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Wikimedia Ghana User Group / Annual Report 2023

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This is a report on Wikimedia Ghana User Group’s activities from January to December 2023. A supplementary report will be provided when we complete our 2023 Community Fund grant in June 2024.

Other documentation supporting this report is the events metrics insights available on outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org.

About Wikimedia Ghana User Group[edit]

Wikimedia Ghana User Group, created in 2012, is a non-profit with a mission to improve and promote Wikimedia projects with Ghana as our geographic region.

Our programmatic approach[edit]

In the past few years, our programs have been as follows:

  • Increasing Participation
  • Content Creation
  • Community Development
  • Policy and Advocacy

We increase participation in Wikimedia projects in Ghana by recruiting new editors. The content creation program receives the new editors, and engages them in editor retention activities, alongside existing editors.

Our community development activities create the platform for us to further immerse members into the movement.

Finally, through policy and advocacy we embark on activities to advance free knowledge in Ghana at national policy level. We believe contributing to an enabling environment for free and open online knowledge to thrive is a necessity for our movement’s work.

Summary: 2023 in a nutshell[edit]

Increasing Participation and Content Creation programs[edit]

The Increasing Participation and Content Creation programs were designed to work together to recruit new contributors using Nimble, our online tool, and then channel the recruits into content creation and upload events where they join existing editors to improve the wikis.

However, Nimble is still in development, and hence, we resorted to using events instead to meet our new contributor recruitment target.

Wikimedia Ghana User Group held 36 events, 21 online and 16 in-person events across 9 out of the 16 administrative regions in Ghana to make our activities well distributed across the country.

Through these events, we recruited 358 unique new editors and engaged 557 existing ones (including repeat participants) to edit 1339 Wikipedia pages.

We collaborated with nine organizations and hubs around the country, including Developers Academy (Dambai), Koforidua Tech Hub (Koforidua), Ho Node Hub (Ho), Dansyn ISO (Bolgatanga), HOPin Academy (Tamale), Code Coast (Cape Coast), Duapa Werkspace (Takoradi), The Enterprise Village (Accra), and Suncity Hub (Sunyani).

Community Development[edit]

In our Community Development work, we integrate existing and new contributors better into the movement.

Firstly, the program helped fulfil the requirement in our bylaws to offer membership.

Secondly, through membership, the user group's administrative team and contributors established familiarity, enabling us to provide extra support, including:

  • Using a Telegram group for focused discussions, movement information sharing, and real-time assistance to help them stay connected to user group and broader movement. There are over 300 contributors in this group.
  • Assisting contributors with IP block exemption requests.
  • Making available travel support, e.g., visa letters and scholarship application assistance.  
  • Organizing weekly closed events (edit-a-thons) for members to encourage active editing. We offered internet data reimbursements through our Free Knowledge, Free (Internet) Data initiative to support members for data costs. We have maintained this initiative since it started in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thirdly, within the framework of this program, we selected 20 recruited volunteers whom we will engage in a leadership program in early 2024. This initiative aims to establish a talent pool to build their capacity to take up governance, program management, training and ambassadorial roles in the medium to long term.

Lastly we organised a satellite Wiki Indaba Conference 2023 event in partnership with the British Council, where 17 community members met and participated in the conference virtually. The partnership was arranged by the organizers Wikimedia MA User Group and Wikimedia Foundation Partnerships team.

Policy and Advocacy[edit]

Since 2018, Wikimedia Ghana User Group has been doing preliminary work towards advocating for Freedom of Panorama (FoP) in Ghana. Steps have included sessions at conferences, consulting legal experts to help our team better understand Copyright in Ghana, and monitoring other advocacy work around FoP.

In 2023 we:

  • Finalized a preamble document which explains the context of FoP in the current Copyright laws in Ghana We have compile
  • Created a script for an explainer video which summarizes the preamble
  • Created a copy to be developed into brochures which summarize the preamble

We did some of this work in consultation with the Wikimedia Foundation Global Advocacy team.

These publications, when completed, will be used as educational materials for distribution to lawmakers, allies in support of FoP, and the general public.

Special project: Wikidata For Education[edit]

Beyond our regular programs, the Wikimedia Ghana User Group was the campaigns partner for the Wikidata for Education project.

The Wikidata for Education initiative was created to align the "sum of all knowledge" with school curricula, making it readily accessible for teachers and students to fulfil their learning objectives.

As campaigns partner our role was to organize events where Wikipedians create and improve corresponding Wikipedia articles to curriculum data uploaded to Wikidata around the Social Studies, Science and Computing curriculums of the Ghana Education Service from Basic 7, 8 and 9.

The multilingual campaigns involved content creation for English and Twi Wikipedias.  We also created content for Ga test Wikipedia in Incubator.

At the end of the campaign, we had organized ten events with 108 participants, both in Accra and Kumasi. About 200 articles were created and edited, 3.25 million views on the articles and over 200 Wikimedia Commons uploads of the campaign.

The events metrics insights on outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org.

Thank you![edit]

Thank you to all who made our 2023 work possible: our administrative contractors and volunteers, local Ghanaian hubs and organisations who collaborated with us this year, Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors in Advancement and Global Advocacy teams and finally the new contributors who came with enthusiasm and our longtime contributors who helped mentor newcomers.

If you have any questions or feedback, please use the talkpage or email us community@wmgh.org.