Grants:Project/Yorg/Wiki Loves Africa 2019/Midpoint

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Report accepted
This midpoint report for a Project Grant approved in FY 2018-19 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Yorg/Wiki Loves Africa 2019.
  • You may still review or add to the discussion about this report on its talk page.
  • You are welcome to email projectgrants(_AT_) at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.

Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learning from the grantee's first 3 months.


In a few short sentences or bullet points, give the main highlights of what happened with your project so far.

The Wiki Loves Africa contest successfully took place as planned.

Methods and activities[edit]

How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?

Describe how you've setup your experiment or pilot, sharing your key focuses so far and including links to any background research or past learning that has guided your decisions. List and describe the activities you've undertaken as part of your project to this point.


  1. After Jury finalized winners, top 5 contacted. Info was collected to wire the money and wire the certificates
  2. Goodies to purchase were listed. Purchased. Documents printed
  3. Money prizes successfully sent to the top 5 winnners
  4. Clean-up categories for winners and winning pictures. Announcement page
  5. Goodies and appreciation shown to our jury organizer lead during Wikimania :)

Also done

  1. Wikimedia Groups in Algeria, Cameroon and Egypt were contacted and offered to physically meet with winners, to have the opportunity for a little ceremony where they would not only give the certificates and goodies from WLA, but also to promote their own UG. 3 accepted. Goodies were accordingly transported to Wikimania then to the Wikiconvention francophone conference to be delivered to UG. Most goodies actually came back to France due to member of UG not attending the conferences (due to VISA issues mostly). In the end, goodies were delivered for the Egyptian winners to the Egyptian chapter. So it looks like in the end, most goodies and certificates will be sent by postal email anyway...
  2. Wiki Loves Africa poster was produced and displayed during Wikimania Stockholm as well as during the wikiconvention francophone in Bruxells.
  3. Discussion was held during Wikimania over the future of Wiki Loves Africa during the African meet-up. Decision was made to organize a survey to record interest and/or support to the photo contest, and to finalize the choice of theme if relevant.

Still to do

  1. Winners 6-15 to be contacted (for mailing address)
  2. Finalize sending certificates and goodies

Midpoint outcomes[edit]

What are the results of your project or any experiments you’ve worked on so far?

Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project to date.

WLA over 5 years

Poster displayed at Wikimania in Stockholm
Poster displayed at the Wikiconvention francophone in Bruxells
WLA outcomes presented at Wikimania

Wiki Loves Africa has achieved much over 5 years:

  • 48,466 images donated by 6213 submitters
  • Wiki Loves Africa images were viewed 15,9 million times per month (March/April 2019);
  • Wiki Loves Africa images have been viewed : 225,7 million times altogether (up to April 2019);
  • Wikimedia Communities in 23 African countries have hosted over 225 participation and training events;
  • The competition attracted high levels of new contributors – over 80% for each year;
  • A Wiki Loves Africa prize-winning image was included in The Journeys Through Our Fragile Heritage exhibition at UNESCO, Paris; and
  • Wiki Loves Africa’s ISA tool is a pilot project for Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons.

In 2019, best image selection
In 2019, the theme selected was "Play". 8 879 great pictures have been collected in slightly more than 4 weeks. See some stats. During the contest, many local events also took place.

After the image submission time was over, the images were reviewed and best images were selected by an international jury. It should be noted that several countries also select national best images, but those process are independent from the selection at the international level. This differs from most of the other Wiki Loves campaigns and is due to the fact WLA is open to all African countries, including countries where there are no wikimedian groups actively involved in the process.

The very best images were identified and collected here : c:Category:Best images from Wiki Loves Africa 2019.

During the first part of the project grant, the top 5 winners were contacted. Contact was fairly easy in 4 cases. The 5th case required a real hunt, both on Internet and on the ground, with several people involved. Ultimately, every top winner was identified, contacted and answered !

Promotion of winners
Information was collected from winners, including stories to establish the context of the photo shoot, to feed communication on the contest.

Delivery of prizes
In the meanwhile, all 5 winner was sent his or her money prize by wire transfer. It took a little bit more time than we expected (some winners did not have a bank account that could receive foreign money transfer) but ultimately, all winners confirmed they received their prize money.

Besides, noting that 2 winners were Egyptian, 1 Algerian and 1 from Cameroon, I contacted Wikimedia UG in those countries to establish whether they could give the little gifts and certificates during a local ceremony in the countries rather than those being delivered by postal mail. The idea was nice, and all three contacts were willing and interested to do that. Implementation proved to be a little bit more complicated (for example... I travelled to Wikimania Stockholm and to Wikiconvention francophone with several power banks in my luggage to hand it out to Georges, and both time his visa was rejected; I returned home with the power banks...).

Goodies have been prepared.

The next step is to contact the other winners (top 15 roughly), who should receive certificates + stickers ...
It has already been established that some of them could not be contacted (no valid email address and a non-specific username). Some have answered.


Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.

Then, answer the following question here: Have you spent your funds according to plan so far? Please briefly describe any major changes to budget or expenditures that you anticipate for the second half of your project.

Expenses so far have been to

  • send money prizes to top 5 winners (3300 USD)
  • print/produce goodies

These expenditures have been according to plan. There is no major changes to budget to anticipate during second half of project.


The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you are taking enough risks to learn something really interesting! Please use the below sections to describe what is working and what you plan to change for the second half of your project.

What are the challenges[edit]

What challenges or obstacles have you encountered? What will you do differently going forward? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Identification of winners (to be expected). 4 were easy. 1 was difficult.
  • Sending money to Africa is always a challenge in some African countries...
  • Trying to involve local Usergroup in thanking winners publicly and locally (including difficulty to hand them out the goodies)

What is working well[edit]

What have you found works best so far? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

  • Your learning pattern link goes here

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your project? Please list these as short bullet points.

Currently ongoing - todo

  • Finalizing certificate design and printing
  • Shipping the certificate and gifts

I hope to stick to timeline. I may have 1 or 2 weeks delay.

Related but not directly to this grant

Grantee reflection[edit]

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an grantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?

In truth... I always enjoy the moment we write winners and announce they won. It is a warm and fuzzy feeling...