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    Algeria and the Third World Project

    Boumediene, Indira Gandhi

    With independence achieved in July 1962, the new République Algérienne Démocratique et Populaire (People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, RADP) continued to express its identity and pursue its ambitions through those relationships and international initiatives that its diplomats referred to as “this Third World project.” 

    Forged in the crucible of the FLN’s pioneering international campaign, that unusually capable diplomatic team allowed Algeria to assume disproportionate responsibility, in relation to its size, for the maintenance of globe-spanning coalitions like Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Group of 77 (G77) that maximised the developing countries’ influence in world affairs. 

    In the same spirit, the Algerians played a central role in the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in April 1963, which they considered the prototype for a postcolonial order free of systemic Western interference. At the same time, portraying their country as a “pilot state,”.

    Ben Bella (first President of independent Algeria) and his colleagues presented Algeria’s socialist experiment as an example for others to follow. They accepted an influx of foreign anarchists, Trotskyists, and other assorted fellow militants and freedom fighters who were eager to build a new world amid the wreckage of colonialism. In the words of a French diplomat posted to the embassy in Algiers in the early 1960s, the atmosphere there was “simultaneously convivial, revolutionary, disorganised, and generous.” 

    For those disillusioned with both the Western and Eastern examples, Algeria seemed set to fulfil the Third World’s promise of a third way, a better way.

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    Item Reviewed: Algeria and the Third World Project Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Algeria Gate
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