The Wiki in Africa team flew to Rwanda last month to Wiki Indaba, where some team members met in person for the first time after working together for almost a year. Although the team has a wonderfully synergistic professional relationship, bonds of friendship were cemented over wine from Cape Town and Tunisia, and project ideas for 2022 were ignited. While at Wiki Indaba, the African Union approached Wiki in Africa to collaborate on a climate awareness project in 2023. The team have already started formulating plans on how our existing projects can highlight environmental and sustainability issues, and also plotting out new projects to create a wide reach for the messaging. We’ll let you know more as plans develop.
Wiki in Africa also had the honour of partnering with Wiki Indaba to stream the remote presentations from the conference to your laptops. We offered our invaluable support and knowledge to the wonderful Rwandan team, who planned and executed an incredible conference packed with informative talks. "It was an amazing conference, and the Rwandan team managed it with aplomb and grace," said Isla Haddow-Flood, Wiki in Africa's co-founder. The streamed presentations are available to watch here.
The team presented two talks at the conference. Afek Ben Chahed and Nonny Ntlahla (who presented remotely from Cape Town) delivered a talk on the Wiki Loves Women Focus Group and the #SheSaid campaign, highlighting leadership in action, the gender gap and capacity building. Watch their presentation here. Florence Devourard, Isla Haddow-Flood and Ceslause Ogbonnaya gave Wikimedians at the conference an informative analysis of the best tools to use for collaboration, from Wiki in Africa's own award-winning ISA tool, which takes the slog out of uploading metadata to images on Wikimedia Commons, to Hootsuite, a popular social media scheduling platform. The Google presentation is available for reference here.
She has a lot to say! #SheSaid
Wiki Loves Women's #SheSaid campaign, which aims to redress the imbalance of gender representation on Wikiquote, continues to impact the visibility of women with new and improved articles being added in 12 languages since the 2022 project launched in October. Citizens of Ukraine — where perhaps the need to preserve their voices for future generations is keenly felt, now more than ever — lead the way with 368 tagged #SheSaid entries uploaded to Ukrainian Wikiquote during the 2022 campaign so far.
WikiAfrica Heritage joins the SheSaid campaign with a workshop in Cape Town. The workshop takes place at the District Six Museum's Homecoming Centre, from 29 November – 1 December. If you're in Cape Town and would like to join the workshop, nominate South African or Western Cape women you believe should be featured, and register to join the sessions here.
The #SheSaid campaign was first launched in October 2020 and resulted in 867 new or improved articles (the majority were new) across 7 languages. The second edition was an even greater success, with over 1,500 Wikiquote entries created.
There is still time to join our global #SheSaid campaign and help to balance the representation of gender in the entries of Wikiquote. All the info you need to get your favourite notable quotes by women you admire onto Wikiquote is on our Wiki Loves Women/She Said meta page. And don't forget to use #SheSaid when adding your quotes.
Wikimedia communities: everything you need to know.
On episode 18, WikiAfrica Hour will be discussing user groups, the steps it takes to set one up and the best management practices to keep your user groups running smoothly. We'll be chatting to the creators of some of Africa's most successful user groups about managing and resolving conflicts because, as we know, Wikipedia might be online but it takes people on the ground to populate the sites with relevant and factual information.
We'll also be talking about how to get your user group officially recognised by the Affiliations Committee at the Wikimedia Foundation. And, because failure is often just a stepping stone on the way to success, we'll cover all the ways to get a defunct user group fired up again.
WikiAfrica Hour's October 2022 edition celebrated the international winners of WIki Loves Africa 2022 photography and videography contest. "“I always consult my family when choosing my pictures, especially my mother," Summer Kamal — winner of the Wiki Loves Africa international first prize for her exquisite image, A Nubia —told us. The retired computer teacher came to photography late in life, but her choice to quit teaching and pursue her hobby was supported by her family who saw her incredible talent. Summer is an inspiration, and proves it's never too late to pick up a camera or follow your dreams.
To hear the stories of the 2022 Wiki Loves Africa winning images, and get photography tips and tricks from Africa's creative masters, watch episode 17 here.
The 2023 Wiki Loves Africa theme
Africa graphic by User:IslaHaddow; photograph AMISOM Public Information, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Climate change is a pressing issue, especially for Africa. Many countries are already seeing the effects of changing weather patterns, bringing flooding and drought that have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable communities. Shortly after we announced the theme of the Wiki Loves Africa 2023 competition, — Climate and Weather — Wiki in Africa were invited to be a partner for the African Union's 2023 Climate Awareness campaign. Entries for Climate and Weather will open early next year. Meanwhile, get snapping.
More information on Wiki Loves Africa 2023 can be found here.
If you participated in Wiki Loves Africa 2022, we'd love to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey and tell us about your experience.
The ISA structured data campaign
There are millions of subjects you can read about on Wikipedia. Of all those subjects, the ones that relate to Africa have the least coverage. This is due to a number of reasons, but some are linked to the fact that many people do not know that they can have their knowledge and cultures reflected on Wikipedia by donating their images, videos and audio to Wikipedia. The Wiki in Africa ISA campaign, which centres around adding metadata to the images uploaded in the 2022 Wiki Loves Africa competition, aims to address this issue. Our award-winning ISA tool makes adding descriptors to images easy and seamless.
However, in the past we've noticed some issues with the way people describe images. In response, we've written a Depiction Guideline article to guide people when adding structured data to WikiData here.
The richness, diversity and beauty of Africa deserve to be visually celebrated on Wikipedia. YOU can help to do this by describing images for the ISA campaign. Everyone is welcome to participate! Join the campaign here.