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Igniting Swahili Wikipedia and Capacity Building in Kenya/Project

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Project Title/ Introduction


Igniting Swahili Wikipedia in Kenya (Tuimarishe Swahili Wikipedia Kenya)

The Wikimedia Community in Kenya is growing and has quite upbeat members who are part of the Wikimedia Community User Group Kenya. We however fear that if we as a community do no pay attention to Swahili Wikipedia, we will be leaving a big chunk of our information and people marginalised considering swahili is a national language in Kenya.

In the spirit of upholding diversity, we would like to ignite the journey towards growing swahili wikipedia in Kenya through a 2 day capacity building workshop that will culminate in the translation of some of the English wikipedia pages created in 2021.

This project was inspired by a 2021 WikiIndaba session and a collaboration through the Wiki4Universities campaign was discussed between User:Ms Kabintie, User:Cmwaura, User:Jadnapac and User:Kipala.

The ultimate goal is to create a suatainable community of swahili wikipedians hence the campaign will be sustained and incorporated in the projects of the Wikimedia Community Kenya Usergroup.

Timeline': 1st week of February 2022

Concept Note/Background


Despite Swahili being a widely spoken national language in Kenya, Swahili Wikipedia has only a 10 per cent contribution in the country, this is largely because the emerging Wikimedia community in Kenya has only been exposed to English Wikipedia Projects and training.

This project seeks to create a collaboration between the Wikimedia community in Kenya and the Tanzania and Jenga Swahili Wikipedia Usergroups for a capacity building and knowdge exchange workshop for community organisers in Kenya and students from the host university on Swahili Wikipedia to help grow the Swahili Wikipedia within the Kenyan Wikimedia community.

The coastal region of Kenya, where Swahili is the main language spoken, stands to gain from this project as it will help them document their stories and share knowledge.

The coastal region also has one of the biggest towns in Kenya in terms of population, including Mombasa, which is one of the four cities in the country and therefore provides a good location to activate a community of Swahili Wikipedians.

Unesco also recently declared 7th July as World Swahili Day and we are planning to reach out to them for a possible collaboration in this and future events.

This project is in line with the movement strategy initiatives on Diversity and capacity building. Most of the Wikipedia events in Kenya only happen in Nairobi yet the country has 47 counties. This project will be a good start in reaching out to marginalised communities.

Project Plan


We propose to have an in person 2 days workshop that will bring together two representatives of the Tanzania and Jenga Swahili User Groups respectively and 4 representatives of the Wikimedia community User Group in Kenya.

The workshop will also culminate in the training of 10 new swahili wikipedia editors from the coastal region drawn from Pwani University and hopefully Technical University of Mombasa .

Project Goals

  1. Capacity Building for community organisers in Kenya
  2. Train new swahili editors
  3. Increase wikipedia swahili content -as of 11 May 2020 at 1722Hrs (UTC) Swahili Wikipedia had an average of 137 active editors 11 admins, 58,868 articles.

Learn how to incorporate swahili translation on existing english wikipedia campaigns

Proposed Venue: Pwani University


Pwani University is a public university in Kilifi County in Kenya. We plan to leverage on the network of librarians within the kenyan community to have the event hosted at Pwani University, which is located in Kilifi.The university will provide a good platform to reach out to the wide pool of students and the teaching staff.

Based on our research, Pwani University also has a Bachelor of Arts in Kiswahili we plan to target the Department of language specifically Kiswahili.

Bachelor of Arts in Kiswahili (we could focus more on the Department of language specifically Kiswahili.



Proposed Grant - [[1]]


  1. Winnie Kabintie
  2. Faith Mwanyolo
  3. Carol Mwaura
  4. Abdullahi Abdi
  5. Antoni Mtavangu-Cofounder Wikimedia Tanzania/ Swahili Wikipedia Admin
  6. Ingo Koll-Cofounder Jenga Wikipedia ya Kiswahili User Group/Swahili Wikipedia Admin