WikiFundi Launched to increase the reach of Wikipedia to areas that have never heard of the platform and to break the barrier of accessibility through the internet.
The Wiki In Africa team is proud to announce the launch of WikiFundi at the recent Wiki Indaba 2017 held in Ghana. WikiFundi 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 user groups 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 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, Wiki Loves Women 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 supported by the Orange Foundation. Wikipack Africa and the platform and its documentation are licenced under CC-BY-SA.
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 supported by the Orange Foundation. Wikipack Africa and the platform and its documentation are licenced under CC-BY-SA.
WikiFundi is endorsed by Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, Katherine Maher in Accra, Ghana in January 2017.
Photo Credit: Owula kpakpo