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Robert L. Jones, II   Founder

Distinguished Professor, Visual Communication, American University, Cairo, Egypt   


WELCOME to our continuing AWEsome journey through the African World where we are creating and sharing digital stories and information for, about and by people of African descent. Our aim is to help all people get more factual information and interactive knowledge about Africa--the emerging giant. It is important that we all develop a deep curiosity about how information about African people is created and managed...and by whom?..and for what ultimate goal?

Throughout my 40 year career producing visual, text and audio content for magazines, newspapers and television, I have been apalled by the amount of misinformation and apparent purposeful disinformation that is accepted as truth about Africa and people of African descent around the world. As a young African American magazine photographer in the 1970s, I was frequently cautioned by fellow travelers not to go to the very places they themselve were going out of alleged "safety concerns". I also began to wonder why many locations I photographed in Africa did not resemble the stories being distributed by schools and the press. Had I not gone to these places myself, I would still believe only the negative and narrowly focused stories they eagerly told.

Empowering Afican people to tell their own stories became a professional and personal obsession that today is at the heart of the OnLine Africa Knowledge Foundation's dedication to providing education and training using interactive mobile micro-media technologies to help overcome the communications gulf between people of African descent worldwide and for promoting Black culture, education, literature, arts, storytelling and business that embraces all people. The lack of validated information and inspiring stories containing positive role models continues to prevent African and Diaspora people from realizing the potential of doing basic things like getting to know one another for business, education, employment and socialization purposes.

The good news is that for the first time ever, African people can fully participate in the new information supply chains being created as digital publishers and others scramble to develop and acquire unique content about the African World. Therefore, the foundation's partners are creating credible alternative sources of validated information that are inclusive of the voices of indigenous people of African descent. Since 1993, the OnLine Africa Knowledge Foundation has built viable digital bridges between cultures and social strata. Today, we serve a widespread consortium of international business organizations, governments, civic groups and educational communities in Africa and the Diaspora who have pledged to help us engage more African people in the process of content development in a digital universe where LOCAL CONTENT IS KING.

What you are about to encounter on our AWE Network websites will hopefully enable you to more critically absorb and interpret news and information from divergent sources. You will meet and talk with people from other lands who, despite differing cultures, languages and religions, are surprisingly similar to people everywhere.

We welcome your ideas and input as we fashion our uniquely responsive websites and associated activities according to your specific information needs for exploring the African world from a more balanced perspective.

Aluta continua, (The struggle continues)

Robert L. Jones, II

Founder, OnLine Africa Project

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African World Explorers Network Guide