Grants:PEG/WM CH/wikipedia bamako

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Not funded
This grant submission from an group, organization, or individual in 2013-14 was not funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Legal name of chapter
Wikimedia CH
Grant contact name
Rupert Thurner
Grant contact user-name or e-mail
Grant contact title (position)
Project lead name
Renaud Gaudin (Moulinwiki, Kunnafoni), Emmanuel Engelhart (Kiwix, OpenZIM)
Project lead user-name or e-mail,
Project lead title (position), if any
Full project name
Bamako Wikimedia Center
Amount requested (in USD)
Provisional target start date
Provisional completion date

Budget breakdown[1][edit]

  • Internet access costs: USD: 800: one year[2]
  • Travel: USD 3,500 (3 people at $1, 500[3])
  • Training cost: USD 2, 600 ($7 * 30 days * 12 months)
  • Outreach cost: USD 1, 000 (shirts, ads, offer food at University, etc)[4]
  • Field trips: USD 5, 000: 10 x $200 trips. 20 x $100 trips and 20 x $50 trips.[5]
  • Cameras: USD 600 (three at $200).
  • Audio Hand Recorder (dictaphone): USD 200: Record words pronunciation for Wiktionary and interviews in the field.
  • GPS tracking device: USD 200: Fill Open Street Map with datas from field trips

The budget may be split in parts: Internet access cost is essential to do anything, other costs are optional. Surplus money goes automatically back to WMF, like last year. We consider Renaud actually living in Bamako an important success factor. --ThurnerRupert 16:38, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Project scope[edit]

Main goal of project is to foster Wikimedia's usage in Bamako, capital of Mali. Such a simple statement requires a lot of practical actions to complete:

Access to Information[edit]

  • Offer Access to Internet/Wikimedia sites.

In Bamako, a 128kbps unlimited connection cost $70 per month. 50% of Mali's population live under $1 a day. In Bamako, this represent's 45% of a teacher's salary. Kunnafoni (WM-CH partner in Bamako) already has a fully featured place (ie: the Lab).

  • Inform people about the existence of Wikimedia's projects.

Previous research showed that nobody knows about Wikipedia. A very low number of university students are aware of Wikipedia. We could not find any one who was aware of the contribution side. Even in ministry of Education, nobody knew it.

  • Train people on how to use Wikipedia and Internet

Due to very difficult access to Internet (cost and infrastructure), most people don't know how to benefit from Internet. Usage is very basic and restricted by their no-computer culture (links, screen structured content, etc).


Beside this Access to Information strategy, and for motivational purpose, we also want to create a contribution dynamic. Mali is a very rich country in terms of culture, traditions, languages and history but is those treasures are not on Wikimedia

  • Train people on Wikimedia contribution

This is a quite unknown concept to contribute to Internet but Malians are passionate and talkative and diaspora contributes a lot to discussion websites.

  • Train people on Digital Photography

Commons is relatively poor of pictures and media about Mali. There is a large collection of the very same highly touristic spots but the rest of the country is not presented at all.

  • Organize field-trips to collect information

In Mali, pre-independence history is not written. Accurate colonialism-related history is mostly unreleased and difficult to access. Regional information is stuck in villages. We want to organize trips across Mali to dig those informations. Once information has been unveiled, we can look for sources in newspaper' paper archives and historical books.

  • Sponsor information translation from books

ASHIMA, the malian organization of historians has done a fantastic work on the history of Mali and West Africa. Their publications are very technicals and not digital. We would like to create and enhance WP articles based on those publications.

  • Improve local languages support

We believe that local languages (7 main ones in Mali) should not be sacrificed to global communications. We want to feed the French Wiktionary with words and translations from bamanakan and soŋay.

Also, ministry of Education has various PD documents to share including a full soŋay lexicon.


In order to successfully achieve the previous goals and to make this effort sustainable, we need to build a community of people. Building a volunteer-based community in Mali is very difficult due to the living conditions: people are eager to find money and improve their lives and those of their families thus don't have spare time to spend volunteering[6]

To tackle this issue, we want to apply the following models:

  1. Volunteers from WM-CH will come to Bamako to do advocacy and trainings at schools and university (through talks, plenary, workshops, test exams)
  2. Motivated students will be offered trainers titles.
  3. Once fully trained themselves (by WM-CH and Kunnafoni), they will rotate to offer continuous training service at the Lab.

Those local trainers would receive max. $7 per day of trainings/support at the lab.

Project goal[edit]

  • Create a community of Wikimedians who can advocate the use of and the participation to Wikimedia projects in Bamako.
  • Enhance the visibility of Mali and Mali-related languages in Wikimedia projects
  • Research if Mali (and so most French-speaking African countries) is ready for Wikimedia's contribution.

Non-financial requirements[edit]

  • Public outreach material and advises (from Frank?)
  • Advises and resources from Wikipedia Universities
  • Access to results of Commons usability project
  • Communication Help to give this project visibility to WM community.
  • Help from community at the end to produce an high quality wrap-up report and potential replication leads.

Fit to strategy[edit]

Good match of Chapters' main goals: “support the creation, collection and distribution of Open Content in a not-for-profit way in order to support education and the equal opportunity of access to knowledge”.

Other benefits[edit]

  • Valuable inputs from West Africa about Wikimedia's influence and ability to adapt to developing countries.
  • (Potential) Replication guide on how to foster wikimedia's usage in Africa.

Measures of success[edit]

  • Number of people coming to the Lab.
  • Percentage of students aware/users of WM
  • Number of trainers trained
  • Number of people trained
  • Number of entries in wiktionary
  • Wikimedia's access statistic from Mali
  • Number of edits in wikipedia
  • Number of entries in commons
  • Sustainability of the project at the end of grant.

Notes and References[edit]

  1. USD/XOF (Mali currency) is very changing. Lately it seemed stabilized around 450F for 1$.
  2. Orange Mali's 384kbps' one year subscription is 360 000F (XOF). 512kbps is $2,500 per year
  3. Simulation leads to an average price of 900/1000€ for round-trip
  4. Half a page in a daily newspaper is $75. Radio spots can be sponsored by gifts to listeners. TV spots starts at $4, 500.
  5. Fields trips get really expensive with distance due to state of roads and cost of transport
  6. See Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

See Also[edit]