Expanding and enhancing on-line content about Africa

WikiAfrica is an international and collaborative movement that facilitates access to information, while encouraging knowledge sharing and archiving. Its 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.

Today our key WikiAfrica initiative is WikiAfrica Education, which is one of the main tools in support of the commitment of the Moleskine Foundation to Quality Education. Through creating knowledge that celebrates their environment, their culture and reflects their interests, passions and reality, students not only develop research and writing skills, but ultimately improve their critical thinking capacity. This is achieved by bringing together communities of practice of teachers interested in bringing Wikimedia into the classroom.

The initiative is currently being implemented in South Africa in partnership with BRIDGE, a teacher development network.

Transforming schools from knowledge consumers to knowledge producers

WikiAfrica Education rises from the continental experiences of the WikiAfrica movement. Wikimedia’s overarching ambition is to be the platform on which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. Despite this global ambition however, the African continent remains the least covered and supported collective of cultures, histories, ideas and languages on-line. WikiAfrica Education focuses on bridging two significant gaps – contributors from Africa and content from Africa, by transforming schools from merely knowledge consumers to knowledge producers.

Ashoka Storytelling Week, ASE, workshop WikiAfrica. Foto di Siphosihle Mkhwanazi

The growth of the WikiAfrica movement

WikiAfrica is an international movement that takes place on the African continent and beyond. It encourages individuals, interested groups and organizations to create, expand and enhance online content about Africa. It started from a collaboration between the lettera27 Foundation (today the Moleskine Foundation) and Wikimedia Italia that in 2006 conceptualized the idea and released all its content under creative commons license to facilitate to sharing, innovation and maximise impact.

Hosted at several institutions in its various guises (including, Africa Centre, Ynternet.org, Wikimedia CH and Wiki In Africa), the WikiAfrica movement has consistently instigated and led multi-faceted innovative initiatives. These various independent but collaborative projects have activated communities and driven content onto Wikipedia. Examples include Share Your Knowledge, #OpenAfrica training Courses and Toolkits, Kumusha Bus (in Ethiopia and Ghana), WikiEntrepreneur (in Ethiopia and Malawi), Kumusha Takes Wiki (Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda) and Wiki Loves Africa.

WikiAfrica Movement Contributors

Click to see the full list of our partners

91.3 Capital FM
94.8 XFM
Abasuba Community Peace museum
ACRA Associazione di Cooperazione Rurale in Africa e America Latina
Addis Standard
Africa Centre
African Architecture Matters
African School for Excellence
African Women Development Fund
Agence e-voir
AIESEC Ethiopia
AMREF ITALIA onlus, in partnership with AMREF Uganda
Aquaculture Research and Development Centre, Kajansi
Arise Nigeria Women
ASAFE – Mme Yitamben Gisèle
Assaman: Rivista italo-africana
Assemblée Nationale de Côte d’Ivoire
Association of Writers of Côte d’Ivoire (AECI)
Associazione Amici del Museo delle Grigne Onlus
Associazione Good Samaritan
Associazione Stretta di Mano
AST, Associazione dei Senegalesi a Torino (in collaboration with the association Trait d’Union)
Ayao.org / I am Yawo Project
Bartolomeu Dias Museum
Beaufort-West Museum
Benekie Foundation
Blackface Online Radio Station
Blackitude Museum,Yaoundé, Camerun
Brooklyn Museum
Bugisu Cooperative Union
Butterfly Works, Amsterdam
Caledon Museum
Cameroon O’Bosso
Cameroon Women’s Scholarship Alumni (CWS) – recently
Cango Caves Museum
Cape Medical Museum
Careof DOCVA
Casa Africa
Caucus des Femmes Parlementaires de Côte d’Ivoire
CBS FM Buganda
Chancellor College
Chimurenga Library
Cinemafrica-Africa e diaspore nel cinema
CISV Comunità Impegno Servizio Volontariato
Commission Nationale de la Francophonie
Compagnia di San Paolo
Connecting Cultures
COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale
COSPE Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti
CP Nel Museum
Creative Commons Italy
Creative Commons South Africa
Curate Africa, South Africa
doual’art, Camerun
Drostdy Museum
Encounters Documentary Film Festival
Espace d’intelligence collective Ovillage (network and content partner)
Ethiopian Authors Association/Music Association
Ethiopian Photographers Community
FCAT – Festival de Cine Africano de Còrdoba, Spagna
Feed My Starving Children
Felix Houphouet-Boigny University (Department of Philosophy)
Femrite (Readers writers club)
Festival Cinema Africano Asia e America Latina
Festival di cinema africano di Verona
First Floor Gallery
Fondation Orange
Fondazione Cariparma
Fondazione Cariplo
Fondazione ISMU
Fondazione lettera27
Fondazione Monte dei Paschi
Fondazione Piero e Lucille Corti
Fransie Pienaar Museum
Fratelli dell’uomo (Frères des hommes)
Fruit of Thoughts Initiative
GALA-Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action
Gambia National Museum
Gayaza High School
Genadendal Mission Museum
General Secretary of Francophonie
George Museum
Ggaba Landing Site – Fishing Community
Ghana Local Guides
Global Teachers Institute
Goethe Institut
GogeAfrica Foundation
Groot-Brakrivier Museum
Hajiga Haleema Foundation –Endometriosis
Hapa space
Hop In Academy
Hout Bay Museum
Huguenot Memorial Museum
Hyrax Hill Museum, Lanet Nakuru, Kenya
Impact Hub
International Institute for Communication and Development
Istituto di ricerca CESPI Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale
Jan Dankaert Museum
Jeune Africa Moderne
Kah Walla (Cabinet Stratégies, Cameroun Ô Bosso, Cameroun People’s Party)
Karonga Museum
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa)
Koopmans De Wet House Museum
Kunstverein (Milano)
Kër Thiossane, Senegal
Les femmes de la diplomatie camerounais
Linux Friends Association
Livingstone Gallery
Lutokoba Landing Site – Fishing Community
M-Net African Film Library
Makerere university (survey students)
Media Concern Initiative for Women and Children
Medici con l’Africa Cuamm
MISA Malawi
Montagu Museum
Mus’art Gallery, Kumbo
Museums and Monuments Board
Museums of Malawi
Muteesa royal university
NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti
National Archives of Malawi
National Commission for Museum and Monuments in Nigeria, Ile-Ife- Women in Ethnography
National Commission for Museum and Monuments in Nigeria, Osogbo- Women in History
National Gallery of Zimbabwe
National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NITCO)
National Library Service
Network of Ethiopian Woman Association
Nkumba University
Officina GRIOT + Epoché edizioni
Old Harbour Museum
ONG Akendenwa
Open West Africa Foundation
Out in Africa Film Festival
Paarl Museum
Phuthidikabo Museum, Mochudi, Botswana
Postal Museum, Mtengatenga, Malawi
Prins Claus
Project Pink-Blue- Breast Cancer: Treatment and awareness
Public Records and Archives Administration Department
Raccolte extraeuropee del Castello Sforzesco + Fondazione Alessandro Passaré
Reach Out Cameroon
Regulatory Authority of catering and food trades (ARRMA
Revue Noire, Africa e Mediterraneo and Associazione Cherimus
Robertson Museum
Rotaract Club Of TOU
Rural Women Development Center (RUWDEC)
SA Fisheries Museum
Seychelles People Defense Forces Museum (SPDF)
She Writes Women
Shipwreck Museum
Short Story Day Africa
Simon’s Town Museum
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Society of Malawi
St. Denis Ssebugwawo
Stellenbosch Museum
STIC-Science Technology Information Center
Sungani Zakwathu Cultural Heritage Promotions, Malawi
SUPSI: University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance
Tech Needs Girls
TechHer Ghana
TechHer Nigeria
Techy Girls
Tedx Accra
Tedx Spintex Women
The Archival Platform
The Bafumbira Kingdom
The Banyala Kingdom
The Baruuli Kingdom
The Fabulous Woman Network
The National Archives
The Permanent Centre for Education
Transport Riders Museum
Uganda Museum
Uganda National Museum
University of Cape Town African Studies Unit
University of Cape Town IP Unit
Voice of Women 91.7 FM
VSF-E Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Europe, central office
WCIC (Women Counselling and Information Center)
Wellington Museum
Wheat Industry Museum
Wiki In Africa
Wiki Loves Monuments
Wikimedia Algeria
Wikimedia CH
Wikimedia España
Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Italia
Wikimedia Serbia
Wikimedia South Africa
Wikimedia Usergroup Cameroon
Wikimedia Usergroup Cote d’Ivoire
Wikimedia Usergroup Egypt
Wikimedia Usergroup Ghana
Wikimedia Usergroup Nigeria
Wikimedia Usergroup Planning Tanzania
Wikimedia Usergroup Tunisia
Women Consortium of Nigeria
Women Farmer Association of Nigeria
Women for a Change Cameroon (WFAC)
Women of Rubies
Women Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC)- Women Capacity development in ICT
Women who code
Women’s Consortium of Nigeria
Women’s Leadership Network Cameroun WNL-C
Worcester Museum
World Pulse- Women Capacity Development and Advocacy
X hub
Yellow Movement, Xhub, ICE Addis
Zanzibar National Museum
Zoma Contemporary Art Center
Zone9 Bloggers

The next generation of online content creators

WikiAfrica Education introduces, trains, and supports teachers as they incorporate the Wikipedia article-writing programme into their curricula. It achieves this by drawing them to large edit-a-thon style events so they can learn more about the Wikimedia platform and the supporting them through dedicated teacher training. As a result, teachers introduce global knowledge systems to their students, along with literacy skills, collaborative learning, and best practices and tools relating to critical thinking. It helps to build the next generation of online content creators.
WikiAfrica Education relies on educators voluntarily collaborating on curriculum development, thus creating a shared repository of best practices for mainstreaming Wikimedia into education. WikiAfrica Education also supports participating educators by providing them with offline editing environments to contribute to Wikipedia and thus develop and strengthen their curriculum-aligned teaching, even when connectivity conditions are poor.

Why is it important?

For a range of historic and other reasons, Africa is the least visible continent on the internet. What has been written about Africa has mainly been written by people from the West. This has created a paucity of information about an entire continent of around a billion people. This results in limiting our understanding of the complexities that exist on such a vast geographical space around such diverse issues as culture, economics, politics, history or contemporary entertainment. It perpetuates what the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls 1 “the danger of a single story” about Africa.

One of the dangers of this single story about Africa on the Internet  is that as Africans start accessing the internet in their millions via mobile phones, they too will start to believe what they read. The WikiAfrica Education program aims to change this by introducing a new generation of editors based in Africa, to Wikipedia. Whilst learning about knowledge systems, theory of knowledge and critical thought, the students will also be contributing vital, researched articles that reflect their geographic and social reality.

WikiAfrica, African School for Excellence, Tsakane, 2017, Foto: ©Eugene Malaka

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. ”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — Novelist

Who is the target?

Secondary School teachers
Students and youth
Wikipedia editors and readers

Initiative history

Since 2006, WikiAfrica has supported access to knowledge and promoted 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.
In 2017, WikiAfrica stepped into the education field, supporting WikiAfrica Schools, an initiative co-created with and implemented by Wiki In Africa, aiming to pilot the roll-out of Wikimedia-inspired curricula in South African secondary schools.
Based on lessons learned from this initiative, we have been able to refine our approach, focusing on convening and engaging those educators who spontaneously volunteer. Indeed WikiAfrica Education, launched in 2018, seeks to scout educators who are enthusiastic about Wikimedia through special events, and then supports them using participative methods and communities of practice.


On line platforms:
WikiAfrica on Wikipedia

In partnership with
BRIDGE, Johannesburg
Wikimedia ZA