Submissions/Is Wikimedia Doing Enough in Africa?

From Wikimania

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2017.

Submission no. 2021 Subject - C5
Title of the submission

Is Wikimedia Doing Enough in Africa?

Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)


Author of the submission

Sam Oyeyele

type of submission


Language of presentation


E-mail address


Jamie Tubers

Country of origin

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia User Group Nigeria

Personal homepage or blog

Meta Page, English Wikipedia

Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

Quite a lot have been done already by the Wikimedia community, in the the bid to improve the readership of Wikipedia in developing countries, as well as to increase the number of contributors from the countries. However, in all of these, have we been ignoring the very basic thing that needs to be done? Is there enough focus on improving the awareness of Wikipedia and its sister projects on the African continent? This presentation was inspired by discussions held at the 2017 WikiIndaba.

The Global Reach research project statistics indicates that we might have been going about awareness wrongly. According to the statistics, about 77% of the Nigerian population have never heard of Wikipedia. It is worse in Egypt, with about 83% ignorance. If these two countries, with internet usage and urbanization rates well above the African average, can have such a poor Wikipedia awareness, what is the fate of the countries, at the bottom of the rankings?

A lot of discussions have been had on the wide content gap and systemic bias that exist with African-related topics, but few discussions have taken place to focus on the low awareness of Wikipedia on the continent, which can in fact be ascribed as the reason for the low number of African editors on Wikipedia, and the resulting wide content gap. At the end of the day, we cannot make much progress with solving content gaps and systemic bias, if we don’t get people on the continent to edit Wikipedia. What's more, we cannot get people to edit Wikipedia, if they don't even know about its existence.

This presentation won't focus on comprehensive analysis of data; it intends to talk about the likely factors that are contributing to the very low awareness of Wikipedia in Africa and suggest new and culture-specific ways in which the Wikimedia community can help in solving these problems. All of these will be presented using grass-root perspectives and experiences gained at the local level. Examples will be shared on how the Nigerian User Group is currently trying to deal with the problems, and how much more needs to be done, using the help and input of the global community. Examples will also be drawn from existing international examples, like Wiki Loves Africa, Wiki Loves Women, amongst others.

This presentation aims to bring to notice, the peculiar problems and challenges that the Wikimedia movement faces in Africa, and the need to tailor solutions specifically for the continent, in order to ensure applicability.

What will attendees take away from this session?

The major purpose of this presentation is to bring to the attention of the community, the obvious importance of the rapidly growing Africa, to the future of the Wikimedia movement, and the need to increase the focus of the community in making Wikipedia a top brand on the continent.

Theme of presentation
  • Outreach
  • WikiCulture & Community
  • New Readers
  • Awareness
  • Content Gap
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
There will be few slides for projection
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Kritzolina (talk) 09:48, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Joalpe (talk) 01:16, 19 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Jackiekoerner (talk) 17:11, 20 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Schiste (talk) 11:25, 6 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Vanbasten 23 (talk) 14:28, 9 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  6. DerHexer (talk) 19:55, 11 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  7. John Andersson (WMSE) (talk) 08:48, 14 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  8. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 21:42, 22 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Millars (talk) 01:07, 5 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 17:32, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 03:07, 9 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  12. AGomez (WMF) (talk) 17:33, 10 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  13. ZMcCune (WMF) (talk) 18:31, 10 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  14. GastelEtzwane (talk) 22:28, 10 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  15. RachelWex (talk) 21:44, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Masssly (talk) 23:08, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 21:59, 13 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  18. --Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE) (talk) 08:09, 17 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  19. --iopensa (talk) 15:46, 3 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  20. Armineaghayan (talk) 19:39, 6 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]