history

The buildings of Algiers are influenced by the country’s history of colonisation, from the Ottoman Turks who made the city their capital in the 16th century to the French who took control in the 19th century.

Algeria topicsFacts & FiguresPoverty & HealthcareFood & Daily lifeEmploymentPeople & CultureGeography & WildlifeClimate & AgricultureChaabiIndependenceWelcome to AlgeriaAlgiersEconomy & IndustryHaragaEducation & JobsChildren's StoriesHistory & PoliticsTipazaAlgeria mapTourism & Communications