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Algeria - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook

      Glossary -- Algeria

      Self-management system. Originated in takeover of management functions by farm and industrial workers after Algerian independence.
      barrels per day (bpd)
      Production of crude oil and petroleum products is frequently measured in barrels per day and often abbreviated as bpd. A barrel is a volume measure of forty-two United States gallons. Conversion of barrels to tons depends on the density of the specific product. About 17.3 barrels of average crude oil weigh one ton. Light products such as gasoline and kerosene average close to eighteen barrels per ton.
      dinar (DA)
      Unit of Algerian currency since 1964; divided into 100 centimes. The average exchange rate was DA9.0 in 1990, DA18.5 in 1991, DA21.8 in 1992, DA24.5 in 1993, and DA40.7 in October 1994.
      European Community (EC)
      See European Union (EU).
      European Union (EU)
      Until November 1993, the EU was known as the European Community (EC). The EU comprises three communities: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Each community is a legally distinct body, but since 1967 they have shared common governing institutions. The EU forms more than a framework for free trade and economic cooperation: the signatories to the treaties governing the communities have agreed in principle to integrate their economies and ultimately to form a political union. Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) were charter members of the EU; Britain, Denmark, and Ireland joined on January 1, 1973; Greece became a member on January 1, 1981; and Portugal and Spain entered on January 1, 1986.
      GDP (gross domestic product)
      A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only output values of goods for final consumption and investment are included because the values of primary and intermediate production are assumed to be included in final prices. GDP is sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these have been eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The word gross indicates that deductions for depreciation of physical assets have not been made. See also GNP.
      GNP (gross national product)
      The gross domestic product (q.v.) plus the net income or loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries. GNP is the broadest measurement of the output of goods and services by an economy. It can be calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost by removing indirect taxes and subsidies.
      One of four major legal schools in Sunni (q.v.) Islam, the Hanafi school makes substantial use of reason in legal opinions. Named for Ali Numan Abu Hanifa (ca. 700-67), a leading theologian in Iraq.
      From Abu Allah ibn Ibad (ca. 660-ca. 715), a moderate Kharijite who spent considerable time in Basra, Iraq. The Kharijites were members of the earliest sect in Islam that left the followers of Ali or Shia (q.v.) because of Shia willingness to allow human arbitration of Ali's dispute with the caliph, Uthman, rather than divine judgment.
      A word used in several senses. In general use, it means the leader of congregational prayers; as such it implies no ordination or special spiritual powers beyond sufficient education to carry out this function. It is also used figuratively by many Sunni (q.v.) Muslims to mean the leader of the Islamic community. Among Shia (q.v.) the word takes on many complex meanings; in general, however, and particularly when capitalized, it indicates that particular descendant of the Party of Ali who is believed to have been God's designated repository of the spiritual authority inherent in that line. The identity of this individual and the means of ascertaining his identity have been major issues causing divisions among Shia.
      International Monetary Fund (IMF)
      Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members (including industrialized and developing countries) when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing countries.
      London Club
      An informal group of commercial banks that come together to negotiate a debt rescheduling agreement with a country. The group has two committees, an economics committee that develops economic data projections and a negotiating committee. Committee members usually come from the five principal banks that hold the largest amounts of a country's debt.
      The western Islamic world (northwest Africa); distinguished from the Mashriq, or eastern Islamic world (the Middle East). Literally, "the time and place of the sunset--the west." For its Arab conquerors, the region was the "island of the west" (jazirat al maghrib), the land between the "sea of sand" (the Sahara) and the Mediterranean Sea. Traditionally includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Tripolitania (in Libya); more recently some sources have treated Mauritania as part of the region. Also transliterated as Maghreb.
      Named for Malik ibn Anas (ca. 710-95), a leading jurist from Medina. The Maliki school is one of four major legal schools in Sunni (q.v.) Islam, which recorded the Medina consensus of opinion, using tradition as a guide.
      Paris Club
      The informal name for a consortium of Western creditor countries (Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States) that have made loans or have guaranteed export credits to developing nations and that meet in Paris to discuss borrowers' ability to repay debts. Paris Club deliberations often result in the tendering of emergency loans to countries in economic difficulty or in the rescheduling of debts. Formed in October 1962, the organization has no formal or institutional existence. Its secretariat is run by the French treasury. It has a close relationship with the International Monetary Fund (q.v.), to which all of its members except Switzerland belong, as well as with the World Bank (q.v.) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Paris Club is also known as the Group of Ten (G-10).
      Shia (from Shiat Ali, the Party of Ali)
      A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam. The Shia supported the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive right to the caliphate and leadership of the Muslim community, and on this issue they divided from the Sunni (q.v.) in the major schism within Islam. Later schisms have produced further divisions among the Shia over the identity and number of imams (q.v.). Most Shia revere Twelve Imams, the last of whom is believed to be hidden from view.
      The larger of the two great divisions of Islam. The Sunni, who rejected the claims of Ali's line, believe that they are the true followers of the sunna, the guide to proper behavior set forth by Muhammad's personal deeds and utterances.
      World Bank
      Informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance specifically designed to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in the less developed countries. The MIGA, founded in 1988, insures private foreign investment in developing countries against various noncommercial risks. The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The four institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).

    NOTE: The information regarding Algeria on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Algeria Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Algeria Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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