Algeria is a homogeneous country with (99%) ethnic Arab-Berber and less than (1%) European (CIA Factbook 2021). Over the years, Algeria’s approach to cultural identity has evolved towards multiculturalism which included the indigenous Berber population. The debates that shaped the Algerian identity emerged in three phases. The first two phases established a mono-cultural national identity based on Islamic and Arab identity. The Berber identity has been ignored and marginalized since the 1950’s. However, since 1996 it has become part of the Algerian national identity and has been incorporated in the 1996 constitution. The constitution states that “Islam, Arabism and Tamazight” constitute the basic components of the Algerian society (Ennaji 2014).
Cultural and diversity policies in Algeria are dictated and controlled by the state with minimum input from civil society and activist groups and concentrate on the financial and regulatory aspects of cultural organizations activities and functions. However, Algeria today lacks requisite data on ethnic diversity which is an indicator that the government haven’t hasn’t taken substantial steps in fully incorporating incorporated ethnic diversity as a component of the Algerian identity.
Algeria has achieved an overall ICDI score of 0.40. A score of 0.65 in the component of fractionalisation indicates that existing levels of cultural participation typically meet the conditions needed for a favourable degree of inclusion. In contrast, a score of 0.03 in the component of social contact indicates minimal platforms available for intercultural participation and low numbers of indigenous and immigrant living languages. A score of 0.08 in the component of socio-economic inequality signals low levels of intergenerational social mobility and low levels of educational attainment amongst the population.
Current Situation and Outlook
Compared to its near average scores in its legislative and opportunities dimension, Algeria has attained a lower score for its structural dimension. Algeria can strengthen its structural dimension by increasing the number of platforms available for social contact by encouraging cultural participation and preserving the number of indigenous and immigrant living languages. This can also be supported by increasing and sustaining the number of multicultural or diversity acts or policies and promoting migrant integration measures.