Jump to content

Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Strategy Salons/Reports/Open Foundation West Africa

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Date and location[edit]

  • Date: 3 August 2019
  • Time: 09:00 am - 16:00 pm
  • Location: Goethe Institute, Accra

Participant List[edit]

  • User:Joy Agyepong – Strategy Liaison
  • User:SAgbley — Logistics
  • Rejoice Agbi— Coordinator
  • Vanessa Otchere — Notetaker
  • Richard Kwao — Notetaker
  • Maxbeg — Hub leader from Kumasi
  • Inusah — Volunteer from Ho
  • Gameli Bediako — Volunteer
  • Meli Mansu — Partner from Goethe Institute
  • Mohammed Sadat — Wikimedian - GOIF
  • Zita Ursula Zage — Wikimedian - GOIF
  • Samson Craig
  • Nana Yaa
  • Shahahadu Sadik
  • Lily Edinam Botse
  • Zakaria
  • Justice Allotey - WMUG
  • Valerie Baidoo - OFWA Languages
  • Isaac
  • Gabriel Amuzu - GOIF
  • Shadrack Ohene Okai
  • Jesse Akrofi
  • GOIF - Rep
  • Kwaku Berko

What happened[edit]

The purpose of the salon was to discuss the selected themes on Capacity Building and Community Health as part of the goal to attain the Wikimedia Agenda 2030. We started the salon with an introductory video by our community liaison Rupika Sharma, who gave an in-depth discussion on what themes selected was centered on as well as the impact expected.

The Salon was enveloped with fully packed sessions such as a panel discussion, Wiki Cafe (Group discussions) and a Cluster session which brought all members together to brainstorm and share deep insights.

Our Panel Discussion

The discussion was made up of 5 representatives, long time Wikimedian, leaders and Partners. It was an hour of discussion which highlighted issues such as;

- The need for an advocacy plan to reach out to more - Volunteering does not always mean you doing stuff for free, we learn a lot in the process. - Internet connectivity, hardware, logistics and space for edits. - We should seek partnership with people in the media (newsroom, press, websites, etc) - Expanding our reach [Wiki communities] should work together. - Active participation, 5 edits per month maximum 100 edits per month. This stemmed from the fact that leaders are not always active in edits but highly involved in members edit. - One- on- one approach during trainings to ensure sufficient growth. - Efforts to get more people interested in joining the community and ensuring active participation, the community must capitalize on issues that are trending and make the community fun. - Ensure consistency in all activities and programs of the community. - The community should welcome people from diverse areas, it should not be limited to people from a specific area/background. -The community should ensure that it grows the passion of the volunteers, also it must continue to educate them on the need for volunteerism. The discussion from the panel brought to birth suggestions from our partners, challenges at hand as well as contributions from the community.


Lack of internet access makes it difficult for people to participate more in the open movement. Heavy work load on community members makes them unable to combine work and volunteering Little content coming from the African continent and most of the African stories are being captured by Non-Africans.


Partners should give guidance and coaching to the community as to how to plan and organise programs. In other to achieve a win-win situation. Community should capitalize on the availability of partners. Partners should be considerate to the cause of the community Decolonization (proposed program)

Contributions from salon participants

Get in touch with various telcos to support the Open movement. Involve the media, especially the newspapers to write more stories in order to get more sources which can be referenced. Members should scout libraries to get information on arts and culture. Educate university lecturers on the need to contribute to Wikipedia. Organize training on digital literacy to ensure inclusion and participation.

Summary of the discussion points[edit]

Wiki Cafe Session The cafe saw a rotational discussion on the two (2) themes. Community members, selected group leaders for their sessions to spearhead.

Group I - Capacity Building
Core Issues

Gender gap: fewer stories of women on the internet The high cost of the internet makes the work of volunteers difficult Partnerships to advance the cause of the community Being efficient in organisational process More community engagement

Defining Knowledge as a service

Involve old members in order to get new members Equip leaders with knowledge and skill Debunking myths and showcasing Wikipedia as a trusted source


Programs and activities should be geared towards changing the notion that Wikipedia is not a trusted source. Consider age bracket; reaching out to the older generation during advocacy. Encourage little edits from volunteers.

Our retention strategy

Organise more trainings with institutions Wiki tours that project the essence of editing on Wikipedia


Provide new and existing members with an enabling environment to work Sessions/training should have a different approach at all times to ensure variety

Group II - Community Health

Inclusion & Participation Define a pathway for participation ( sign up, register, collect emails, do follow-ups) Make the vision of the community clear to all members Make the community lively to ensure maximum participation from members Organize trainings on digital literacy

Retention of Community members

Give new members a sense of belonging; make them feel part of the community by constantly checking up on them. Define a growth plan for members; members should be imparted in order from them to also impart others. They should grow from followers to leaders. Give support to members; state the opportunities available that they can tap into Structure of Power and privilege Engage people in the local settlement in order to get more content The community should provide resources and logistics to volunteers/members to make their work easy(cameras, recorders etc)

Africa in context

Oral information: let the WMF know and understand that Ghana and other countries have a peculiar situation where more of the content is sourced orally. As such the foundation should provide us with alternative sources for referencing. Also there should be an authentication of oral sources (elderly people being good sources of information) In authenticating oral sources comparison of information sourced should be done. Measuring growth Get feedback from members always Task members to edit or contribute to a number of article stories for a period of time Celebrate every milestone achieved

Balancing Workload and personal health

Make volunteering fun by including sightseeing during road trips Motivate volunteers by awarding prizes, certificates etc Provide various hubs with the needed logistics to be able to function effectively and efficiently Equip members to be economically empowered by recommending them for jobs and encouraging them to participate in contests.

Reflections from participants or partners[edit]

For participants, the Wiki Strategy Salon was;

  • Worthwhile
  • Awesome
  • Amazing
  • Insightful and educative
  • Awesome and able to share ideas
  • Learned something new
  • Great
  • Terrific
  • Collaborative
  • Fantastic
  • Educative
  • Africa
  • Fun

Our recommendation for the global community and surveys gathered from participants who couldn’t physically attend the salon was to align the key issues raised above and take into consideration the peculiarity of the African continent. We are of the view that citations/ sources from Africans should be relooked since this is one of the major hindrances for the community. This often leads to a high level of article deletion hence deemed as unhealthy for their contribution. Also, in our quest to have a strong advocacy approach, we have come to the realization that Wikimedia needs to have a strong social media presence, support communities with souvenirs like Tshirts since it communicates to audiences whenever and wherever we wear them. These approaches usually serve as an Influencer and celebrity mentions ie get celebrity to talk about.

Finally, we wish to have representatives from our country to support the AFFCOM team since he/she will be a strong representation and voice for the country.

Photographs or videos[edit]

Statement on your budget[edit]

  • We received $1550 as total funds which includes $50 bank charges. The total amount of $191 left as unspent funds allocated for venue which we had no cost incurred there.