Setif may be one of the most modern towns in Algeria, but its roots are definitely in the past. Its ancient walls tell a tale of the Roman Emporer Nerva who was determined to establish a veterans colony. Then Setif known by its Roman name of Sitifis became the chief city in the province of Mauretaini Sitifensis and remained staunchly under Byzantine rule.
Garrisoned by the French in 1838, it was not until 1945 the Sétif town area became the site of a spontaneous outburst against French colonial rule.
Since that tumultuous time, the area was developed as the centre for cereal cultivation as it was during the the popular French Colonial days, and now wheat is processed in local factories, to produce wheat products, especially semolina.