Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a North African country located in the Maghreb region. It is the largest country in Africa and the Arab world, bordering Tunisia to the northeast, Libya to the east, Niger to the southeast, Mali, Mauritania, and Western Sahara to the southwest, Morocco to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. The nation has a semi-arid climate, with the majority of the population residing in the fertile north and the Sahara dominating the southern landscape. Algeria is the ninth-most populous nation in Africa, with a land area of 2,381,741 square kilometers and a population of 44 million people. Algiers, the country's capital and largest port, is situated on the Mediterranean coast in the far north. Many empires and dynasties ruled Algeria prior to 1962, including the ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Rustamids, Idrisids, Aghlabids, Fatimids, Zirids, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Zayyanids, Spaniar The overwhelming majority of Algeria's population is Arab-Berber, who practice Islam and speak Arabic and Berber as official languages. In certain situations, however, French is used for administrative and educational purposes, and Algerian Arabic is the primary spoken language. Algeria is a semi-presidential republic with 58 provinces and 1,541 communes as local constituencies. Algeria is a regional power in North Africa and a global middle power. It has the highest Human Development Index of all non-island African nations, as well as one of the continent's largest economies, based primarily on energy exports. Algeria has the sixteenth-largest oil reserves and the ninth-largest natural gas reserves in the world. The national oil company, Sonatrach, is Africa's biggest, exporting vast quantities of natural gas to Europe. Algeria's military is one of the continent's oldest, with the continent's largest defense budget. It is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union, the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations, and the Arab Maghreb Union.