This APG grant (and the contemplative atmosphere of 2020) gave Wiki In Africa the ability to assess, analyse and hone its position and function within the Wikimedia ecosystem in light of Africa’s recent blooming development and the Wikimedia 2030 recommendations.
Wiki In Africa’s strategy has always been to release the knowledge and cultures of Africa onto Wikipedia by activating and supporting African communities. Many of our projects are mature and a re-assessment was due. We have clarified that our key focuses remain creating and sustaining continent-wide projects and interventions that encourage and support new and emerging communities by building skills and providing opportunities for engagement, growth and personal and community development. This is done through providing training, mentoring and coaching, in layered and diverse ways. This has allowed us to strategically focus our efforts across the projects.
2020 also gave us the circumstances in which to reconfigure each project and look at options to ensure the training and support that leads to expansion and growth. We focused on future-proofing Wiki Loves Africa and Wiki Loves Women inlight of the COVID pandemic and removing in-person expectations with plans for strategic online engagement and training. For example, with Wiki Loves Africa, we focused on online coaching and training support mechanisms for the 23 participating communities in more obvious ways and via various means, and developing an on-the-ground pilot project to train and provide exposure for photographers.
Over 2020 Wiki In Africa’s main activity focus has been on:
- the c:Commons:Wiki Loves Africa 2020 contest, jury process, the organisers and participant’s survey, and multiple additional associated activities,
- a MetaData Week drive for Wiki Loves Africa 2020 entries using the ISA Tool,
- a Wiki Loves Women celebration of Women’s Day through an image drive on the ISA Tool,
- a global Wiki Loves Women drive called SheSaid on Wikiquote to ensure that women’s voices are heard,
- establishing and consulting an advisory committee for Wiki Loves Women,
- advancing Education projects and increasing materials to support teacher knowledge and training,
- multiple applications for additional funding of the projects, and
- additional support for, and alliances with, Wikimedia groups and external groups examples include:
- WikiGap Nigeria
- Simon’s Town Museum Descendants of Slavery photo walk,
- creation of teaching modules in French to introduce students to copyright and attribution, and
- a research project focused on Wiki Loves Africa’s mass messaging.
7 years of Wiki Loves Africa
In many ways, Wiki Loves Africa is our flagship project. The project evolves every year, and the results of Wiki Loves Africa and the efforts of its community interactions and the artists who take part are consistently inspiring to us. Below is a summary of the achievements, but the full report of the Wiki Loves Africa 2020 contest can be found on this page.
Since 2014, Wiki Loves Africa has achieved the following:
- Over 64,000 images contributed since 2014
- 8,120 competitors from 59 countries
- Images viewed up to 41 million times a month
- Images viewed over 612 million times in total (Dec 2020)
- Over 250 events held by 24 African Wikimedia Communities
- The ISA Tool (developed for Wiki Loves Africa images) won multimedia tool of the year at WikiData Conference 2019
- A Wiki Loves Africa prize-winning image was included in the Journeys Through Our Fragile Heritage exhibition at the UNESCO headquarters, Paris.
Wiki Loves Africa 2020 prize winners
2nd Prize Winner : توزيع الخبز على دراجته by Abd Elhamid Fawzy Abd Elhamid Tahoun User:Abdo tahoon
Traditional Culture Prize: Salt transport by a camel train in Ethiopia by User:LeFnake
Video Winner: Le Transport Lagunaire à Abidjan STL réalisé by Bouba Kam's
Wiki In Africa is constantly finding opportunities to engage, introduce, support and encourage the introduction of different sectors in the Wikimedia projects in whatever capacity. Over 2020, we developed a relationship through FindingGLAMs with a small, local museum in Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa. We were also invited to showcase exactly what drives Wiki Loves Africa through a Twitter take over of the OpenGLAM account.
In July 2020 Wiki Loves Africa took over the OpenGLAM twitter account. This is the report.
In August 2019, we were approached to do a take over of the OpenGLAM twitter account. This twitter account is currently under the stewardship of Scann (Creative Commons GLAM Platform) and Alex Stinton, WMF). At the time, it was suggested that Wiki Loves Africa would be the best fit due to the GLAM and culture focus of the twitter account.
This learning story shows how to build a twitter takeover campaign, and how much fun can be had doing it.
A ‘takeover’ is when an entity (project or individual) ‘hijacks’ a twitter account and tells their story using the account as a platform. Wiki Loves Africa was assigned 5 days in July in order to share what we do, have done, and hope to accomplish. It was a lot of fun and allowed us to dig deep into the essence of the project in a visually dynamic way.
The entire 33 tweet campaign and immediate results of the twitter take over and all tweets can be found here.
Learning story 2 : Descendants of Slavery photo walk
Descendants of Slavery photo walk with the Simon’s Town Museum ran until March 2020. Wiki In Africa approached the Finding GLAMs project to in this first collaboration with the Simon’s Town Museum. The collaboration took the form of a Photowalk intended to document the sites of slavery in Simon’s Town. The Photowalk encouraged participants to rethink ordinary spaces in Simon’s Town and reflect on the invisible pasts that linger in the area.
The event was attended by 8 high school learners from Ocean View and Masiphumelele whose grandparents had been evicted from Simon's Town during the forced removals of Apartheid. It was also attended by slavery and forced removals expert Maryann Kindo. The Photowalk started by explaining the sites of oppression and repression within the Museum’s building (The Residency from 1777), most notably the holding cells and punishment cells underneath the space. The participants were also introduced to the Museum’s collection and a discussion on the development of communities in and around Simon’s Town with a focus on slavery and indentured people. The tour then moved to Jubilee Square and up into the “Black Town” section above this space and then to the Simon’s Town library for initial and basic instruction in how to connect to Wikipedia, to register and to upload their content.
Diversity and Content Contribution: Wiki Loves Africa
Wiki Loves Africa Program Direct Impacts over 2020
2020 was tumultuous and unpredictable (in the extreme), but it was a relatively good year for Wiki Loves Africa with stable participation (in spite of COVID), increased involvement from Wikimedia groups, with several new teams joining the contest, and a significant increase in quality submissions. There was also improved and engaged onboarding and training process for new teams. A smooth jury process, and more insight gathered about the contest and organisers through conducting research into mass messaging, and two surveys. Overall, we are very happy with how Wiki Loves Africa 2020 was organised and rolled out.
Wiki Loves Africa - the 6th iteration - was held from 15th February until 15th April 2020 under the theme Africa on the Move! (Transport). This year, 23 Wikimedia communities (including Brazil) officially took part in preparing events and creating local noise around the contest. As usual, the media competition accepted entries from across Africa, and from people outside Africa, as long as the images represented African-related material or content.
The contest resulted in 16,982 media files from 1,904 competitors in 53 countries. 76% of the competitors were new to Commons (lower than usual, which means there is a higher number of return competitors). The images have since been viewed 4,569,784 during Dec 2020, with 31,744,815 views since they were collectively submitted. Current usage of the images stands at 19.83% (the highest usage rate of any of the WLA years to-date).
Four photography and one video prize winners were announced, along with 5 highly commended images. The winning images and featured images were chosen by a panel of nine international professional and Commonist photographers from Botswana, Zimbabwe and Uganda to Netherlands and France. You can read the full Jury Report here
- Wiki Loves Africa Surveys
Report compiled from a survey of WLA 2020 organisers.
Two surveys were organized in the second half of 2020 in order to get feedback from the community as to the importance of Wiki Loves Africa in their Wikimedia activities and larger community and to collect feedback and list of improvements for 2021. It was also an opportunity to collect opinions with regards to the Wiki Loves Africa 2021 theme. One survey was sent only to National Leads. The other survey was distributed widely among participants.
The full report of the Wiki Loves Africa 2020 contest can be found on this page.
Side Activities and Indirect Impacts over 2020
ISA Drive : improved structured data description of WLA images
During the second half of 2020, we ran an ISA campaign to improve the structured data description of images collected during Wiki Loves Africa : https://isa.toolforge.org/campaigns/86.
Africa on the Move drive on ISA saw an amazing amount of contributions to the structured data on the files submitted through the 2020 competition. There was fierce competition by those taking part, especially the top two contributors. The challenge saw 68,010 data contributions by 18 participants, with the top 2 winners totalling 52,238 entries.
Full report : c:Commons:ISA Tool/Wiki Loves Africa MetaData Weeks
During Wiki Loves Africa 2020 a full study was run with CAT Lab (previously CivilServant) that tested whether posting a message on the talk page of a former participant made any difference to their participation in the competition. Study found out it did. A scientific article was produced, submitted, and accepted. It should be published in 2021.
WPWP - prize category
In 2020 Wiki Loves Africa offered an additional prize category for the new Wikipedia Wants Pictures (WPWP) drive. The WLA prize category was aimed at encouraging the use of images previously submitted as part of Wiki Loves Africa photo contests into Wikipedia articles for African languages, specifically Igbo (ig), Swahili (sw), Yoruba (yo), Luganda (lg), Hausa (ha), Shona (sn), Amharic (am), Lingala (ln) and Afrikaans (af). Due to difficulties to track edits done to African languages, and limited to WLA images, we have decided to offer the prize unrestricted to WLA images. The winner was User:Anasskoko from the Hausa community !
WPWP participation was the opportunity to do deep-gathering of WLA statistics which you can find on WLA’s WPWP campaign page.
Nos Jardins : A train the photographer program launched
Nos Jardins is a training program for photographers organised in Switzerland and Cameroun over 2021.The program is a partnership between Ynternet.org, Wiki in Africa and the Cameroun Wikimedia UserGroup and is funded by Movetia.
Learning story 3: Wiki Loves Africa Ecosystem Challenges
The consequences of the COVID pandemic hit mid contest. The very real threat made a considerable impact on the contest that although driven online, relies specifically on in-person events for WM usergroups to use the contest to build their community and transfer skills.
The playback of the English Webinar held on 28th March
This new reality allowed us to consolidate and validate Wiki In Africa’s position as an organisation that develops, supports and trains participants in the Wikimedia projects from Africa. The pandemic allowed us to specifically concentrate on finding better ways to support and provide training for organisers and contributors.
We were very clear to encourage communities to abide by the WMF no-event ruling, even if they did not feel that pressure within their own countries. In order to support the organisers and ensure a smooth the transition to this new reality of an entirely online event tighten and focused our support of, and materials available to assist organisers.
To further support the participants, we create a series of webinars (in English, French and Arabic) that explained the contest and encouraged photographers to be part of it, regardless if they were stuck at home or not.
We also ran a clear communications campaign encouraging participants to #stayathome and only submit images from their #usearchives.
Gender Equity: Wiki Loves Women
Program Direct Impact over 2020
Wiki Loves Women activity was mainly focused on 2 online drives and consolidating the project, and its community (globally and across Africa), and building its future beyond 2020.
Working within the gender-equity space it has become clear that we should be loud and proud and claim our overt activism. With this in mind we have altered the messaging to reflect a harder and more focused stance:
Wiki Loves Women activates, trains and encourages women across Africa to seize their own agency to address the persistent systemic bias that exists about African women online and in the media.
Wiki Loves Women uses a series of layered and complex initiatives to bridge certain aspects of the digital gender divide: participation and content creation. It encourages the contribution of meaningful content to the Wikimedia projects as a tool to transfer skills, build confidence and self-worth, and show the impact they can make. Wiki Loves Women has been operating for five years across Africa, working with over 76 gender-focused organisations in 8 countries.
The future of Wiki Loves Women activity is based on releasing it from geographically concentrated activities and ensuring that communities sustainably develop the project within their communities from the start. This requires developing key and layered training materials through programmes that are accessible, and are aimed at, developing and appropriately growing the digital skills of future gender-focused content creators across the African continent. These future plans involve focussing on the following key elements:
- Visibility and Awareness:
- SheSaid - getting notable women’s voices heard via Wikiquote;
- TellusaboutHer: ensuring that images on Wikimedia Commons that represent women are correctly labelled;
- InspiringWomen: developing skills and awareness through social media, campaign, podcasts, drives, etc.)
- a proposed MOOC to train the trainers in community building, communications and the Wikimedia movement,
- Event toolkits
- Opportunities, mentorship and support:
- Microfunding: supporting and mentoring gender-focused events held by associated groups across Africa, first of which was the WikiGap Nigeria Online Challenge in May 2020.
- Community building:
- Strengthen local groups through knowledge sharing opportunities
WLW Program Activities in 2020
Tell Us About Her: an ISA drive run in March 2020
Our ‘’’Tell Us About Her campaign’’’ was run as a WikiGap associated drive to celebrate the 2020 International Women’s Day. Held throughout March 2020, the drive focused on images of Africa’s women leaders with a drive on the The ISA Tool. The drive was aimed at improving the visibility of political leaders and activists across Africa on Wikimedia projects. Participants headed to the campaign on the ISA tool to add better descriptions for the photographs that have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, so that they are more useful on Wikipedia and Wikidata. The categories chosen for this campaign were related to politicians, activists and, in particular feminists, from Africa.
Campaign link: https://tools.wmflabs.org/isa/campaigns/53
Results:1519 contributions from 14 contributors on 1782 images.
SheSaid: a wikiquote drive in October-December 2020
Our initiative is aimed at celebrating women leaders throughout late 2020 with the SheSaid drive. The drive was intended to improve the visibility of women in improving Wikiquote entries related to them.
Although we have released the results as they were on the 5th January. The Wiki Loves Women team have decided to keep this as an ongoing campaign throughout 2021, with spikes of focus planned throughout the year.
Campaign link: Wiki Loves Women/SheSaid
Launched at the CC Summit 2020 on the 20th October 2020, the #SheSaid campaign has been an amazing success! Across 7 languages, it has resulted in 867 new or improved articles (the majority new). Italian Wikiquote was the clear language winner (at 405 articles) with Ukraine (187 articles) and French (106) coming not so close behind. The final results can be seen here.
Gender Gap Portal Update
Anthere spent considerable time and effort reconfiguring and updating the Gender Gap portal on Meta to ensure that up-to-date statistics and information was available and that all projects working within the Gender Gap (and their activities) were listed and featured. Anthere also set up the Telegram group ‘’Wiki GenderGap’’ (join : https://t.me/joinchat/DS2I3BY-f3dxvUNzNd72kg) to ensure that there was cross-communication on Gender Gap issues across language and geographical barriers.
Launch of Wiki Loves Women Advisory Committee
In May 2020, the team approached key members within the Wikimedian and African Community requesting that they consider joining as members of an advisory committee to assist in the future decisions for the project. Our primary expectations for this WLW advisory board are for:
- input and feedback on strategic directions for WLW
- review major grant applications made by WLW to external funders or APG
- suggest people or organisations to contact/work with
Current expectations of the committee are:
- be part of a quarterly meeting on zoom, where we would discuss how WLW should best proceed to be the most useful to the community and beyond, to identify general directions
- provide feedback on how WLW is presented to the public (as in WLW website or 1 pager document or Facebook accounts etc.)
- review and provide feedback on wiki pages (such as our APG request in fall 2020, or WLW presentation page)
- review and provide feedback on some google docs (such as grant requests), etc.
The invitation was extended to 12 members of the Wikimedia Community. Eight of the people who were approached have agreed to take part. The criteria for this initial selection was to ask those who had led the WLW project in either of its iterations, a secondary target was to leaders of similar or aligned groups within the international Wikimedia Community.
The Advisory Committee is now active with a telegram group to discuss issues with in the project and the members can be found on this page.
Support for WikiGap Nigeria
In May 2020, the Wiki Loves Women team supported the WikiGap Nigeria Online Challenge that was spearheaded by Wikimedia Nigeria UserGroup and took place between 27 April – 27 May 2020. This Nigerian public writing competition was aimed at creating and improving articles that will strengthen Wikipedia coverage of Nigerian women. The Challenge was organized as part of the global WikiGap campaign by Wikimedia Nigeria in collaboration with African Women in the Media ( AWIM) and the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria, Wiki Loves Women from Wiki in Africa, and Women in Red.
The WLW team acted as advisors on creating the drive and was one of the presenters during the training webinar. Wiki Loves Women also donated 10 branded powerpacks to act as gifts to the winners of the challenge.
Working towards 2021
We have explored ways of supporting the communities that are interested in the Gender Gap and it societal issues. These ways include creating a specialized MOOC that would be hosted on the future Wikimedia France Mooc Platform..
In the last half of 2020, we approached six fledgling communities in order to test their interest in being trained to run Wiki Loves Women in the second half of 2021. The training programme will concentrate on training the trainers to host Wiki Loves Women with the support of their communities.
French-language teaching resources to introduce learners to Copyright
In general, the education sector was very challenged throughout 2020. This chaos impacted our most established programme (a lot of energy was expended trying to find ways to keep it going in 2020).
That having been said, a lot was also achieved in spite of this unusual year. The most exciting element was the development of the French teaching materials developed through a grant from the Creative Commons Education Platform.
Open Knowledge Curriculum
Overall, throughout 2020, not a lot happened with regards to the Open Knowledge Curriculum, and not just because there was no budget for it in the 2020 APG grant. The education system across Africa was in disarray with teachers, educators and curriculum specialists being caught off guard, stretched by new technologies, new ways of practice, and the general uncertainty of the year. Although the movement forward on OKC is dependent on funding, project development required input from specialists who were just not approachable in this new environment.
In 2020 we applied for a grant for this project, but were not successful. We will continue to look for funding for the research and development phase of this project.
WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique and WikiChallenge Bénin
A kid using WikiFundi on a tablet in Cameroon
The APG grant does not provide funds for the WikiChallenge programmes, however those projects are run as Wiki in Africa projects, so an update is nice ?
Our 2020 Objectives were:
- Proceed with the WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique contest in the school year 2019-2020 and beyond,
- Promote the contest and its actions in the Wikimedia and Vikidia ecosystems, and
- Possibly set-up a spin-off in Benin (WikiChallenge Bénin).
The three objectives were by and large fulfilled.
The WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique was only partially implemented at its initial time frame due to Covid-19 but it was extended to 2021 and not cancelled. In 2020, 7 countries were involved, 151 schools were registered (pre-covid...), 69 articles were written, 400+ photos submitted. Only the final selection of winners and announcement has not been done yet. The winning schools will be announced in May or June 2021.
The contest was promoted on social media networks, presented during #OpenPublish Fest, within the session "Wikipedia Campaigns: How to rally volunteers to improve wiki content", and presented during OE Global Conference ).
In the third quarter of 2020, one of our former winners received an honour from the President of Tunisia (. This made us immensely proud.
Anthere approached Wikimedia CH in 2019 to fund a pilot extension of the WikiChallenge to Bénin, to be run in partnership with Wikimedia of Benin UG. in 2020, Wikimedia CH agreed. Project was launched early 2020, but was suspended due to Covid-19. This program being essentially an Offline program and requiring school visits, it could not be replaced with online activities.
Note: January 2021, the program is tentatively relaunching.
Additional Activities:Introduction to Copyright (French Teaching Materials)
In the final weeks of 2020, Wiki in Africa published a French Wikibook Ressources pédagogiques relatives au droit d’auteur.
The Wikibook contains teaching materials and assignment models to support teachers in the introduction to authors’ rights, Creative Commons licenses, and licensing attribution. The target audience is aimed at students (10-15-years-old) in French-speaking Africa. The project was selected as one of the 6 projects supported by the Creative Commons Open Education Platform Activities Fund read announcement.
The training materials include:
- information resources on copyright for teachers,
- materials to use in class with the students, and
- suggestions and instructions for activities to be carried out with the students.
More explanations on Education Newsletter : Training Resources about Authors' Rights published by Wiki in Africa.
Tech and Community Support
Programs impact over 2020 : WikiFundi
- Several Raspberry+SD cards have been given to Wikimedians from Benin as part of the WikiChallenge in Benin project.
- There was a flurry of interest in WikiFundi from local government departments who were looking into WikiFundi as a solution to lockdown homeschooling, leads were followed, connections made, but this did not result in anything tangible.
- A grant request was submitted to Wikimedia CH to do an extension of WikiFundi in 2021 (Spanish version). Partners were identified and secured.
Programs impact over 2020 : The ISA Tool
- We ran the #TellUsAboutHer campaign in March 2020 and got good results. This campaign is detailed in the Wiki Loves Women program section.
- We ran the MetaWeeks Wiki Loves Africa’s Africa on the Move! Campaign in the last quarter of 2020. Excellent contributions by relatively few participants (18). This campaign is detailed in the Wiki Loves Africa program section.
- We promoted the ISA and structured data on Commons and on social media from time to time. Several communities seem to have successfully adopted it and use it to run their own campaigns. See for example Wiki Loves Earth Indonesia campaign : https://isa.toolforge.org/campaigns/68
- The ISA Tool has been used widely by members of the global community. By January 2021, 93 campaigns had been created on the ISA platform, with 43 started in 2020 alone, ranging from categories on Pandas, WIki Women Design to Various illustrations and clip art. So far, the ISA Tool has seen 197,044 contributions by 697 participants.
Florence has been following up and supporting Max and Envel in their new project Grants:Project/Maximilianklein/humaniki (Make the next generation of Wikidata diversity statistic).
Obviously with COVID restrictions, most events were cancelled or postponed. The two global events that Florence and Isla did manage to attend were:
- CC Global Summit - 19-23rd October
- OE Global Summit - 16-20 November, 2020
Wiki In Africa Operations and Administration
During 2020 Wiki In Africa as an organisation struggled with not enough funding to keep both principals and projects at optimal levels. Operations have continued as planned, however, the added pressure of COVID meant that additional consultancy work was not as easy to access as in previous years.
From an operational space, we have held weekly meetings, as and when possible.
Financial management and accounts
The early part of this year has been focused on sorting out the financials of the organisation. Our financial reports for 2018,2019 and 2020 are now complete. Public release of these documents will happen with the Annual Reports for these years, but can be provided on request.
It was also decided, as an added safety measure and for good financial practice, to move a portion of the funds from a checking account to a 7-day notice investment account.
The most notable issues we faced was the reaction of world economies to the pandemic and their own internal stability. The grant landed in the WIA bank in very late December. The South African Rand / US Dollar exchange rate plummeted from January onwards. The incoming funds were exchanged at 1:13.9425. The highest rate was 1:19.26367 reached in April. With the majority of payments being due in Euros or USD, this meant that the amount budgeted was being reduced each time a payment had to be made. With no idea of where relief could happen, and anticipating that things were only going to get worse as the health crisis did, we decided that, where we could, payments that were due later in the year, should be paid in February and March. We relayed this issue to the WMF and they responded with unanticipated generosity and trust.
We are grateful for the support and trust that has been shown to Wiki In Africa through this simple APG grant. However, the budget is not even close to the amount required to keep the operational costs and organisation’s programmes running and we wish to expand further.
Additional funding is an on-going need and as such applications have been sent in answer to a variety of calls. The current situation is as follows:
- Wiki Loves Women: 5 applications / 5 rejected
- Wiki Loves Africa: 1 application / 1 approval
- Education: 3 applications / 3 approvals
- Tools/WikiFundi: 1 application / 1 approved
Please link to a detailed financial report for your spending during the grant period. This should be in the same format as your detailed budget from your Simple APG application.
Please include the total amount of Simple APG funds you spent during the grant period:
- 865000 rands - 60500 USD (as of Jan 31th 2021)
The total amount of Simple APG funds spent during the grant period:
- USD60,0000 = R838,555.00 (original grant amount at USD1:ZAR13.9425)
- USD16,000 = R269,600.00 (additional WMF payment at USD1:ZAR16.8500 in July 2020)
- TOTAL received = USD76,000.00 / R1,108,155.00
Total spend (31 January 2021)
- ZAR 865,000
- ZAR 243 155 retained as a financial buffer in an interest bearing call account with approval from WMF (16 000 USD)
Note: great volatility USD versus Rand over the past year makes it a bit difficult to give equivalent figures (see Forex exchange section above for more context).
Grant Metrics Reporting Final
Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.