A new social network has been launched with an eye toward bringing people of African descent together.
Africland.com is a “community space” for Blacks from Haiti, Colombia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Africa, United States, Jamaica, Dominica, Venezuela, Trinidad, Cuba, France, and elsewhere, to connect and share their experiences, customs and culture, the website states.
“We believe that this tool will be instrumental in bridging the gap that has been put between us all through different events, and it's time for us to re connect (sic) and become one again,” it continued.
Founder Lorenzo Were said the site was created after he noted how out of touch people of African descendants were, and the level of misconceptions and even suspicion that existed between them. He hopes to foster better understanding and cultural awareness, and to boost professional and business relationships to foster development among the Africans on the continent and abroad.
"I chose the name Africland because I wanted something people may relate to easily and not seem too alien," he said.
Hailing from a Nilotic tribe that's found all over East Africa, Were holds a degree in electrical engineering and is currently pursuing masters in the same field.
"I love technology, and my dream job would be to work for NASA,” he said. “If I was to do it all over again, I would want to be an astro-physicist, because I am obsessed with how the universe works, our place in the universe, [and] what/who may be out there in the space. I day dream of space all the time, if NASA came to my door and told me that there is a one way ticket to go to Jupiter’s moon Europa, with no chance of coming back, I would take it and die a happy man."
And he has other aspirations. “[I am] hoping to be able to return to East Africa in the next two years to participate in creation of our own model of Silicon Valley,” he said. “I believe my continent has too many resources that if we put our minds together, every African can live a middle class lifestyle that is more rewarding than the West.”
This is the type of sharing Were hopes users will undertake on his website. Signup is free, and he urged members to use their real names so friends, colleagues and family could find them more easily. While the site encourages free speech, the creator also asked that users practice respect and civility to foster a strong sense of community.
Were said since the site’s debut in April public response has been good, but he urged members to promote the network.
“The foundation has been laid, but it is going take each and every individual user to put the pieces together to build this site into what we would wish it to become."
For more information or to sign up, visit: www.africland.com.