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Wikimedia South Africa/Wikimania 2022/Report/Reda Benkhadra

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Report on the Participation at the (mini)Wikimania 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa.


Being currently based in South Africa, the mini-Wikimania event was an opportunity for me to connect and meet the local community and learn about their activities, while also taking part in the Wikimania sessions virtually. The three days of the event were full of information and connections, especially with members of Wikimedia ZA, whose experience as the only chapter in Africa is inspiring.


One of the most important outcomes that were created within the framework of the event was the enormous amount of interesting information shared by all the participants, whether by the presenters at Wikimania or by the attendes at the event. Each came from a different background and had expertise in at least one movement-related aspect. This made it possible to learn a lot from each other in a short time. The most useful outcome for me was the points listed below (among others):

  • Libraries: I learned how the local community collaborates with a network of librarians to improve content by organizing and taking part in campaigns such as #1Lib1Ref.
  • Freedom of panorama/Copyright : Wikimedia ZA is the pioneer group in Africa to engage in advocacy for the adoption of freedom of panorama and fair use in South African copyright law. The session organized on copyright allowed me to discover more about the work of the group and the related constraints, as well as the contribution of the partners to bring about change. It enlightened me on ways to engage with policy makers to amend the laws in place.
  • Local languages : As everywhere on the continent, tackling the subject of local languages remain relevant and highly topical. The discussion with the participants made it possible to exchange perspectives on ways to document and safeguard them, especially when I learned that many of the South African languages are not yet standardized as is the case in Morocco, where we have the same challenge but were able to produce two versions of Wikipedia in local languages. The event was also an opportunity to update the statistics of Wikipedia editions in South African languages, which allowed to exchange ideas on how to support native contributors and develop content.
  • Partnerships: The event was also an occasion to discuss potential ideas for collaboration and partnership between the Moroccan UG and the South African chapter at different levels, in order to exchange expertise and knowledge, and introduce more inter-African cooperation. Education is considered one of the priority areas.
  • And of course editing: Like every Wikimedian gathering, making some edits during the event is unavoidable. At the edit-a-thon session, I did some editing and administrative work on Wikipedia in Darija.


At the mini-Wikimania event in Cape Town, I made some very valuable connections, meeting new people for the first time and seeing others I have met on different occasions before. The mini-Wikimania gave me the chance to meet the Foundation's CEO Maryana Iskander, whom I met virtually a year ago during WikiArabia, we were able to exchange on the state of the movement in the MENA and the projects that the community is leading. The event took place in a pleasant and very friendly atmosphere. It was not only a way to discuss common issues related to Wikipedia or the movement, but also a great opportunity to discover the work of partner organizations like ReCreate and to learn more about other topics such as intellectual property with the expert Tobias Schonwetter.

Anything else[edit]

I would like to thank once again Wikimedia South Africa for this opportunity, and in particular Douglas and Shupai who did an incredible and huge work for the organization and coordination of the event, and also the partner iNtaka Center for Law and Technology who welcomed us in very good conditions. I wish all the best to everyone, and remains at the disposal of the community to support their actions while being in SA.