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WikiAfrica

Promoting Panafricanism and ensuring a fair representation of Africa contents on Wikipedia

Description

WikiAfrica is an international collaboration that encourages individuals and organisations to create, expand and enhance online content about Africa, its history, its people, its innovations and its many contemporary realities, on the world’s most used encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.

WikiAfrica was launched in 2014 by five people living in Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda and Ivory Coast. The first steps of the project consisted in contacting with governments and institutions alike, including galleries, libraries and museums to digitalize their contents and upload it to the Wiki world.

As part of the project, WikiAfrica trains organizations to upload content on Wikipedia so more and more Africans can generate content.

Results

As of March 2018, there are 75,579 articles within the scope of WikiProject Africa, of which 148 are featured. However, this only makes up 1.35% of the articles on Wikipedia and 1.73% of featured articles and lists.

  • Wikipedia pages have been created for prominent figures in Ethiopia
  • The presentation of Ethiopia in Creative Commons as an official member
  • Collaboration with art galleries, Zoma Gallery being one of them.

Did you know?

WikiAfrica hosts several initiatives: Wiki Loves Africa, Wiki Loves Women, #OpenAfrica, Wikipedian-In-Residence, Open Civil Society Initiative and Wiki Health Initiative.

  • Wiki Loves Africa – a continent-wide online competition that encourages people from across the continent to generate Africa-relevant media content (photos, video and audio) around an annual theme. Funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Wiki Loves Women – focuses on bridging two significant gaps on Wikimedia projects – women and Africa – both in terms of content about these subjects and in terms of participation by people from these groups. Rolled out in collaboration with the Goethe-Institute.
  • #OpenAfrica– is both a physical course that gives an immersive insight into the possibilities of the Open Movement in Africa and provides the skills to activate Open Movement interventions on the ground;
  • Wikipedian-In-Residence – supports Wikipedians across Africa who receive the necessary training to activate online communities, drive the Open Movement and support the digitisation of African content via Wikipedia and its projects.

Sustainability and Replicability

  • WikiAfrica is an international collaborative project between Africa Centre and Lettera 27 (today the Moleskine Foundation), an Italy-based organization that is affiliated with Open Source project. In addition, WikiAfrica gets support from the organizations that have a favourable response to the project.
  • This movement could be replicated in other places that are underrepresented on Wikipedia with a specialized team and organizations willing to cooperate.
  • WikiInAfrica operates global initiatives in support of the WikiAfrica movement as a non-profit organisation based in South Africa. The organization engages citizens of Africa and its diaspora to collect, develop and contribute educational and relevant content under a free license and to participate in global knowledge systems.

Lessons learned

The Internet can help to improve African knowledge and culture through spreading the languages and cultural diversity of the continent.

Take action

Contact WikiAfrica

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