Cape Town, South Africa. 3rd February 2017 – The Wiki In Africa team is proud to announce the launch of WikiFundi at the recent Wiki Indaba held in Ghana. WikiFundi (www.wikifundi.org) is an editing platform that presents an offline editable environment that provides a similar experience to editing Wikipedia online.
WikiFundi provides the ability for teachers, wikipedian communities and NGOs to learn about editing Wikipedia and contributing knowledge when technology, access and electricity outages fail or are not available at all. It enables individuals, groups and communities to work on articles collaboratively. Once completed and when connected to the internet, these articles can be uploaded to Wikipedia.
Just after the launch, Katherine Maher, the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation stated:
“I am really excited about the experiment that is WikiFundi! WikiFundi allows a community to get together without necessarily having access to the internet. […] We think this is a great way to expand our ability to bring the sum of all knowledge to all people. But really the exciting part for us as Wikimedians is that it is not just about creating knowledge or reading knowledge, but about sharing in knowledge. WikiFundi offers the opportunity for people to share.”
WikiFundi will initially rollout in 16 countries across Africa via two programmes. The first is through the Digital Schools programme of the Orange Foundation where it will be used by a potential 300 schools and universities across Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinée, Tunisia, Madagascar, Niger, Sénégal, and Mali. The Digital Schools project will use WikiFundi within their daily programmes, and as the basis for entering the upcoming WikiChallenge African Schools from the Orange Foundation.
The second programme is via the Wiki In Africa project, Wikipack Africa. As part of the Wikipack, WikiFund will be used by Wikimedia usergroups and organisations in Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Many of the applicants for the Wikipack Africa will be using the platform for teaching at schools, but some of them will be using it to extend their Wikimedia outreach work to rural areas, and to use as a backup during training when vital electricity and connectivity fails in their countries.
In Nigeria, Victoria Ibiwoye from One African Child Foundation for Creative Learning will use WikiFundi to teach the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) curriculum. As she explains, “Our programs involve working with children in rural or slum income communities to empower them with 21st century skills necessary for them to transition into competent global citizens and local actors. WikiFundi and the Wikipack Africa is an innovative tool that makes our work in public community schools easier, educative and entertaining as the learners will now have access to learning online and exploring other experiential modes of learning”.
In South Africa, Michael Graaf is going to use WikiFundi to “Overcome the inhibition that people have about editing, especially in African languages”.
In Ghana, the West Africa Open Foundation co-founder Felix Nartey expects that WikiFundi will “increase the reach of Wikipedia to areas that have never heard of the platform and to break the barrier of accessibility through the internet. [We are also] looking at growing some new editors who could contribute offline to Wikipedia.”
WikiFundi is accessible via the Wikipack Africa closed network, on the devices of the Orange Foundation’s Digital Schools project, and can also be downloaded for free by those who are tech savvy via the WikiFundi website.
WikiFundi was conceptualised by Wiki In Africa’s Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood as an effective answer to the challenges that were being experienced by Wikipedians across Africa in their work on Wiki Loves Africa (www.wikilovesafrica.net), Wiki Loves Women (www.wikiloveswomen.org) and Kumusha Takes Wiki. The platform is designed to support the WikiAfrica movement and Wikimedia volunteers across Africa. The project is being done in collaboration with Wikimedia CH and has been is supported by the Orange Foundation. The Wikipack Africa and the WikiFundi platform and its documentation is licenced under CC-BY-SA 4.0.
Wikimedia Foundation’s ED, Katherine Maher, endorses WikiFundi.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wikiafrica
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/wikiafrica
Media release by Wiki In Africa
For media queries contact:
English: Isla Haddow-Flood
Cell: +27 76 077 3135
Email: isla @ wikiloveswomen.org
French: Florence Devouard
Cell: +33 645 60 62 77
Email: fdevouard @ anthere.org
NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:
WikiAfrica is an international movement that takes place on the African continent and beyond. It encourages individuals, interested groups and organisations to create, expand and enhance online content about Africa. This involves motivating for the representation of the continent’s contemporary realities and history, its peoples and its innovations on the world’s most used encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. WikiAfrica is not owned by one organisation and it belongs to all people and organisations contributing to its scope.
In its various guises and hosted at several institutions (including Lettera27, Africa Centre, Ynternet.org, Short Story Day Africa and Wikimedia CH), the WikiAfrica movement has consistently instigated and led multi-faceted innovative projects. These 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.
Over 2016/17 it is working on Wiki Loves Women (in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut), WikiPack Africa, WikiFundi and the WikiChallenge African Schools (funded by the Orange Foundation), Wikipedia Primary (funded by SUPSI) and Wiki Loves Africa.
About Orange Foundation
The Orange Foundation’s mission is to create links between individuals, and in particular to make communication easier for those who are excluded for several reasons; health, handicap or because of their economical situation. By fighting against sensory isolation, by promoting a better autonomy in the everyday life and in the professional life and by encouraging social and cultural development, the Orange Foundation is mobilised to make the world more accessible.
About Wikimedia CH
Wikimedia CH is the Swiss Chapter of the global Wikimedia movement, and officially recognized as such by the Wikimedia Foundation. We aim to support and promote Wikimedia projects, such as the free online Encyclopedia Wikipedia and the multimedia database Wikimedia Commons. . If you want to know more about our goals and current activities, have a look at our project page.
Wikimedia CH is a Swiss non-profit association whose funding relies on your donations. We are officially accredited by Swiss tax authorities.
About Wiki In Africa
Wiki In Africa is a non-profit organisation that is based in South Africa. It is the financial and legal structure that operates global initiatives in support of the WikiAfrica movement. The organisation is currently lead by Iolanda Pensa, Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood.