Sharing the wealth and diversity of Africa’s knowledge, history, culture and contemporary reality through online contribution is a mammoth task. To achieve its aims, WikiAfrica takes a multi-layered approach.
WikiAfrica and aligned partners work to activate Africa through a network of grant-funded, staffed initiatives that are aimed at accelerating the growth of online communities and encouraging a culture of contribution from Africa to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. WikiAfrica creates toolkits for online editing and contribution, and deploys a variety of different interventions and models to gather information relating to the geographical features, demographics, heritage, culture, notable persons and other elements that make up communities across Africa. The project takes place in many countries to encourage individuals, collectives and institutions to create and contribute freely-licensed information, texts, data, images and media about their communities (villages, townships, suburbs, inner cities, etc) to an online platform.
WikiAfrica uses a multi-pronged approach to achieve wider impact. Though each individual initiative is designed to stand alone, they all succeed in furthering the ambitions of the wider WikiAfrica project. The project is pan-African in scope and incorporates many cultures and languages.
WikiAfrica’s current initiatives are:
- Wiki Loves Africa – a continent-wide online competition that encourages people from across the continent to contribute Africa-relevant media (photos, video or 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 a fully 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;
- Open Civil Society Initiative – makes critical research findings and other information currently housed within civil society organisations across sub-Saharan Africa available to relevant spaces on Wikipedia and other open access platforms.
- Wiki Health Initiative – leverages Wikipedia and mobile technology to improve the quantity and quality of vital health-related information to local communities in underserved areas, while supporting both local health initiatives in their work and a handful of Medical School students in economic difficulty to finish their studies.
WikiAfrica has been involved in a number of important initiatives that are no longer active. To view these archived projects, please go here.