Wikipedia is a precious, shared resource, used around the world by millions of people every day. This is why the Wikimedia Foundation created guidelines to help authorised re-users of the Wikimedia Foundation’s official brand identity, including Wikipedia, represent our identity in a way that is consistent with the quality, impact, and importance of our projects. The Wikimedia Foundation logos represent much of what our projects and our movement stands for: bold ideas, global collaboration, typography and text, integrity and quality. The Wikimedia Foundation ask that everyone who has permission to use these logos keep those values in mind. Using these logos well is a serious responsibility.
The term ”wikimedia” is used as the name for the community of Wikipedia contributors (or Wikipedians) and other sister projects (Wikimedia Commons, WikiSource etc.). This community exists across the world! Most of the contributors work on their contributions to Wikipedia via their computers, tablets or phones. But others choose to connect with other contributors, and meet in the real world and organise projects that encourage new contributors, or generate content. When you are a contributor behind your screen, it is not always easy to know who the other contributors are living near you and to know where, when, or how to meet them. It can be a challenge to know what other contributors are organising in your country or where you live. The information below is provided to help you contact local communities.
The name of Wikimedia, and of the projects covered by it, is a portmanteau of the word ”wiki” and the identifier. A ”wiki” is a freely editable software management system. The ”Wiki” word is used in the same way by other organisations to mean the same thing, and can sometimes cause confusion with other wiki projects which have no link with Wikimedia, like WikiLeaks, territorial wikis or … with WikiFundi!
Wikimedia is part of the Wikimedia Foundation and is the umbrella term for all the projects supported by that foundation. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organisation that hosts the online Wikipedia encyclopaedia project and its sister projects (such as Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikivoyage and Wikiversity). All the projects have been developed on the Mediawiki software.
The Africa ”chapters” and ”User Group” Wikimedia
In around forty countries, Wikimedia associations exist and name themselves Wikimedia + the name of country (Example: Wikimedia South Africa). These associations gather users and participants of Wikimedia projects. These associations are recognised as ‘local associations’ or ‘chapters’ by the Wikimedia Foundation, but they are financially and juridically independent entities which follows distinct rules and direction. Moreover, there are also some Wikimedia UserGroups. Usually, usergroups are groups with a more flexible structure than the associations or chapters, but they also benefit from being part of the Wikimedia network. The groups and associations are most often managed by volunteers only, although some of the bigger associations sometimes employ people (this is the case in France or in Germany). The size of the associations and groups varies considerably, from a few individuals to hundreds of members.
On the African continent, there are a few number of associations and user groups… simply because there are only a few contributors. Nevertheless, this is the list of existing groups in 2017:
Chapters and usergroups act to support Wikimedia projects and their contributors. It can be done in several ways… for example:
establishing contact with organisations (librairies, museums, administrations, local collectivities, etc.) that are able to bring free content to Wikimedia projects;
help with digitisation and help to upload free content on Wikimedia projects;
introductions to Wikimedia;
promotion of Wikimedia projects during shows, conferences, exhibitions and various public events;
educational presentations of wikimedia projects before students, teachers, archivists or any interested groups; and
partnerships (supplying material, publication or distribution of the contents of the projects) with external organisations.
If you have the chance to live in a country where an association or a usergroup is present, do not hesitate to contact them.
Beyond associations and user groups, there are a certain number of slightly isolated wikipedians who will also organise meetings and projects. If needed, do not hesitate to join the email discussion list (quite low traffic) to introduce yourself to the persons present in your close environment: (it’s possible to discuss in both French and English).