Algeria, officially known as the Peoples' Democratic Republic of Algeria, is located in Northern Africa. It borders the countries of Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, Tunisia, and the disputed land of Western Sahara. Algeria has a prominent coastline, and its capital city of Algiers is located on a bay of the Mediterranean Sea. The territorial size of the country is 2,381,740 square kilometers (919,594 square miles) which is more than three times the size of Texas (U.S. Department of State). Algeria has a population of approximately 34.8 million people, which has tripled since 1960 (Google Public Data). Algeria is a republic, having won independence from France on July 5, 1962 (U.S. Department of State). Much like the United States, Algeria has three branches of government. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been chief of state since April 28, 1999, leads the executive branch. Bouteflika is aligned with the National Liberation Front political party. A bicameral parliament makes up the legislative branch and the judicial branch consists of a supreme court. The legal system is a mix of French Civil Law and Islamic Law, with what could be considered a socialist ‘everyday’ law (CBS News WorldWatch). According to the CIA’s World Factbook, Algeria’s economy “remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country’s socialist post-independence development model”. The country is in need of policies to modernize the economy and create banking reform (U.S. Department of State). The current GNI – PPP is $283 billion USD, with the per capita around $8,110 (Google Public Data). The major natural resources in Algeria are crude oil and natural gas, produced since the 1950s (World Desk Reference). These are also the country’s major exports, totaling $57.19 billion USD in 2010. Algeria’s top export partners are the United States, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Canada, and Turkey. Algeria is a member of OPEC, or Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and has been since 1969. OPEC's objective is to “co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries” (OPEC.org). Algeria has also held association status with the EU, or European Union, since September 2005. This allows Algeria to export to the EU nations tariff free and in return, it has gradually lifted tariffs on imports from those nations. Algeria’s top imports are consumer goods and foodstuffs from France, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, United States, Tajikistan, and Turkey. In 2010, imports totaled $38.4 billion USD. The currency of Algeria is the Algerian Dinar, or DZD, and is freely exchanged. The current exchange rate is approximately 73 DZD to one USD. The inflation rate has averaged 4% as of 2010, while unemployment hangs around 10% (CIA Factbook). Proposition
Algeria’s major export is crude oil, accounting for 30 percent of the GDP. Algeria produced an average of 1.42 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil in 2008 (U.S. Energy Information Administration). In contrast, Algeria’s agriculture sector contributes only 8 percent of the country’s GDP. Algeria relies heavily on imports to satisfy the country’s food needs; 45 percent of its food is imported (Library of Congress). I propose that Algeria invests more in its agriculture sector, both in farming and in fishing. Evidence
One of the major reasons for Algeria to concentrate on agriculture is the opportunity for foreign investment. Until recently, the country has been largely closed to foreign investment. The government is now starting to open up to try to increase productivity and cut dependence on food imports (Reuters). Algeria’s parliament also approved a law last year allowing private firms to lease government farmland for the first time (Reuters). The Algerian government is committed to opening up trade, and to encouraging inward investment, particularly by Western companies interested in using Algeria as a manufacturing base,...
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