PAIDM Digital Media Institute

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Prior Experience

PAIDM is a project of the OnLine Africa Foundation which has, for 20 years, provided consultation to indigenous organizations seeking to develop digital solutions to developmental and educational problems in Africa and the Diaspora. Today our specialties include intellectual property development, media training, data mining, aggregation, micro-media production and digital publishing. OnLine Africa began in 1993 when we were consultants to the US Trade and Development Administration,World Bank Group InfoDEV, African Virtual University, MCI Communications, Randforum for Science-led Growth and Development (Kenya) and new South African government. We assisted the establishment of numerous telecommunications and training activities between American and African telecommuncations companies in Ghana, South Africa and Senegal from 1995-98. The Foundation's first lifelong learning initiatives in Ghana and South Africa (1995-2004) were instrumental in adding educational and business value to Africa's first national broadband data networks for business, education and government.

Over the years, we have also worked closely with:

  • African Roundtable, Academy for Educational Development
  • American Telephone and Telegraph
  • Datatel Ghana Public Data Network
  • Freedom Forum
  • Ghana Ministry of Education
  • Howard University (Washington)
  • Leland Initiative for Internet Connectivity in Africa
  • National Demonstration Lab for Interactive Information Technologies
  • Network of East-West Women/Free African Women's Network
  • NYNEX Fibre Optic Link Around the Globe project
  • Syndicate of Egyptian Journalists
  • UN International Telecommunications Union (Switzerland, Ghana)
  • UN Millennium Development Goals Arab-Africa Initiative Steering Committee
  • UN Population Fund (Egypt)
  • UNESCO Centers of Excellence in Journalism Education
  • Union of African Journalists
  • University of Ghana
  • University of Johannesburg/Vista University Soweto Campus
  • US Academy for Educational Development (Project LearnLink)
  • US Department of State
  • USIA WorldNet TV
  • US National Digital Library (Library of Congress)
  • Wits University (South Africa and US)


We also developed, launched and managed media projects for sustainable community economic development:

2009-2013: Adopt-a-Village Programme (Egypt, Kenya and South Africa) identified testbed sites for mobile micromedia research and production.

2011-12: Co-funded establishment of the Julius K. Nyerere Center for Good Governance and Media Studies at the Open University of Tanzania.

2005-2012: Photo and Video Workshops for residents of Nungua Village, Ghana were held to enable the citizens of this fishing community to create the audio-visual history of their rapidly evolving village as part of the OLAfrica Memory Project.

2005-2010: "Pound Saver" is a marketing assistance (Cairo) community newsletter designed to introduce the expatriate community to sources of quality and competitively-priced goods and services.

2005-2009: Computer Graphics and Tee Shirt Production Workshops (Malindi, Lamu and Diani Beach, Kenya) where we taught street vendors how to produce silk screen t-shirts, photographs, posters, etc. We also provided bursaries for nursing and graphic design students who were no longer able to meet the costs of continuing their education.

2003-04: Assisted Vista University in acquiring funding to launch the Institute for Heritage Studies to support the Township Studies Program and the Soweto Centenary Project which brought innovative learning resources to the people of South Africa's townships of Mamelodi, Tembisa, Deepsloot, Soweto, Umlazi and Orlando Park. Our Soweto Centenary Project was personally endorsed by former President Nelson Mandela. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the project's patron. We also funded the startup of the South Africa Community Media Network (SACOMNET) and the Ziphathe Empowerment Network which continue developing local media content.

1997: Secured funding from United Nations International Telecommunications Union/BDT to support DATATEL Ghana's development of a national data network linking rural schools and the University of Ghana with 110 offices of the Ghana Ministry of Education.

1994: Arranged the first official state visit to the US by Dr. Z. Pallo Jordan, South Africa's Minister of Communications. Minister Jordan led a 12 person delegation of telecom regulators, service providers, equipment suppliers and educators to the US Trade and Development Administration. This, and subsequent activities resulted in a significant increase in business transactions and educational engagement between these countries.

Today, we are developing interactive and participatory courseware for training African journalists and photo-ethnographers/ photojournalists. Learn MORE about our projects

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