Wikimedia Ghana User Group Annual Report 2018
2018 was marked by impactful but fewer activities than the previous year. Our activities, challenges, aspirations and lessons have been captured below.
Some key user group activities
|January – September 2018||New Readers Radio Campaign||Throughout the year, group representative Sandister Tei embarked on a brief radio segment named Wikipedia's List of Anniversaries from Mondays – Thursdays on Citi FM's Citi Breakfast Show each week.
Each mention starts with the relevant Wikipedia Historical Anniversaries for that day. The sharing of facts and dates from Wikipedia with a continuous mention of Wikipedia is an effort to encourage the audience to visit Wikipedia for facts.
It's a segment that the radio audience have positive feedback on.
|19 – 20 May 2018||Asaf Bartov visits Ghanaian Wikimedians||Asaf Bartov, the Senior Programs Manager - Emerging Wikimedia Communities of the Wikimedia Foundation, visited Accra, Ghana and hosted a two-day workshop for Wikimedians in Ghana.16 participants from the user group attended on both days.
Asaf also engaged leaders of the Open Foundation West Africa and the user group on co-existing as two Wikimedia related user groups operating in Ghana.
|March – April 2018||WiR for parliamentary constituencies in Ghana project||This project comprised 2 intensive editathons which brought together 13 participants and created 46 Wikipedia articles for Ghana's Parliamentary constituencies. Wikipedia had been missing that information for at least 5 years. WiR Roysandytei led the efforts.|
|26 – 28 September 2018||Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa 2018||Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica) conference came to Accra for the first time and the user group participated in two capacities. Group representative, Sandister Tei, joined a panel to discuss the role of Wikipedia and journalism in shaping online content about Africa. The group also had a presentation to introduce interested participants to Wikipedia and Wikidata.|
|January – October 2018||Drafting group bylaws||The user group also used the year to draft its bylaws as it works towards attaining non-profit status.|
- The Wikimedia Ghana User Group still has an MOU with Impact Hub Accra, a co-working space and hub for entrepreneurs in Ghana, where the user group would have its official office space and hosts its events for free.
- re:publica, the conference for the internet society is happening in Africa for the first time and the user group arranged during the year to have sessions, a space for interaction, and also has put in place measures to have Douglas Scott deliver a talk about Freedom of Panorama in Ghana and help activists petition the government to legislate favourably on the cause.
Through our Impact Hub agreement, the group has supported Wikimedia activities not organized by the user group with space on condition they comply with respectful use of the venue. The beneficiary was Sadat who was assisted with a viable working space with which to carry out Project X.
- 2018 had fewer activities than the previous year. The main reason for this was that key volunteers had personal pursuits that included new jobs, furthering their education, business expansions, among other things. This invariably affected how much time they could donate to volunteering for the group.
- Also, grant processing time on the part of the grants team has become discouragingly slow. Being limited to 3 open grants and having to apply within a particular time frame, i.e., the new acceptance dates seems to add more barriers to the work of volunteers. Our user group is growing and with it, the presence of the movement in Ghana is expanding. Most partners, new editors and the general public expect partnerships and services delivered with little or no knowledge about the user group and its operations. As such, there is strain on the volunteer base and capacity of the group.
- The group put in a lot of hard work to participate in Wiki Loves Monuments 2018. However, we were removed from the competition due to an alleged incomplete landing page. The group believes it has a valid cause of action and has decided to report to WMF for the conduct of the organisers.
- The user group has come to the realization that it needs to take on a non-profit status which will make it able to afford paid help. This will enable the consistent and long-term management of the day to day activities of the community. It will also enable the community keep up with the expectations of the audience, rather than risk being rendered irrelevant.