Country: ALGERIA
AAQS region: Northern
Area in km2: 2,381,741
Capital: Algiers
Approximate population: 30,000,000
Languages: Arabic, French, Berber
Currency: Dinar (DA)
Brief history: Most Algerians live in the nothern coastal plain. South of the Atlas Mountains is the Sahara Desert. In 1830 France took control of Algeria and encouraged French immigration. Following protracted fighting, there was a French withdrawal in 1962 when about one million settlers left Algeria. It has huge oil and gas reserves which account for 96% of Algeria's exports. By the late 1990s, the economy was severely affected by the collapse in oil prices which resulted in unemployment and civil war

Country: LIBYA
AAQS region: Northern
Area in km2: 1,775,500
Capital: Tripoli
Approximate population: 6,000,000
Languages: Arabic, English, Italian
Currency: Dinar (LD)
Brief history: It is primarily a desert country. At its independence in 1951, it was a poor country but its economy has been transformed by oil reserves. In the north of the country, winter rains allow grain and Mediterranean crops to grow

Country: MOROCCO
AAQS region: Northern
Area in km2: 710,850
Capital: Rabat
Approximate population: 30,000,000
Languages: Arabic,Berber, Spanish,
Currency: Dirham
Brief history: It has both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and with mountains rising to over 4000m. Its fertile land : a wide range of vegetables, fruits and other crops provide major agricultural exports. The economy is also assisted by huge phosphate resources and substantial manufacturing growth including fruit canning, textiles and car assembly plants

Country: TUNISIA
AAQS region: Northern
Area in km2: 163 610
Capital: Tunis
Approximate population: 9 000 000
Languages: Arabic, Berber& French
Currency: Dinar (TD)
Brief history: Atlas mountains in eastern part gives adequate rain for flourishing agriculture eg olive and citrus groves. Oil, phosphates and other minerals are also important resources. There are large salt accumulations in the desert. A growing tourist industry is based on the Roman remains and the beaches

Country: MAURITANIA
AAQS region: Northern
Area in km2: 1 030 700
Capital: Nouakchott
Approximate population: 2 500 000
Languages: Arabic, French & ,many local
Currency: Ouguiya
Brief history: Part of the country is desert but it has major mineral resources and the south has enough rain for agriculture

Country: EGYPT
AAQS region: Eastern
Area in km2: 997,738.5
Capital: Cairo
Approximate population: 65,00,000
Languages: Arabic,English, French
Currency: Egyptian Pound
Brief history: Egypt gained its independence from Britain in 1936. Most of the country is desert, traversed by a thin ribbon of settlement and cultivation along the Nile

Country: SUDAN
AAQS region: Eastern
Area in km2: 2 505 813
Capital: Khartoum
Approximate population: 34 000 000
Languages: Arabic, English & Local languages
Currency: Dinar
Brief history: About 1.3 million people have died in conflict and more than 3 million have been displaced. The north is desert but much of the rest of the country is savannah and grows tropical grains, groundnuts and livestock. The Blue Nile and White Nile offer enough irrigation to grow cotton, sugarcane and other tropical crops for export. Oil is a new export