PIP: Algeria is the 2nd largest state in Africa with a population of 22 million, 45% of which are urban and 57% under the age of 20. Almost all Algerians are Muslim. Education has become a real priority in Algeria and there are now more than 5 million students. Emphasis has begun to be placed on the establishment of technical institutes for training in skill areas needed to supply the nation's quickly expanding industrial sector. Presently there is a shortage of housing. The government of Algeria is centralized with guidance on fundamental issues coming from the periodic congresses of the FLN party and from its central committee between congresses. Laws remaining from the French colonial system are being amended to meet current Algerian needs. There has been relative political stability since 1965. Principal domestic objectives of the Algerian government are to achieve economic development through industrialization and increased agricultural productivity as well as raising the standard of living. The government basically controls the planning, development, and administration of the Algerian economy. The current 5-year economic development plan is financed heavily by hydrocarbon income. Despite the production of large quantities of food, Algeria must import 1/3 of its food to feed its growing population. However, at the same time, they provide a substantial amount of assistance to many of their neighbors. The armed forces are comprised of about 135,000 members and Algeria is considered a leading military power in the region. Its foreign policy is considered 1 of independence and nonalignment, and Algeria advocates the securing of a greater share of the world's wealth for developing countries by getting higher prices for the raw materials they produce. Relations with the US have improved since 1969 following the diplomatic break in realtions during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Most of the major political differences have been resolved.