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Short presentation of Wiki in Africa
Wiki In Africa (www.wikiinafrica.org) is a South African registered NPO whose work across the continent.
Its mission is to:
Facilitate global access for all to open knowledge that reflects and represents the diverse cultures, peoples, biodiversities, and histories of the African continent and other previously marginalized and disenfranchised communities with the same depth and breadth as other knowledges.
To achieve this mission, it combats the digital divide across Africa through layered, strategically-focused programs that progress skills acquisition, leadership development, and community building.
Collectively the programs result in representative visual and textual content under free licenses that reflect previously skewed, misunderstood, or invisible knowledges, realities, cultures, and histories. The organisation’s core activities are geared towards activating sustainable contribution of content that relates to Africa (and similarly disadvantaged communities and populations) whose value and worth are decided by those communities and individuals. This content contributes to decolonizing knowledge and the internet.
Wiki In Africa’s activities supports the strategic goals of the Wikimedia movement. We support free expression, a free and open Internet, and the use of open licenses, and the protection of the public domain.
Thousands of participants across our projects collate, curate, and contribute content that relates to the theme of Africa and ensuring gender equity. This content presents new narratives of what ‘Africa’ and ‘gender’ really represent to African and global audiences. Access to this content by a diverse readership is assured through the contents’ integration into global knowledge platforms, such as Wikipedia.
Wiki In Africa’s activities supports the aims of the Wikimedia movement across Africa. We support free expression, a free and open Internet, and the use of open licenses and the protection of the public domain. Its beneficiaries are Readers, Students and existing and potential Wikipedians. Its target groups or audiences are the individuals and collective knowledge in Civil Society partners (content and network and educational), Wikimedia and Open aligned volunteer groups and education organisations.
Achieving the Wiki In Africa Mission (2022)
In light of the Theory of Change developed during 2021, the following overarching goals and objectives have been identified. The table below shows how Wiki In Africa’s goals, objectives and activities relate to its existing programmes, initiatives and actions.
Goal 1: To provide multiple ways and to reduce the barriers for individuals and groups to contribute their knowledge to the open movement and thereby reduce knowledge gaps and redress biases.
|Objective||Activity||Related program initiatives and actions|
|To inform, make visible, and advocate to close
knowledge gaps and redress biases
|Publish materials and content that supports the issues||On-Wiki project pages|
|Informing global WM/open community about
alternative solutions and opportunities.
On-Wiki project pages
|Advocating externally for alternative open solutions to
real-life issues (education, gender, glam, etc.)
|WLW Inspiring Open podcast|
Presentations at Wikimedia and aligned events
|Make visible research that documents the issues and consequences||WA Hour|
On-Wiki project pages
|Work with researchers to on-going monitor the impact of
initiatives on knowledge gaps (funding dependent)
|WLA Mass Messaging research|
|To provide fun, engaging, and multiple ways and
formats for individuals to contribute
|Run and promote competitions to the general public||Programs:|
WLA annual contest
|Host special opportunities for Wiki-related groups||WLW Focus Group|
WC WM liaisons
|Layer activities to ensure individual and group pathways||WLW Focus Group training|
WLW T3 Gender Gap crushing course
|Create technical tools to support participation
from individuals and groups
Goal 2: building the capacity of a network of leaders across Africa, and developing communities, who are committed to boosting the open movement and reducing knowledge gaps, and redressing biases
|Objective||Activity||Related program initiatives and actions|
|Identify and train leaders to activate open movement
|Select appropriate leaders||WLW Focus Group
WC WM liaisons
WLA professional photographers
|Provide training and opportunities
that develop skill and capacity
|WLW: Focus Group
WLW T3 Gender Gap crushing course
WC WM liaisons
WLA Wide Angle / Nos Jardins
|Create opportunities for information transfer||WA Hour
WikiFundi resources (offline)
WLW Inspiring Open Podcast
Social Media Campaigns
|Mentor and support individual development||WLW Focus Group
WC WM liaisons
|Provide networking opportunities||WA Hour
WLW Focus Group
WC WM liaisons
|To grow networks of communities that boost the open movement
and reduce knowledge gaps and facilitate cross-pollination
between these communities
|Create programs that engage communities
around content contribution
|WLA annual contest
WLW annual SheSaid drive
WIkiChallenge annual drives
|Partner with content, network and facilitation organisations||WPWP
Wikipedia Weekly ?
WLA, WLW and WA twitter take over
|Create platforms for network growth and communication||WA Hour
WLW Focus Group
WLA organisers support programs
WLA jury process
|Promote activities of the groups||On-Wiki project pages
Social media campaigns
Communications platforms: Telegram, Messenger, Whatsapp
Wiki In Africa's strategic objectives
Since 2016, the programs Wiki In Africa has created are designed for individuals to seize their own agency by developing the skills, creating the roles, and building the communities required to bridge the content and contribution gaps that accelerate the digital divide that plagues Africa.
To achieve the goals of the organization, the programs focus on our four key strategic objectives. These are:
- Informing, making visible, and advocating to close knowledge gaps and redress biases
- Providing multiple fun, engaging and accessible ways and formats for individuals to contribute.
- Identifying and training leaders to activate open movement projects (individual)
- Growing networks of communities that boost the open movement and reduce knowledge gaps and facilitate cross-pollination between these communities (group)
We are resolved to provide, through our programs, pathways for the silenced and ignored voices, experiences, and cultures of globally marginalized peoples to be available and accessed on global platforms. With a specific geographical focus on Africa to redress multiple imbalances and decolonise content and minds, we believe that understanding of, access to, and training in Open knowledge platforms will move the dial on the Digital Divide, for both geography and gender.
Through strategic layering that answers specific needs, Wiki In Africa has created programmes that bridge the gaping content gaps and digital skills divides. It initiates fun engaging programmes to create multiple pathways for people of varied ages, genders, backgrounds, cultures and access to resources. It has helped to build the Wikipedia communities in 23 countries across Africa by drawing people together around common goals and focusing on consistent regional in-person and online events.
Wiki In Africa exists as part of an international movement of organizations and volunteers that aims to increase the world's knowledge. This work takes place in four parts:
- Establishing, through research, the gaps in knowledge that exists on Wikipedia about each country and community in Africa and find innovative and unexpected ways of drawing this information onto Wikipedia;
- Activate, train and support a self-sustaining new generation of dedicated and proactive Wikipedian editors from across the continent that are able to generate new articles and subjects relevant to contemporary Africa by changing online behaviour and offline attitudes to knowledge,
- Activate, train and support the growth of new User Groups and Wikimedia Chapters across Africa to effectively organise, deploy and reward these new editors through national and continental activities, and
- Assist and support the upload and expansion of content that already resides in heritage, culture, news-gathering and academic institutions across Africa.
Wiki In Africa programmes address the following key areas:
- Gender-equity (contribution and content gap) in leadership training and content focuses
- Representation Gaps (Multimedia) through the activation of visual content reflecting contemporary society and cultural heritage
- Youth activation as part of a long term strategy to empower youth and ensure that open practices become normative, not the unusual or alternative practices
- Access to skills acquisition through technological solutions to Africa’s challenges.
- Community development and cohesion to ensure sustainable growth
Strategic subject focus’
|Focus||Programmes/Projects||Means||Tactics used||Strategic alignment|
UN’s SDG 5: Gender Equity: achieving gender equality
and empowering all women and girls
||Innovation, Training and education, Community activation and building, Partnerships||Wiki Loves Women answers the following priorities for Wiki In Africa:
Our Gender Equity focused projects and campaigns pose Wikimedia-based solutions that address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:
With in the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, the Wiki Loves Women project works towards resolving the following recommendations:
Youth Activation (Education)
UN’s SDGs 4 : Quality Education by providing educational solutions that foster better digital skills transfer, a greater understanding of the open movement, and knowledge creation and dissemination through fun practical applications.
|Direct interventions and training with schools, Foundation Orange and educational organisations.
Creation and curation of Open Education Resources
Research project into usefulness and usability of Wikipedia in Africa's schools.
|Innovation, Training and education, Individual empowerment, Partnerships
Research, individual empowerment, partnerships
|The youth-focused projects answer the Wiki In Africa’s priorities:
Our Education focused projects and campaigns pose Wikimedia-based solutions that address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:
Within the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, the Educations project works towards resolving the following recommendations:
Contemporary culture and heritage / GLAM
UN’s SDG 10 : Reducing Inequalities: Reduce inequality within and among countries. The SDG focus also depends on each year’s theme, for example in 2020, the Transport theme answered SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
|International annual photography contest
|Training and education, Individual empowerment, Partnerships
Cultural partnerships, Community activation and building
|Wiki Loves Africa answers the Wiki In Africa’s priorities:
Wiki Loves Africa contributes towards the UN’s SDG 10
Multimedia : African visual narrative focused focused projects and campaigns pose Wikimedia-based solutions that address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:
Within the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, the Wiki Loves Africa project works towards resolving the following recommendations:
With regards to organising the contest, there has been a concerted effort from its onset to Ensure Equity in Decision-making and a consistent effort with regards to Managing Internal Knowledge so that the process is transparent, and that all participating communities are fully supported in their actions.
|Community Cohesion||Information exchange and sharing
Technical: development of tools
Movement specific training and skill transfer
Movement specific outreach
Participation and support to other group initiatives, such as #AfricaDestubathon, WPWP campaign, AfroCine or WikiGap
|Provide monthly platform for information sharing
Community activation and building, Facilitate training and education of volunteer groups beyond initial activation
Skills transfer for groups to activate
|WikiAfrica Hour answers the Wiki In Africa’s priorities:
Our Community Development focused projects and broadcasts pose Wikimedia-based solutions to address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:
Within the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, the WikiAfrica Hour project works towards resolving the following recommendations:
Access via technological solutions
WikiFundi contributes towards combining
UN’s SDGs 4 and 10 Quality Education and Reducing Inequalities
by providing an offline educational platform that
facilitates training and digital skills lessons continue
when data access is limited or not possible.
||Innovation, Training and education,
Individual empowerment, Partnerships
Community activation and building
|Wiki Fundi and ISA both answer to Wiki In Africa’s strategic priorities:
Within the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, our projects work towards resolving the following recommendations:
Strategic organisational policies
Developing and supporting the growth of emerging communities
- Wiki in Africa envisions that fledgling and emerging communities are given as much encouragement, mentorship, support, and access to resources that are needed to become fully-fledged, contributing, and involved communities that support the Wikimedia vision within their own environment. It is determined to obliterate the term Emerging Communities by 2030 ;)
- Approach used: research, community activation, and building, education, empowerment
Actively addressing knowledge gaps and biases
- Through the work of Wiki In Africa, the Wikimedia movement will have identified, collected, and its projects will reflect the knowledge and perspectives that encapsulate the full range of human and biological experience across the geographic and theoretical idea of Africa by embodying an open culture that celebrates, values, and actively incorporates diversity.
- Approach used: research, partnerships, education, access
Active focus on diversity, inclusion, and empowerment
- Within the theoretical and geographical framework of Africa, Wiki in Africa will assist the Wikimedia movement to become a proactive agent of change towards the subversion of systems of knowledge inequality, by embracing the values of diversity and inclusivity that empowers individuals and groups to contribute to global knowledge systems.
- Approach used: innovation, individual empowerment, education, access
- Drawing attention to the challenge, repercussions, and danger of the Single Story of Africa. To partner with organisations across Africa, and within the Diaspora to ensure that contributors seize their own agency to decolonize knowledge and the information that is accessible online.
- Approach used: encouraging micro and macro contributions through exciting, fun and engagement-driven participatory events, drives and contests
Lowering barriers to contribution
- Providing solutions and actions that are easy, fun, and engaging to participate in and contribute content through.
- Approach used: encouraging micro contributions through creating exciting and fun events, drives and contests, with level-appropriate pathways, learning materials, and tools.
Leveraging the mutual benefit of partnerships
- Encouraging, via various pathways, the contribution, and transfer of existing content from established knowledge custodians, cultural and memory organisations, creators, activists, individuals, and networks. In a similar way, within the Wikimedia movement, work synergistically with Wikimedia-focused projects, usergroups and chapters to collaborate, leverage and assist each other to further the mission of the movement across Africa and it's diaspora.
- Approach used: inviting partners to be active collaborators and co-leads on participatory events, drives and contests
Strategic priorities specific to 2022
The 2022 annual plan retains the focuses of the 2021 Annual Plan and expects to extend and scale these impacts into the near future. In 2022 we will become more focused on nurturing engagement, through our programs (and other Wikimedia initiatives) at every stage of the participant’s journey. Always complex and multilayered, the overarching focuses across the projects for 2022 include:
- inter-project community building,
- leadership training, and mentorship,
- training key skill groups, i.e. photographers to change the visual narrative of Africa
- fostering contribution and digital skills in the next generation,
- open movement advocacy through externally focused campaigns, and
- expanding the circle of friends and allies within the open knowledge movement.
Over 2022 the activities are centered around
Access to projects and contribution
- Ensuring projects are easy to access and engage with
- Ensuring that pathways are tiered for skills development
- Ensuring communications support the projects
- Training-the-trainer/teacher programs
- Leadership and organisational skills development
- Photography skills and benefits of Open
- Community development, cohesion, and networking
- Releasing Inspiring Open podcast to increase understanding and motivate engagement
- Consistent WM networking and sharing
- Collaboration and Network scaling
- Increased collaboration with WM Usergroups and Thematic groups
- Collaboration and partnership with external cultural, education and gender-equity organisations to increase impact and expand its network
Additional elements to assist with the main strategic focus’ of the programmes as described below are:
- Consultation with advisory groups
- Research and development of proposed education programmes
- Develop external funding and in-kind partnerships to expand and scale projects appropriately
- Support the WM development across Africa through regularly hosting monthly catchup meetings of the African community around curated subjects of topics chosen from within the community.
- Consistent programme assessment and reassessment for fit and impact
- Ongoing visibility, communication and advocacy campaigns.
- Organisational stability by supporting and mentoring one remote intern to support the organisation through additional tasks that include networking, communications, programme management, etc.
Strategic priorities specific to 2023-25
Please read Multi Year Plan 23-25