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The Impact of WikiAfrica

WikiAfrica was started in 2006 as a collaboration between Wikimedia IT and lettera27, since then – via the support of several organisations and the work of a few people – it has grown to embrace the continent and build communities. It has been pivotal in driving the current contributions done by communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

The Wiki Africa movement timeline 2006-2017

The projects detailed below form the main backbone of the WikiAfrica movement. They have all been conceptualised, instigated and led by three members of Wiki In Africa, although until 2017 through the agency or fiscal sponsorship of different organisations.

2006

  • WikiAfrica is launched by lettera27 Foundation in collaboration with Wikimedia Italia, led by Iolanda Pensa.

2009

  • A 30’000 African contributions to Wikimedia projects by 2012 milestone is set.

2011

  • The Africa Centre begins working on WikiAfrica projects, led by Isla Haddow-Flood.
  • Share Your Knowledge is launched to involve cultural institutions in contributing to the WikiAfrica milestone.

2012

2013

2014 

2015

  • The OpenAfrica15, a week-long WIR training course training 6 Wikipedians across Africa at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg.
  • 2015. The second edition of Wiki Loves Africa photographic competition is held and completed under the theme Cultural Fashion and Adornment.

2016

2017

  • Wiki In Africa is registered as an NGO in South Africa.
  • Official launch of WikiFundi, a software that provides off-line editing environment that mimics the Wikipedia environment.
  • #16WikiWomen translation drive is held to celebrate International Women’s Day for Wiki Loves Women.

WikiAfrica projects across Africa since 2013

Hosts and Partners

The organisations that have hosted or are collaborating on Wiki Africa projects include:

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The Wikimedia Movement in Africa Uncategorized

Wikimedia South Africa

An officially recognised Wikimedia Chapter in South Africa. The only one on the continent. Involved directly in Wiki Loves Africa and a members is a beneficiary of Wikipack Africa.

 

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The Wikimedia Movement in Africa Uncategorized

Open Foundation West Africa

The Open Foundation West Africa is a registered not for profit organisation in Ghana. Its mission is to extend the reach of Open Movement Activities in West Africa.

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The Wikimedia Movement in Africa Uncategorized

Wikimedia Usergroup Ghana

An officially recognised group of Wikimedia-focused volunteers in Ghana.

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The Wikimedia Movement in Africa Uncategorized

Wikimedia Usergroup Côte d’Ivoire

An officially recognised group of Wikimedia-focused volunteers in Côte d’Ivoire.

 

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The Wikimedia Movement in Africa Uncategorized

Wikimedia Usergroup Nigeria

An officially recognised group of Wikimedia-focused volunteers in Nigeria.

 

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Uncategorized

Wikimedia Planning Usergroup Cameroon

A group of Wikimedia-focused volunteers in Cameroon.

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Wiki Entrepreneur

Wiki Entrepreneur

Trained, mentored and supported Wikipedians in Residence as they honed the skills needed to develop long-term relationships that encouraged cultural partners to release their content onto Wikipedia.

The project employed two Wikipedians in Residence (WiR) – Abel Asrat in Ethiopia and Michael Phoya in Malawi. The year programme was to work collaboratively with cultural organisations in order to develop their social entrepreneurial skills to the stage that they could be self sufficient open culture advocates.

The two Wikipedians in Residence worked with the partnering organisations to upload existent data onto Wikipedia (under the correct licensing), and trained members of the institution on the benefits of contributing to Wikipedia in an on-going way  focussing especially on information about its core focus and its affiliated subjects. They established institutional systems to make the WikiAfrica project sustainable, and ensured the institutions’ online involvement going forward. Finally, each WiR encouraged new individuals to become Wikipedians in order to work towards activating a formal Wikimedia Chapter and in this way began to seed an active Wikipedian community.

The Wiki Entrepreneur project was developed and managed by Isla Haddow-Flood. It was supported by the Prins Claus Fons and hosted at the Africa Centre.

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#OpenAfrica

WikiAfrica Toolkits

A central resource hub that allows everyone to understand, engage with and enter the open movement in Africa, including working on Wikipedia and with Creative Commons.

 

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WikiAfrica Schools

WikiAfrica Schools

WikiAfrica Schools uses WikiFundi to introduce Wikipedia to school children by incorporating local article-writing programme into their curriculums to build the next generation of Wikipedians.

WikiAfrica Schools supports the teacher’s mission to introduce global knowledge systems to their students by encouraging their students to write Wikipedia articles. During the programme, they learn the best practices and tools that encourages critical thought. Additionally, the students’ benefit by being part of a global movement and learn that their knowledge matters.  

The existing curriculum is used as the basis for the WikiAfrica Schools programme, which provides educators and students with an opportunity to use the WikiFundi offline editing environment to contribute to Wikipedia collaboratively and thus develop and strengthen their curriculum-aligned teaching.

The 6-month proof of concept takes place in South Africa between May to October 2017. It will train and support partnering schools and institutions to incorporate the WikiAfrica Schools programme into their teaching plans. The project will build each model collaboratively with the school or educational institution’s curriculum experts and teachers.

In addition, the programme provides an in-depth training course for teachers and two WikiFundi devices per organisation. Partnering schools and institutions will also receive ongoing support – both remotely and on-Wiki – for the first three months of the programme.

The project was conceptualised by Isla Haddow-Flood and Florence Devouard at Wiki In Africa. The proof of concept has been created in collaboration with lettera27 and in partnership with African School of Excellence and the Global Teachers’ Institute.

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WikiChallenge African Schools

WikiChallenge African Schools

WikiChallenge African Schools is a multi-national contest that creates a fun way for students to learn how knowledge is built by contributing to Vikidia, the little sister of Wikipedia dedicated to children aged 8-15 years.

The contest challenges schools across the continent to compete by writing Vikidia articles about something of importance in their area. They can use the WikiFundi platform to share knowledge about their unique city, town, village or suburb, a local landmark or a notable individual.

The competition is a fun introduction to writing Vikidia articles, a content that can be transferred and will add information about Africa to Wikipedia, the global online encyclopedia. It also provides young Africans with an opportunity to learn more about their communities, cultures, role models and environments.

The contest takes place in eight countries across Africa in October and November 2017. The challenge will only be held in French.

WikiChallenge African Schools was designed and created to support the development of the next generation of Wikimedia volunteers across Africa. It has been developed by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood at Wiki In Africa. The proof of concept has been conducted in collaboration with Wikimedia CH and funded by the Orange Foundation.  

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Wikipack Africa

Wikipack Africa

Wikipack Africa is an offline action pack that contains the WikiFundi software, materials and content that facilitates the outreach work done by local Wikimedia chapters and user groups, or isolated individuals in African countries. This pack allows for new editor training and contribution to continue when technology fails or is inadequate, the internet is inaccessible, or the power goes out.

What’s in the pack?

  • A raspberry PI server for offline access to content helpful for the Wikimedians
  • The WikiFundi editing platform
  • An offline version of the Wikipedia encyclopaedia via Kiwix
  • Wikipedia for Schools resource selection and other educational content
  • Selection of the best outreach material from Wikimedia websites
  • Editable and printable templates of marketing and communication material about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects to distribute to interested people during events (stickers, leaflets, etc.)

Wikipack Africa empowers volunteer communities to grow as Wikimedia organisations pave the way for a self-reliant future. Further, it can be adapted to empower educators to assist with access to key educational resources, although it is primarily meant for individuals and groups who want to implement outreach projects, such as organising edit-a-thons, photo hunts, workshops, press conferences and so forth to promote Wikimedia projects.

Wikipack Africa was designed and created to support the WikiAfrica movement and Wikimedia volunteers across Africa. It has been developed by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood at Wiki In Africa. The proof of concept has been conducted in collaboration with Wikimedia CH and supported by the Orange Foundation. The Wikipack Africa’s documentation is licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

If you are a Wikimedian or Wikimedia group working in Africa, you can apply for a Wikipack here.

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Wikipedia Primary School

Wikipedia Primary School

This project sets out to provide students, families and teachers the information on Wikipedia that is required to complete the cycle of primary education in their country, in their language.  

Wikipedia aims to be an educational tool and it is available online, via mobile phones and offline. Experiences have shown, however, that once accessible, Wikipedia does not provide information that responds directly to curriculum-based questions.

The Wikipedia Primary School project relies on Wikipedia as an existing and growing resource – and solves the need for an encyclopaedia capable of responding to curriculum-based questions. It also fosters Wikipedia content, quality and outreach.

Wikipedia Primary School contributes to universal primary education and to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG2: Achieve Universal Primary Education). Even if it is scalable and international, the project is conceived primarily to address African countries and languages. It was conceptualised by Iolanda Pensa and is currently a research project at the Laboratory of Visual Culture at SUPSI.

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WikiFundi

WikiFundi

Provides an offline editable environment that enables new contributors to learn how to edit Wikipedia when access to power, technology and the internet is unavailable.

In Africa, access to electricity, technology and internet connectivity often fails or is not available at all. Driven by the belief that this should not prevent new editors from being trained or deter them from contributing to Wikipedia – WikiFundi provides an offline editable environment that is a similar experience to editing Wikipedia online.

This platform enables individuals, groups and communities to learn how to edit Wikipedia and work on articles collaboratively. Once completed and connected to the internet, these articles can be uploaded to Wikipedia.

The WikiFundi environment was designed and managed by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood (Wiki In Africa) within the frame of the WikiAfrica movement. The creation of WikiFundi, and the proof of concept of Wikipack Africa and WikiChallenge African Schools, was funded by Foundation Orange, and supported by Wikimedia CH.

The project is currently operational in 17 countries via three programmes:

  • Wikipack Africa – where it assists the outreach work of Wikipedians in Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda
  • WikiChallenge African Schools – part of the Orange Foundation’s Digital Schools Project in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinée, Tunisia, Madagascar, Niger, Sénégal, and Mali.
  • WikiAfrica Schools – where WikiFundi is being used as the tool to integrate writing articles for Wikipedia into the school system in South Africa. A proof of concept is being conducted in 2017 at the African School of Excellence and with Global Teachers Institute, funded by lettera27.
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Wiki Loves Women

Wiki Loves Women

Wiki Loves Women bridges two significant gaps on Wikimedia projects – women and Africa – in terms of content about these subjects and participation by people from these groups.

Gender inequality is rife across Africa. The Wiki Loves Women project focuses on tackling this issue by bridging two significant gaps on Wikimedia projects – women and Africa – both in terms of content about these subjects and participation by people from these groups.

Using the GLAM model that works with civil society, media and education organisations, Wiki Loves Women encourages the contribution of quality information on African women to be published on, and made widely available via, Wikipedia.

Wiki Loves Women’s Proof of Concept took place during 2016-7 in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana. The donated content specifically focuses on women’s contribution to the political, economic, scientific, cultural and heritage landscape, as well as the current socio-political status of women, in each of these nations.

Furthermore, the project will encourage the activation and support of new and existing editors (both female and gender-sensitised male Wikipedians) in the focus countries.

The project documentation and its outcome are published under CC BY SA 4.0.

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Wiki Loves Africa

Wiki Loves Africa

A continent-wide online competition that encourages people to contribute Africa-relevant media (photos, video or audio) around an annual theme.

Wiki Loves Africa (WLA) is an annual contest that gives everyone across the African continent an opportunity to share media that is relevant to their experience. These photographs, video and audio files are contributed to Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia and other project websites of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Each year, participants are encouraged to submit media from Africa that relates to a specific theme. The theme changes each year and is selected by the community from a few universal, visually rich and culturally specific topics (for example, markets, rites of passage, festivals, public art, cuisine, natural history, urbanity, daily life, notable people, and so forth).

Once all submissions are received, the best photographs are selected and prizes distributed.

WLA themes include:

  • 2014: Wiki Loves Africa Cuisine: This competition documented the diverse types of cuisine across the continent of Africa. The theme encompassed foods, dishes, crops, husbandry, culinary art, cooking methods, utensils, food markets, festivals, culinary events, famine food and any other issues related to cuisine on the African continent.
  • 2015: Wiki Loves Africa Cultural Fashion and Adornment: This contest encouraged submissions of media that focused on cultural dress and fashion, especially that defined by local cultural influences – including cloth, styles, and ways of wrapping and hanging, etc. Entries covering adornment were also requested, including culturally defined jewellery, makeup, hairstyles, cloths and woven materials.
  • 2016: Wiki Loves Africa Music and Dance: This competition called for submissions that promote Africa’s rich heritage and culture expressed through music, song, dance, and movement.
  • 2017: People at Work (proposed)

Each year’s project runs for two months at the continental level. However, some specific actions, such as training and communication, are held in some countries with national organisers. This project was funded by the Orange Foundation (2014) and the Wikimedia Foundation (2014-16). In 2014 and 2015 it was hosted at the Africa Centre. In 2016 it was hosted at ynternet.org

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Share Your Knowledge

Share Your Knowledge

A partnership with cultural institutions, such as galleries, libraries, archives and museums (known as GLAMs) across Europe and Africa.

WikiAfrica’s Share Your Knowledge ( SYK) project worked with cultural institutions to enhance the ability of the institution’s African content to reach new audiences by making them available on Wikipedia. A milestone of 20,000 content pieces was surpassed in November 2012. The project was hosted by lettera27, in partnership with the Africa Centre and +100 cultural institutions.

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Kumusha Bus

Kumusha Bus

A remix of the Libre Bus, designed for Africa to ensure collaboration between local members of the open community.

Kumusha Bus creates a journey into the Open Movement in Africa. Along the journey, the members of the bus (made up of aligned open movement advocates) share aspects of the Open Movement with each other. Each intervention educates delegates, or a local community or members of a heritage, educational or media organisation about the benefits of the Open Movement. This is achieved by hosting such interventions as photo bombing, OER (Open Educational Resource), training at a local school, Wikipedia edit-a-thon, citizen journalism, Creative Commons open mic and open movie sessions, etc.

The project’s proof of concept took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June 2014, and Ghana in November 2014.

The movements that are covered during each Kumusha Bus were Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wiki Data and Open Data, Wiki News, Creative Commons, OSM (Open Street Map), GLAM, Open Data, OER (Open Educational Resource) and OKFN (Open Knowledge Foundation).

Kumusha Bus was conceived by Kelsey Wiens (Public lead, Creative Commons South Africa) and Isla HaddowFlood in 2013. Funded by Creative Commons and hosted at the Africa Centre.

 

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Kumusha Takes Wiki

Kumusha Takes Wiki

Kumusha Takes Wiki spun the frame to activate and support individuals to create and contribute freely-licensed information, texts, images and media about their communities.

Kumusha Takes Wiki activated citizens of a Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda in 2014. The project required that the people who hold the knowledge of an area (village, town, peri-urban settlement, inner-city suburb, shanty town, etc) contribute to the knowledge of and about that community. The knowledge collected and disseminated was added to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects.

The project engaged community members by engendering pride in self and place; community pride was enforced by the recognition that all knowledge – including ‘indigenous’ knowledge – should be given equal weight on easy-to-access digital platforms. The project was designed to maximise the potential for activating the online phenomenon of crowdsourcing – where many digital hands make this project a success. The proof of concept in Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda was funded by the Orange Foundation and hosted at the Africa Centre.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

Ynternet.org

Ynternet.org promotes the use of information technologies to reconciles economic efficiency and digital ethics, incorporating best practices specific to digital citizenship. Host.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

Wiki In Africa

Assists people and organisations in the transfer and sharing of Africa’s multiple stories on an easy-to-access platform so global readers can encounter Africa’s knowledge and perspectives. Host.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is nonprofit structure that supports Wikipedia and its community, and a host of other online volunteer-led open knowledge projects.

Partner.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

Wikimedia CH

Wikimedia CH is the Swiss Chapter of the global Wikimedia movement, and supports and promotes Wikimedia projects. Host.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

The Africa Centre

The Africa Centre is both a physical entity and an ongoing philosophical journey that explores how Pan-African cultural practice can be a catalyst for social change. Host.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

SUPSI

The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland is one of the Universities of Applied Sciences of the Swiss Confederation. Host.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

Prins Claus Fons

Prins Claus Fons actively seeks cultural collaborations with partners of excellence where opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and research are limited. Partner.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

Orange Foundation

Its mission is to create links between individuals, and make communication easier for those who are excluded, be it because of health, handicap or their economical situation. Partner.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

lettera27

lettera27 supports the right to literacy and education, and promotes access to knowledge and information, with a specific focus on Africa and its diaspora. Host & Partner.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide, that promotes the study of German abroad and encourages international cultural exchange. Partner.

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WikiAfrica is hosted and supported by

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is the international movement that ensures people can legally share their knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world. Project convened in collaboration with Kelsey Wiens, public lead CC ZA. Partners.