Algeria is a country in North Africa, located in the Maghreb region extending from the Mediterranean to the heart of the Sahara. It is the largest country in Africa, surrounded by Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, and the Mediterranean Sea. More than four-fifths of the territory is in the Sahara desert.
Algeria’s economy was dependent on agriculture and went along with the French economic system until 1962, following the end of the 132-year French rule. Since then, its economy relies on its export trade in natural gas and petroleum. These are the commodities that still contribute about one-third of the nation’s GDP despite its fluctuating prices. The extraction and production of hydrocarbons have opened the door for accelerated industrialization, making the country the world’s fourth-largest exporter of gas with a cushion of $150 billion in international currency reserves as well as a sizeable hydrocarbon stabilization fund.
The government launched a centrally planned economy in a socialist system during the first twenty years after gaining independence. This step was aimed to nationalize most of the industries, however, since the 1980s, privatization of state-owned industries has been adopted instead. The country’s living conditions have improved but the production of food has dropped.
The Algerian dinar (DZD) is the nation’s official currency which is divided into 100 santeem. The monetary unit was introduced on April 11, 1964, replacing the Algerian new franc. Although independent from France, these Algerian paper bills still have an obvious French influence such as the French text on the reverse side of the notes. The three lower denominations were also designed by French artists Eugene Robert Pougheon and Henry Lucien Cheffer.
Because of inflation, a 1,000-dinar banknote was issued in 1992, while the 10, 20, and 50-dinar denominations were removed. In its 2018 issues, the Bank of Algeria released a new Science and Technology-themed 500-dinar banknote and National Traditions and Customs-themed 1,000 dinar banknote. Meanwhile, the 100-dinar paper bill was replaced with a coin.