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summaryBoosting knowledge production in 10 African languages using our AfroCuration format.
targetisiZulu, Afrikaans, Tshivenda, isiXhosa, Kiswahili, Twi, Dagbani, Arabic, and Shona Wikipedia. Creation of Macua Wikipedia in the incubator
type of grantoffline programs and events
type of applicantorganization
granteePapa Baiden
contact• papa.baiden@moleskinefoundation.org
this project needs...
created on00:13, 10 February 2021 (UTC)

Project idea


What is the problem you're trying to solve?


What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

We believe in Creativity for Social Change; it’s the central mission of the Moleskine Foundation. But a precondition of creativity is knowledge, and there is a surprising lack of information online concerning Africa. Also, this information is largely unavailable in African languages.

African history is distorted by perverse colonial visions, which cast long shadows over what types of information are available to access today. Furthermore, there is a surprising lack of information online concerning Black women in history, cultural pioneers, human rights, and other important topics. Lastly, the overwhelming majority of the information that is available online is not written by Africans, nor in African languages. The need to engage underrepresented language communities is recognised and captured under the theme “Knowledge Equity”; as part of the Global Conversations of the Wikimedia Foundation 2030 Strategy, which Moleskine Foundation participated in (December 5th).

Through our experience with iterating the WikiAfrica Education program since 2006, Moleskine Foundation is aware of both the struggle of the “digital divide” experienced by the continent (use, cost and quality of internet), which compounds the perception gap (awareness of Wikipedia, or lowered perception of its relevance) in Africa. Communities underrepresented on Wikipedia can find themselves feeling disempowered and excluded, as their history, stories and culture are possibly shown with a “single-sided story” narrative- or simply not shown at all. It can lead groups to feel as thought their voices are neither valued nor valuable. We have observed that culture is a power tool for relevance and inclusion, which we build on in the solution we propose.

What is your solution?


For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.
Our solution is to boost knowledge production in 10 African languages using our AfroCuration format. Backed by a strong curatorial approach, the format combines knowledge, creativity, and activism by immersing young participants in historical and cultural spaces to experience the content they’ll be contributing to on Wikipedia in a completely unique and inspiring way. Operating through a lens of culture, or methodology allows us to activate youth into being active knowledge producers, and connect with the content in a deep and creative way. Our format, now known as “AfroCuration”, has been under continuous improvement since 2018, and is a single component of the wider WikiAfrica Education program, run by Moleskine Foundation. The immediate tangible outputs of an AfroCuration are Wikipedia entries on African content by young Africans, under a curated theme, with a focus on using African languages. We intend to hold a series of 5 such events across the continent, leveraging our extensive network of cultural partners across the African continent and diaspora, and in cooperation with local Wikimedia affiliates. In respect of the Covid-19 protocols, we recognise some this may need to be online. Due to COVID-19 risk assessments, we have a back-up plan of investing into an online with a seamless user experience supported by a third party such as https://insightpact.com . We will take further action to build a immersive cultural journey with support of the cultural partners, ensuring participants have a connection with the content due to its relevance. In each community of activity, we will respect the local rules regarding in-person congregations.

To coordinate this effort, we plan to hire a Wikimedian in Residence (WiR). The WiR will facilitate activity surrounding AfroCuration and be a central point of reference for cultural partners, local chapter/user groups, and our intentions by reducing the complexity that new cultural partners face towards contributing to Wikipedia projects. They’ll help us to stay mindful of community guidelines and needs, as well as provide continuous support for these communities and develop a roadmap for possible retention of participants to edit long-term. As attested to in our draft partnership agreement which is under review, Moleskine Foundation (MSKF) and WMF are mission aligned organisations. We share the desire to work together to build the capacity of knowledge producers from Africa and the African diaspora through a collaboration of our unique and specific approaches, expertise, and networks. With a focus on capacity building, MSKF and WMF can create and empower more knowledge producers from communities speaking African languages, to reflect these cultures on the Wikipedia platforms. MSKF brings to the partnership an approach based on culture and creative skills development. MSKF is providing an accumulated experience of building partnerships with cultural institutions, and through them attracting participants in hard-to-reach locations. MSKF engages participants through a lens of culture and creativity.

Through an intentional engagement of cultural institutions and mission-aligned education institutions, we will ensure that the WikiAfrica Education mission is incorporated in the programming of other organisations who are mission-aligned. Through inspiring, guiding and supporting cultural institutions to implement AfroCuration, we will strengthen Wikipedia’s cultural relevance and knowledge base, helping achieve our strategic aims. Using this approach to scale the program is a sustainable and organic means of growth. To ensure this is as smooth a process as possible, the engagement of multiple organisations will need a great deal of methodology and complexities to be standardized. This decreases the risk of inconsistent delivery approaches, and reduces complexity for implementing partners coming on board.

We believe AfroCuration is important for these three main reasons:

  1. Cultivating new identities; the sharing of languages, stories, cultures and knowledge from diverse African perspectives adds to the construction of a more complex and multi-dimensional African identity.
  2. Producing and amplifying new knowledge; adding multiple voices to the repository of information on African history and culture. This new knowledge can add depth to understanding our most urgent issues today.
  3. Amplifying and representing languages online; representing more African languages online plays a role in their preservation as some are at risk of dying out. When languages die we lose valuable information and knowledge about the culture of the people. The program facilitates the development, preservation and use of African languages.

We have a draft shortlist of the 10 languages we will focus on for the AfroCurations. The logic builds on analysis performed by the WMF partnerships manager (Rudolph) languages team.(Amir) which identified for our collaboration in 2020, that we stood the chance to impact a quarter of a billion people with our translation work in AfroCuration across a selected 10 African languages. Our list of languages is as follows:

Language Prospective Cultural Partner
Zulu Constitution Hill (Constitutional Court of South Africa)/ Harambee / Afropunk / Foondamate
Swahili Ethale Publishing / Pfwura Ndzilo
Macua (new)
Twi Ghana Language Bureau

/National Film Authority/Ministry of Tourism/ Ghana Folklore Board

Arabic Darb 1718 / University of UAE
Shona National Gallery of Zimbabwe/ Foondamate

This shortlist of prospective cultural partners are mostly entities we’ve worked with in the past, or have open conversations pending, to update based on how the grant application goes. The remainder are options within our network.

The logic of selecting languages derives from Moleskine Foundation running WikiAfrica Education with a Regional Approach, as opposed to a country/nation-state based approach. To a great extent WikiAfrica Education’s work aligns with social and philosophical decolonial movements that seek to reclaim dignity and build consciousness of the value of African people, culture, societies and knowledge. Thus, a singular country-based approach to work and produce content may reinforce the colonial borders of African countries, and therefore would not be wholly aligned with the efforts and mandate of WikiAfrica Education.

Project goals


What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  • Create at least 300 new articles on wikipedia
  • At least 5 cultural institutions trained on how to deliver AfroCuration format, and contribute to Wikimedia projects.
  • Creating knowledge across 10 African languages, of which 1 is a new Wikipedia language, as the target African languages that meet the criteria specified by the Wikimedia movement’s language policies and the Wikimedia Incubator.
  • Inspire and build the capacity of about 300 new contributors to become knowledge producers
  • Build the capacity of, and support, 20 movement organizers in the 10 target African languages
  • Create the opportunity for past participants of the AfroCuration under the WAE program to participate in at least 1 webinar, talk series or workshop about the critical consumption of knowledge and translation projects in Africa within the Wikimedia movement.

Why Us


Why we deserve the funding, as opposed to another project?

  1. Over a decade in supporting underrepresented languages: The Moleskine Foundation has an extensive track record, beginning with the creation of the WikiAfrica concept back in 2006, alongside Wikimedia Italia, The Africa Center, and other thought leaders convened. A more detailed timeline of our iterations over the years can be found here. Historically speaking, the investment into the WikiAfrica program (WikiAfrica Education since 2017) is over €1m.please see here the link to a synopsis of MSKF program history on WikiAfrica initiative
  2. Recent collaboration: In 2019, we ran 2x AfroCurations in Johannesburg, South Africa, alongside our cultural partner, Constitution Hill Trust, and supported by Wikimedia South Africa. The first AfroCuration was themed “We, The People” and focused on producing knowledge surrounding the protagonists in the making of the South African Constitution and struggle for freedom. Our participants were 120 participants (15-18 year-old) students from African School for Excellence, Unity College and Harambee Youth Accelerator. The second AfroCuration was themed “Writing Black Women into history” and focused on 12 black women (activists and artists) who were essentially erased from history. Our participants for this were 70 participants (18-25 year old’s) from the Afropunk Army: the cornerstone program for civic engagement within the AFROPUNK music festival and AFROPUNK online community. Collectively, the events saw 200 participants, and produced 200 articles in a total of 6 official languages, which were viewed 190K times.please see here the link to the October 2019 event dashboardplease see here the link to the December 2019 event dashboard
  3. Joint efforts during the pandemic: In 2020, whilst most of the world discussed Coronavirus, millions could not join the conversation on the virus because the information was not available in their language. We launched a campaign called ‘The Solution Will Not be Televised’ calling to action African language speakers to translate Covid-19 related knowledge. The campaign was run alongside Fondazione Aurora, and supported by Ethale Publishing, Constitution Hill, Wikimedia Yoruba, Wikimedia South Africa and the Wikimedia Foundation. We ended the year with a virtual AfroCuration event with the Wikimedia Dagbani community in Ghana, producing knowledge on Covid-19 in Dagbani. Overall we managed to engage over 400 participants to produce about 200 articles in 18 African languages, which have been viewed more than 60K times. please see here the link to the December 2020 event dashboard

Project impact


How will you know if you have met your goals?


For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (e.g. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

What we will do

  • We will use our approach of incorporating knowledge, creativity, culture and activism to attract, engage, and inspire new young editors to the Wikipedia platform.
  • Hire a Wikipedian-in-Residence for a 12-month appointment (with intent to renew over a longer period). The request to the Wikimedia Foundation is to support the salary of the *Wikipedian-In-Residence for a 12 months term.
  • Finalize the list of languages, and activate relevant cultural partners and seek collaboration of local Wikimedia chapters/user groups
  • Agree upon our implementation plan for each of the 5 AfroCuration events.
  • Actively disseminate the knowledge produced to ensure awareness


  • 500 articles across 10 African languages
  • 1 new wikipedia language created
  • 500 participants
  • 30 movement organisers
  • 5 organisations trained


  • Greater representation of knowledge and cultures of Africa on Wikipedia
  • More cultural institutions now engaged and interested in contributing to the Wikipedia movement.
  • An active community of editors now producing knowledge autonomously, spearheaded locally by community organisers.
  • Attract new users to wikipedia

Do you have any goals around participation or content?


Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  • 300 articles across 10 African languages
  • 300 participants
  • 20 movement organisers
  • 200K article views collectively

Project plan




Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

Plan: March - May

  • Finalize the list of languages, and seek collaboration of local Wikimedia chapters/user groups
  • Activate relevant cultural partners
  • Align and finalise implementation plan for each of the 5 AfroCuration events. This includes: participant outreach, registration methods, collateral and branding, and overall logistics.
  • Cultural partners to support development of curatorial themes for each AfroCuration event. This produces high-level themes, with which local chapters can define an indicative list of articles to be written during events.
  • Setup of Monitoring and Evaluation systems

Implement: June - October

  • Build awareness of the initiative through outreach work in the respective online communities.
  • Publish article lists online.
  • Open participant registration, and assess training technical needs.
  • Coordinate with venues and support teams to run events. To respect covid regulations a maximum of 30 participants should be present per event, and we foresee running 2x days of 30 people per language.
  • Identify a minimum of 2 community organisers in each language community (2x10 languages).
  • Actively disseminate the knowledge produced (articles) from events to ensure awareness

Here is an indicative timeline of the AfroCuration events as we envisage them currently. We respect that this timeline will need to be co-created with priorities of local affiliates. The project gives way for an administrative pause in August to check and analyse progress as well as make way for some personal activities of community members during the summer.

Event Indicative Dates
AfroCuration #1 June
AfroCuration #2 July
AfroCuration #3 September
AfroCuration #4 September
AfroCuration #5 October

In the occurrence that of the in-person events are not possible due to Covid-19 restrictions, we have the flexibility to deliver an online version of AfroCuration.

Support: November - Feb

  • WiR to support community organisers in each language community stay active editors, sharing best practice, encouragement and information on possible opportunities/events for the communities.
  • WiR to create a simple and holistic META page to be a user-friendly repository for all the knowledge produced, ensuring accessibility.

Develop an instruction kit for cultural partners wishing to implement AfroCuration.

Review: November - Feb

  • Analysis of project goals, dashboards, rates of continued editing and feedback from participants, local chapters/UG’s, and cultural partners.

Covid-19 PLanning In respect of the Covid-19 protocols, we recognise some elements of this project may need to take place online to respect either local government or WMF event guidelines. We will work closely with local Affiliates to discern what local government rules are, and plan for compliance. Our implementing plan includes the contingency of investing into an online event with a seamless user experience supported by a third party such as https://insightpact.com . We will take further action to build an immersive cultural journey with support of the cultural partners, ensuring participants have a connection with the content due to its relevance. To respect covid regulations a maximum of 30 participants should be present per in-person event, local-government rules permitted. We foresee running 2x days of 30 people per language. In the scenario where in-person meetings are not possible, events will be based online with greater effort on user experience.



How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

Wikimedian in Residence (WiR) 1,800 10 18,000 A monthly stipend for the WiR
Social Security 540 10 5,400 Social security/tax contribution estimated at 30% of WiR salary
AfroCuration (see breakdown below) 4,300 5 21,500 Local chapter  spending on training
Language expert 2,000 1 2,000 For translation, grammar, and syntax expertise in languages needing support.
Dissemination & Promotion to local areas 2,500 2 5,000
Internet 100 10 1,000 Monthly internet stipend for WiR
Miscellaneous 1 4,020 5% of total funds for any unforeseen circumstances
Total (WMF Requested Funds) 56,920
PM 33000 (yearly) 10 11,000 PM @40% of time, initiating contact and MOU’s with cultural partners. Coordinating event speakers, and MSKF comms activities, prize giving. Supervision of WiR and adherence to timeline. Support with Curatorial Theme development process. Final budget responsibility.
Awards 2,000 1 2,000
AfroCuration (see breakdown below) 4,000 5 20,000
Miscellaneous 1 4,020 5% of total funds for any unforeseen circumstances
Total (MSKF Funds Invested) 37,020


Item Cost Notes
Internet costs 200 Including equipment for signal boost
lunch +coffee & refreshments for whole day event 700 Expecting 60 ppl per event - 30 people over 2x whole days
Venue hire 2,000
On site Technician/AV support 500
Computer rental 600
Transportation of wikimedians 300
Total 4,300


Item Cost Notes
Furniture and Décor 1000 Furniture , tables etc for venue set-up
Technical and AV 700 Screens, projector,microphones, live streaming of Wiki uploads for inspirational section
Branding Collateral for venue set-up 500 Printing, Name badges, name badges, Installing and Uninstalling
landing page for registration 300
social media cammpaign for local recruitment and event/content promotion 1,000 social media posting
Photography and video content production 500
Total 4,000

Other Commitments to the Wikipedia Movement


Moleskine Foundation continues to invest in the wider WikiAfrica Education program. The below are a condensed handful of activities related to contributing and amplifying the mission of creating more knowledge producers in African languages: Separate to this grant proposal, Moleskine Foundation this year (2021) is going to invest €90-100K for the WikiAfrica Education program. This figure includes, but is not limited to, items such as program implementation, salaries directly related to the program, communication, strategy development (refinement and improvement of our 2025 Strategy for WikiAfrica Education program), in-school workshops, and campaign creation.

We are relaunching the WikiAfrica Education Bursary Program, alongside Fondazione Aurora. We strike up partnerships with education institutions providing bursaries to African university students overseas. We help them to engage these students in creating Wikipedia articles in African languages on their research topics, generating more knowledge for the community.

We aim to launch public sensitization campaigns aiming to encourage and support people across the continent to become aware of the knowledge resources created through the WikiAfrica Education program, and contribute to Wikipedia at least once. We believe generating and sharing knowledge about and across the Continent is a revolutionary act, and that anyone can become a knowledge producer. For this reason, we continue to allocate budget for content production, and an update to the WikiAfrica Education program website to support content dissemination. We’ve also invested in the support of a PR agency for coverage opportunities on the program.

Community engagement


Community input and participation helps make projects successful. How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve during your project?

  • Create at least one press release per AfroCuration initiative.
  • We will engage each African language community we work with to join a digital community space (need to discuss optimal platform) in order to have a common place of engagement for the participants across barriers of time, space and language.
  • Activate media partners to spread awareness of this initiative, and share the knowledge produced
  • Ensure the WiR creates a simple and holistic META page to be a user-friendly repository for all the knowledge produced

Get involved




Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

  • Adama Sanneh- MSKF CEO
  • Tania Gianesin- R&D Director
  • Papa Baiden- WikiAfrica Education Program Manager
  • Neil Butcher- MSKF Advisor
  • Rudolph Ampofo- Advisor
  • Felix Nartey - Advisor

Community notification


Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc. Need notification tips?

  • Initial contacts have been made to respective language coordinators who may have shown interest in the project already.
  • An email will be sent to the African mailing list about the project
  • The various language communities will receive a notification on their village pump



Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • Support Support I've personally worked with Moleskin in South Africa, they are doing great work supporting communities in Africa, of advantage about them is their ability to connect with institutions outside of the traditional GLAM space and expose Wikipedia to those audiences, then work with communities to activate those audience. That's an unconventional way of outreach with awareness as a results. Bobbyshabangu (talk) 07:40, 9 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Supported! Michaelgraaf (talk) 14:09, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I participated in this project in 2020 and I know the importance of projects like this. I fully endorsed it Shahadusadik (talk) 14:12, 24 February 2021


  • It will go a long way to help document the Dagbani culture and to contribute to a larger extent the academic literature of the Dagomba people 14:27, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I endorse it in full. I took part in this project in 2020 and it helped me very well in my education as a student.~~~~
  • To promote our dagbani language to the world Alhaj Darajaati (talk) 14:44, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • It's help expose talents Djraaf family (talk) 16:01, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • To project my mother language Alhaj Darajaati (talk) 16:16, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project. Alhassan Mohammed Awal (talk) 17:58, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project. I participated in the 2020 project and it was an eye opener. Dnshitobu (talk) 19:15, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project. I believe it will contribute a great deal in the academic literature as far as the Dagbani speaking community is cconcerned 16:57, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project,
  • I strongly endorse this project.Din-nani1 (talk) 21:36, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project. Sir Amugi (talk) 18:23, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project. Yakubu Fadilatu (talk) 20:03, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • It is without reservation that I endorse this project Achiri Bitamsimli (talk) 20:25, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project. Salifu Memunatu (talk) 20:37, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project Dhee jah (talk) 20:42, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this projectRahinatu Nabila (talk) 20:49, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project. Hajara55 (talk) 21:58, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorsed this project because it grants me the opportunity to learn and to promote my language (dagbani)Ruky Wunpini (talk) 01:57, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project. KhadijahAbubakari (talk) 05:20, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

Strong support Strong support. I think this is a good project as it's impact involves bringing onboard African languages which most of them are underrepresented when it comes to WMF projects(compared to other big Wikis i.e enwiki). I hope it will help bridging the existing content and visibility gap in Wikipedia. Also, the addition of COVID-19 related content to those African languages wikis will help Africa communities to access vital info about this pandemic in their own languages, which i think is a good thing. Jadnapac (talk) 06:37, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

  • This project is a good one. It will help project the Dagbani Language and Culture globally. I therefore strongly endorse it. Anamzooya (talk) 16:11, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
  • The Project is efficient in executing and enhancing articles in African languages. I strongly support it. Ibn Shiraz (talk) 17:20, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
  • It would help to improved research on the various Languages selected Munkaila Sulemana (talk) 05:20, 11 June 2021 (UTC)
  • I strongly support this project Ruky Wunpini (talk) 14:57, 18 December 2022 (UTC)