Algerian seaport situated near the Tunisian border.
Called Bona (or Bône) before the independence of Algeria (1962), Annaba was one of North Africa's major trading posts prior to the French invasion in 1830. Bona itself, where France had obtained certain trading privileges prior to the invasion, was occupied in 1832. The city remained an important trading port throughout the nineteenth century. It was singled out by the French government in the 1950s for a number of major industrial projects, including Algeria's most important steel plant. These were part of the final effort by France—the so-called Constantine plan of 1958—to tie Algeria's postindependence economic development to the métropole (France itself).
After independence, Annaba emerged as an important harbor and industrial center. This was based in part on the earlier steel industry that had been started by the French and on heavy industries related to Algeria's socialist strategy adopted shortly after independence. Annaba's population is about 620,000 (2002).
Ruedy, John. Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1992.