WikiAfrica

What is it?

WikiAfrica is an initiative that facilitates access to information, while encouraging knowledge sharing and archiving.

WikiAfrica considers Wikipedia and Wikimedia as an extended international forum, capable of enhancing Africa’s voice and visibility. WikiAfrica thus, aims to expand the content available online on the African continent.

WikiAfrica’s principal aim is to give Africa greater visibility on Wikipedia by expanding the range and amount of Africa-relevant information on the site.

Since its launch, it has generated over 40,000 contributions, including texts, quotes and images, as well as audio and video files.

“I have to say that this is a very brave effort by a group of people who are committed to an idea that I can only define as noble: the noble idea of ensuring that Africa can be conserved in a form that is easy to reach and consult.” Nuruddin Farah, Somali writer

What we have done

From 2011 to 2013 the focus has been expanded on working with cultural organizations, museums and archives (as well as bloggers and journalists), encouraging them to contribute knowledge and content to Wikipedia. In the process, the project has identified and made accessible a wealth of archival material.

The initiative’s objectives were:

  • to create partnerships with organizations holding Africa-related archival information
  • to expand access to content while respecting copyright
  • to motivate the adaptation of a copyleft or Creative Commons approach to intellectual property (click here, for more information)
  • to encourage more people to contribute Africa-specific content to Wikipedia
  • to create training tools and establish the mentorships required to activate a new team of users and editors of Wikipedia (wikipedians).

With a view to facilitating and encouraging the uploading of free content onto Wikipedia, we launched Share Your Knowledge program.

Pedagogical suitcase, Dak'Art 2012

Pedagogical suitcase, Dak’Art 2012

Since 2014 WikiAfrica is part of lettera27’s overall strategy: each of our initiatives is looked at as a potential source to add content to the WikiAfrica content pool.
In 2015 during the five days of the Youth Storytelling Workshop at African School of Excellence in Johannesburg, lettera27 held a two-day Wiki Africa workshop in collaboration with Africa Center with the aim of introducing students and teachers to the most widely used online encyclopedia in the world and encouraging students to share stories related to their local communities and cultural heritage. During the workshop the entry on the school’s local community Tsakane was created.

Workshop at ASE, Johannesburg, 2015

Workshop at ASE, Johannesburg, 2015

Target groups

  • Cultural organizations and institutions
  • GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums)
  • Students and youth
  • General Wikipedia readers

Initiative history

From 2006 WikiAfrica sustains access to knowledge and considers Wikimedia as an international arena to give voice and visibility to Africa and to add more facets to the symbolic imagination of this complex continent. WikiAfrica increases and improves the information on Africa available on-line, with the active participation of organizations and individuals.

Past initiatives

Share Your Knowledge
WikiAfrica Literature
WikiAfrica Cinema
Chimurenga Library
WikiAfrica Workshop
WikiAfrica Art
W
ikiafrica Postcard

Areas of intervention
Art and culture for social transformation
Sustainable culture
WikiAfrica - Colophon