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Africa Environment WikiFocus Celebrates Wangari Maathai Day

“No matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for. The silver lining will come, if not to us then to next generation or the generation after that. And maybe with that generation the lining will no longer be thin.” ― Wangari Maathai, Unbowed: A Memoir

Africa Environment Day or Wangari Maathai Day is celebrated annually on 3 March. It was established by the Organisation of African Unity in environmental challenges facing the continent. Since 2012, Africa Environment Day has been celebrated by the African Union in conjunction with Wangari Maathai Day, in order to pay tribute to the late Nobel Laureate's green legacy.


The Africa Environment WikiFocus encourages Wikimedia and other communities to contribute content related to Africa’s Climate to the Wikimedia projects in March 2023 and beyond! The WikiFocus is a project created and developed by Wiki In Africa (WIA) and Wikimedia Community User Group Côte d’Ivoire (WMUG IC) as an integral part of the African Knowledge Initiative (AKI) series of campaigns. The Africa Environment WikiFocus is a content creation and contribution WikiFocus that launched on the African Union’s Wangari Maathai Day (3rd of March).

The main focus of the initiative is to encourage Wikimedia and other communities to contribute content related to Africa’s Climate to the Wikimedia projects. Individuals, communities, and organizations are free to contribute in a variety of different ways. Those Wikimedia communities wishing to host training or contribution events can apply for a microgrant of any amount between USD100 and USD1500. The deadline to apply for this microgrant is 28 February.

The key project activities will include facilitating and supporting at least 11 local Wikimedia User groups and Volunteer Groups to host training and contribution events with their communities about the key topics specialized below. There will be office hours, training sessions, and online celebrations. In addition, the team will be approaching Climate and Environment-focused organisations, researchers, activists and academics to work together with us on this project. These partnerships and alliances will ensure that Wikimedia editors will have access to validated and up-to-date data, source materials and quality visual evidence. This will help to ensure that quality contributions are made as part of the project.

The topics covered in this focus relate to the climates of Africa, and the impact of climate change and environmental issues or threats faced by countries and communities across Africa. Due to Africa’s historical landscape, for maximum impact the project will be bi-lingual : French and English.

Call to action

Suggested activities

  • Join up to 3 scheduled organiser online events: a launch celebration + mid-session update and sharing + final meeting to celebrate and reflect on the initiative : access event page
  • Create or improve a Wikipedia article with a focus on creation of articles such as “Climate in country X” : access our lists
  • Translate a Wikipedia article related to Climate and Environment in your language : Translate articles about climate into your language
  • Create a Climate WikiProject collaboration project in your language where it does not exist yet : access our help page
  • Add Climate-related statistics and data, from African Union database, to Wikidata : access our resource page
  • Add local climate activists and environmental experts to Wikidata, etc. See how to do it : access our resource page
  • Partner with local climate and/or environment academic or activist organisations to access and validate local data and materials : access our partner page
  • Add image to the Wiki Loves Africa contest on Climate and Weather : link to the contest
  • Participate to face-to-face events with your local community : access event page


  • Call for micro grant application : February
  • Start for micro-grant submissions: February 04, 2023/ 00:01 (UTC)
  • Deadline for micro-grant submissions: Feb 28, 2023/ 23:59 (UTC)
  • Project launch date is the 3rd March 2023, with community activities to happen during the months of March and April.
  • Project close date: April 30, 2023.

Not just for March! Join Global Environment / Climate Initiatives

There are several initiatives and campaigns related to Environment.

Initiative Description
WikiProject Climate change Join the Climate Change WikiProject on the English Wikipedia (including the Africa task force)
Wiki Loves Africa Wiki Loves Africa is an annual photography contest. The theme for year 2023 is Climate and Weather. The contest runs throughout March and April 2023.
Join a Wikimedian UserGroup The User Group Wikimedians for Sustainable Development helps bring together Wikimedians engaged in matters of sustainable development, be they individuals or involved with any of the Wikimedia movement affiliates. The group's focus includes work on all topics related to sustainable development, including in particular the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Get involved in the Open Climate Campaign A partnership by Creative Commons, SPARC and EIFL, the goal of this multi-year Open Climate campaign is to promote open access to research to accelerate progress towards solving the climate crisis and preserving global biodiversity. If we are going to solve these global challenges, the knowledge (research, data, educational resources, software) about them must be open.
Improve description of Women in Climate pictures 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. In March, it organizes the annual contest Tell Us About Her – Women in Climate to improve image descriptions. Add structured data to Wikimedia Commons thanks to a dedicated drive and the ISA Tool.

Quote of the Month

"Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking."

Wangari Maathai – Speech at Goldman Awards, San Francisco (24 April 2006)

View the gallery


  • May, Tuesday 16th: Closing ceremony of Africa Environment Wikifocus 2023

    Date: May 16, 2023

    When: 15:00 UTC (see your local time)

    Where: Zoom (Closed)

    Language: English - French

  • March, Wednesday 29th: Wikidata Session

    Date: March, Wednesday 29th, 2023

    When: 15:00 UTC (see your local time)

    Where: Zoom (Closed)

    Language: English

  • March, Tuesday 28th : Africa Environment Wikifocus Climate : mid-term meeting

    Date: Tuesday, 28th March

    When: 15:00 UTC (see your local time)

    Where: Zoom (Closed)

    Language: French. Translation: English

  • March, Tuesday 16th : Dashboard program training session

    Date: Thursday, 16th March

    When: 17:00 UTC

    Where: Zoom (Closed)

    Language: English. Translation: French, Spanish, and Arabic


View all previous News Alerts

I want to help organize !

Resources are available to assist community and event organisers as they engage with the press and partners about Africa Environment WikiFocus activities and events taking place across Africa during March and April 2023.
All communication resources

Want to find out more ? Understand how to join ? How to create a dashboard to track article production ? Set up a wikiproject climate ?
Access our how-tos and training sessions

The AKI initiative

A partnership between the Wikimedia Foundation and the African Union, the African Knowledge Initiative celebrates three critical subjects in its inaugural year: youth, environment, and the African continent. Each focus subject has been entrusted to two implementing Wikimedia-focused partners.

Content sources

A portion of the source material and intelligence will be provided by the Africa Union. Climate and Environmental Organizations and NGOs, and academic and research institutions will also be approached as content and participation partners. Content partners are welcome! If you are working in research, Universities or think tanks, please contact the organisers at hello [at] wikiinafrica dot org

Africa Environment WikiFocus Organisers

African Knowledge Initiative Working Group Members