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Education/News/September 2023/WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique closes its 5th edition with 13 winning schools

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WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique closes its 5th edition with 13 winning schools

Author: Anthere
Summary: Empowering African students through knowledge sharing : 5 editions of the writing contest
5 years of WikiChallenge 2017–2023, presented at Wikimania Singapour

Presentation of the writing competition

Communication visual
Announcing the ceremony
Rapport de jury 2022–2023
Kids enjoy eating what they have been writing on...

WikiChallenge Écoles d'Afrique engages students from primary schools across Africa in contributing to Vikidia, the encyclopedia for 8- to 13-year-olds that anyone can improve. It encourages them to create and improve articles on topics related to African culture, history, environment, and more. It promotes knowledge sharing, digital literacy, and cultural diversity.

WikiChallenge Écoles d'Afrique plays a crucial role in empowering Africa’s youth, promoting digital literacy, and fostering a sense of ownership over their cultural heritage. It contributes to the growth of Africa-focused content online and ensures African perspectives are included in the global knowledge landscape.

The specifics
  • Targets students aged 9 to 13 in French-speaking Africa;
  • Organized with in the official education framework;
  • Open to schools members of the Digital Schools Network of the Orange Foundation;
  • Free writing theme... but encourages contributions on local cultural, historical, and environmental topics;
  • Texts and illustrations are published under free licenses on Vikidia and Wikimedia Commons; and
  • Winning institutions receive prizes ranging from €2,500 to €5,000 per school to spend on educational materials or school infrastructure.
Impacts and benefits
  • Promotes educational engagement and active learning among African students;
  • Amplifies online representation of Africa’s culture, history, and knowledge;
  • Fosters cross-cultural understanding and appreciation among students;
  • Enhances digital skills and familiarity with online platforms like Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Vikidia;
  • Empowers students to become contributors and creators of knowledge;
  • Builds teamwork and collaboration among participants;
  • Provides a platform for students to showcase their talents and creativity;
  • Increases access to information about Africa for a global audience;
  • Inspires a sense of pride and ownership in African heritage and identity; and
  • Finally, the prizes offered to the winning schools improve the quality of the studying environment of hundreds of children.

Education, Offline, WikiFundi, Vikidia, Writing competition, Francophonie, Africa

Project impact

5 Editions of WikiChallenge

  • 11 participating countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DRC, Ivory Coast, Guinea Conakry, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia and Morocco)
  • 457 participating establishments
  • 467 texts proposed by children and published on Vikidia
  • 2608 photos, drawings and videos published on Wikimedia Commons
  • 62 winning schools, for the direct benefit of the hundreds of students and staff of the schools
  • Skills acquired by all participating students

Specials from 2023

  • More than half of the Orange facilitators were completely brand new. To the project and to the wiki world... this required a lot of dedication to get them up to speed !
  • In 2022, we interviewed many facilitators, teachers, students etc. In 2023 we managed to create an awesome compilation video (less than 10 mn)
  • Communication around the contest was reinforced, in particular with powerful and numerous publications on our Facebook page.
  • Our articles or pictures were featured several times on Vikidia main page !
  • Our jury report is particularly elegant, and we started to compile sets of good articles to communicate about what we were more precisely looking for (it is not so obvious for non-connected kids)
  • We hosted an online ceremony for the celebration of winning schools, on WikiAfrica Hour with several guests invited. Check out the full episode on our YouTube channel
  • And finally, we did a gorgeous 5 years poster (in English), which was presented during the poster session at Wikimania Singapore

What’s next ?

For 2023–2024, we plan

  • To continue the contest :)
  • We will welcome for the first time an English speaking country, Sierre Leone !
  • We will slightly change the calendar to better accommodate the educational framework
  • We will increase the trainings proposed to the teachers for an even more effective campaign