WikiAfrica sustains Wikipedia as a free, open and truly global encyclopaedia by encouraging, supporting and challenging individuals and institutions across Africa to contribute their knowledge of Africa to the most commonly used online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.
WikiAfrica promotes a radically different approach to knowledge creation and sharing that is fully inclusive, mainstream and intercultural. Its mission is to activate, assist and sustain a culture of knowledge contribution from Africa. This supports the growth of Wikipedia as a free and open encyclopaedia that provides greater access to Africa’s wealth of contemporary and historic realities.
Often cast as the continent of chaos and famine, it is crucial for the people of Africa that they are able to learn about its rich heritage and proud history, and have access to the achievements of modern Africa. Truthful contextual information has the power to alter how Africans see, believe in, and interact with themselves, each other, their communities, countries and their continent. Equally, truthful information correctly placed on a platform that is open and accessible to all will fundamentally change how people outside Africa view and interact with the Continent.
WikiAfrica is a cross-continental collaboration that aims to increase the quantity and quality of African content on the world’s most referenced online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. It does this by supporting the creation of new articles on Wikipedia about Africa and its people, and encouraging the growth of a culture of knowledge contribution across the African continent.
Wikipedia has been created under the premise that anyone can add to it, change it and improve the content. Wikipedia’s aim is to provide a universal, multilingual sum of all human knowledge to everyone on the planet.
Despite Wikipedia’s noble aims, the truth remains that the African continent is the least covered collective of cultures, histories, ideas and languages on Wikipedia. Africa also has the fewest contributors per capita of any other territory. As more people across the Continent access the internet via mobile technology it is imperative that Africa’s historic and contemporary realities are truthfully represented and included in the world’s most accessed encyclopaedia.
WikiAfrica employs a variety of interventions that seeks to increase the quantity and quality of African content on Wikipedia. These include:
Share Your Knowledge – a pan-African and European initiative that approaches, trains and supports Africa’s heritage and cultural institutions in the sustainable release of their institutional knowledge under a Creative Commons licence and onto Wikipedia
Wikipedia-in-Residence – a pan-African regional programme where Wikipedians are trained and then employed to provide Share Your Knowledge partners with specialist support and training in all aspects of Wikipedia and content contribution; and to support and activate a growing and sustainable Wikipedian community in their region;
Individuals Challenge – leveraging technology, social media, competitions, communication and other tools to activate individuals, university students, journalists and bloggers to consistently contribute to Wikipedia;
Primary – in early infancy, the Primary project aims at giving African students, teachers and families access on Wikipedia to all the documentation needed to obtain the primary school degree of their country, in the language of instruction.