Submissions/What Works For Africa? A diagnosis of Wikipedia outreach efforts in Africa.

From Wikimania

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2017.

Submission no. 2125 - C5
Title of the submission

What Works For Africa? A diagnosis of Wikipedia outreach efforts in Africa.

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

Mohammed Sadat Abdulai (User:Masssly), Zita Ursula Zage(User:Celestinesucess)

type of submission


Language of presentation


E-mail address



Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia Ghana Usergroup

Personal homepage or blog

Wikipedia user page

Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) and the Wikimedia community are interested in understanding how users engage with Wikipedia on two levels; readers and editors. The former does not seem to be a problem for Africa. The latter however, has been a challenge since outreach efforts started in order to get more Africans to contribute to Wikipedia from their own perspectives. WMF and volunteers worldwide are doing amazing things and experimenting with new ideas everyday to improve the “African edits” situation. The past years has seen movement resources poured into workshops, barcamps, edit-a-thons and even zero-rated collaborations with mobile network operators, among others. While most of these initiatives are hugely successful with regards to implementation, few have had any meaningful impact in restoring or improving the dwindling number of participation registered from the African continent.

This presentation examines Grants:Reports and documents a chronology of outreach efforts in Africa; from how outreach started in Africa and what similar or different approaches is presently being explored. It assesses the outcomes of these projects and provides some numbers as measures of impact. It further categorizes outreach programs into:

  • Initiatives that seem to have worked so far, and
  • Initiatives that did not work

Finally, based on the impact of outreach efforts learnt from the reports submitted on the grants report pages, the presentation will make recommendations to the following points:

  • Projects that have worked and could be reproducible.
  • Projects that have worked before but may not work in the future.
  • Failed projects that should be abandoned.
  • Failed projects that could be refined, altered or done differently.
  • New approaches to consider / What else could be done.

Whiles much of Africa is still uncharted territory as far as Wikipedia outreach is concerned, getting to understand what works now on the continent might save the movement plenty of trouble in the future, and pave way for much smoother outreach work in countries that are yet planning on getting started.

What will attendees take away from this session?

Attendees will get a direction of which category of outreach programs to better focus their attention on. The discussion that ensues might unearth potential areas of impact that are capable of improving the "African edits" situation.

Theme of presentation


For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)

25 minutes

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Slides or further information (optional)
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Interested attendees

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  1. John Andersson (WMSE) (talk) 08:59, 14 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Anthere (talk) 11:02, 28 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Rhododendrites (talk) 13:51, 30 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 02:32, 10 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. GastelEtzwane (talk) 12:37, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  6. AGomez (WMF) (talk) 16:29, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  7. --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 17:02, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  8. GDubuc (WMF) (talk) 20:28, 1 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Jamie Tubers (talk) 22:06, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --Gereon K. (talk) 21:03, 3 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  11. MJue (WMF) (talk) 19:22, 8 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  12. --Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE) (talk) 08:09, 17 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]