East Africa Strategy Summit 2019/Outcomes

Date and Location

  • Date: 07 - 08 September 2019
  • Location: Protea Hotel Kampala, Uganda

Participant List

No First Name Last Name Country Affiliation
1 Abel Lifaefi Mbula Kinshasa, DRC Usergroup
2 Yves Sefu Madika Kinshasa, DRC Usergroup
3 Fidel Liesse Otolau Kinshasa, DRC Usergroup
4 Marie-Louise Aembe Nzale Kinshasa, DRC Usergroup
5 Faith Mwanyolo Nairobi, Kenya Wikimedian Leader
6 Mary Anna Sadimba Nairobi, Kenya Wikimedian - New volunteer
7 Teri Wanderi Nairobi, Kenya Wikimedian - New volunteer
8 June Akhwale Nairobi, Kenya Wikimedian- New
9 Winnie Kabintie Nairobi, Kenya New
10 Carole Theuri Nairobi, Kenya CC Committee lead
11 Antoni Mtavangu Dar es saalam, Tanzania Usergroup
12 Elizabeth Joseph Kaduma Dar es saalam, Tanzania Usergroup
13 Pellagia Njau Dar es saalam, Tanzania Usergroup
14 Fortunate S. Kayuni Dar es saalam, Tanzania CC Leader
15 Emmanuel Malongo Dar es saalam, Tanzania CC Global Council
16 Clement Makangabila Masele Dar es saalam, Tanzania Usergroup
17 Ebenezer Mlay Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Usergroup
18 Aristarik H. Maro Dar es saalam, Tanzania CC Chapter Lead
19 Brenda Geofrey Dar es saalam, Tanzania Wikimedian - New
20 Gilbert Ndihokubwayo Bujumbura, Burundi Wikimedian (volunteer)
21 Ghislain Favina Bujumbura, Burundi OSM Leader
22 Ella Mahoro Bujumbura, Burundi OSM Leader
23 Derrick Ndahiro Kigali, Rwanda Wikimedian - Newer
24 Boris Bahire Kabeja Kigali, Rwanda CC Leader
25 Jane Umutoni Kingali, Rwanda Wikimedian - Newer
26 Juliette Karitaniyi Kigali, Rwanda Wikimedian - Newer
27 Jeannette Rebecca Nyinawumuntu Kigali, Rwanda OSM Leader
28 Grace Nyakanini Kigali, Rwanda Women empowerment; ICT4D
29 Iddy John Dar es saalam, Tanzania Usergroup
30 Nebiyu Sultan Addis, Ethopia CC Leader
31 Felix Nartey Accra, Ghana Special invite - WG member
32 Bwanika Veronica Kampala, Uganda Translation/Usergroup
33 Steven Bukulu Mbarara, Uganda Usergroup
34 Ivan Matthias Mulumba Kampala, Uganda Usergroup
35 Erina Mukuta Kampala, Uganda Usergroup - WG member
36 Alice Kibombo Kampala, Uganda Usergroup
37 Geoffrey Kateregga Kampala, Uganda Usergroup
38 Sandra Aceng Kampala, Uganda Usergroup
39 Kwagala Primah Kampala, Uganda CC Chapter Lead
40 Brian Ssennoga Kampala, Uganda CC Global Council
41 Ivan Ssenkungu Kampala, Uganda Usergroup
42 Doreen Mwesigye Kampala, Uganda Facilitator/WMF
43 Esther Owido Nairobi, Kenya Facilitator/WMF
44 Douglas Ssebaggala Kampala, Uganda WMF
45 Kelsi Stine-Rowe United States WMF

Program Agenda


Event Summary


Friday, September 6, 2019


The Friday evening activities offered an important opportunity for early-arriving participants to meet one another in an informal setting for icebreakers and personal introductions. Participants shared their name, volunteer organization affiliation, favorite media program, and hopes for the event.

The evening program wrapped up with a Q&A session led by WMF staff member Kelsi Stine-Rowe, who gave a brief introduction to the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia movement. Participant questions focused on capacity building, movement communication opportunities, affiliate structures, audio/visual content translation, interfacing with Creative Commons, and Wikimedia 2030. This session also included a brief presentation about the new Wikimedia Space platform. Afterward, participants enjoyed dinner at the hotel buffet and prepared for the following day’s program.

Saturday, September 7, 2019


Saturday morning began with late arrival participants introduce themselves to the group, and participants sharing their hopes and expectations from the event. Common themes included bringing together the East African region, spreading awareness of Wikimedia and free knowledge in East Africa, learning about Wikimedia and Creative Commons projects, and community growth. Participants came eager to participate and build new relationships over the course of the weekend.

After an icebreaker where participants were randomly split into groups (with the exception of French speakers) who sat and discussed what the concept of “free knowledge” meant to them. Each group shared their conclusions, which focused on understanding “free” in terms of cost, access, neutrality, and creation.

The group then came back together for an all-conference session led by Kelsi Stine-Rowe about the Wikimedia movement and the Wikimedia 2030 movement strategy process. Staff and volunteer leaders from around the room, including working group member and former Wikimedian of the Year Felix Nartey, WMF staff member Douglas Ssebaggala, Tanzanian volunteer leaders Antoni Mtavangu and Iddy John, and Uganda volunteer leader Geoffrey Kateregga.

Following this, participants undertook a “See, Hear, Feel” activity where they were asked to envision what this vision of free knowledge would tangibly look like in their country in the year 2030.

The final activity for the day brought participants into small groups of each country, who then worked on identifying what changes would be needed in their country to achieve this vision. As a wrap up, Douglas Ssebaggala presented more information about the Wikimedia 2030 movement strategy timeline and thematic areas. Participants reflected to one another that they felt both happy and exhausted to have done so much shared thinking and to have had the opportunity to connect with one another across countries and toward a shared purpose. Dinner took place at Khana Khazana, a local restaurant for Indian food, where participants were joined by representatives from local partner organizations.

Sunday, September 8, 2019


On the last day of the summit, participants took a deep dive into the various thematic areas of the 2019 strategy process. The morning began with a “RadioWiki” energizer led by Iddy John and volunteer event photographer Steve Bukulu before transitioning into a review of the themes by Douglas Ssebaggala. Then it was time for an activity to build “strategy canoes”, what should our priorities be as East African Wikimedians under each thematic area? Where do we need to focus and grow, and what should be deprioritized?

Over the course of the afternoon, participants then focused on a few high-priority thematic areas and rotated between four hosted tables for a “World Cafe” to learn more about the current state of movement strategy recommendations under Partnerships/Advocacy (Douglas Ssebaggala), Roles & Responsibilities/Diversity (Erina Mukuta, working group member), Resource Allocation/Revenue Streams (Felix Nartey), and Capacity Building (Kelsi Stine-Rowe). At each table, facilitators led discussions around likes, dislikes, gaps, fit with the strategic direction, and impact on the East African community.

At the end of the day, reflections were shared back with the group and participants returned to in-country groups, where they developed commitments for after the summit and reflections to share with the group. Participants were tired, but in high spirits and eager to carry forth their visions for free knowledge in the region. A dinner with local partners took place at nearby BBQ restaurant The Lawns.

Key Activity Summary


Strategy Canoe Activity

Theme Strategy Canoe Idea (s)
  • Desire for representation in terms of different languages, heritage, performative arts, audio and knowledge within Africa
  • Exchange programs, conference calls between communities to improve diversity
Roles and Responsibilities
  • Local and regional representation, defined structure of governance consideration on global committees/levels, and WMF
  • Election of leaders, assigning roles based on strengths
Community Health
  • Inclusion, diversity: consideration of minority groups.e.g. Persons With Disabilities
  • Participatory decision making, transparency and having an insured health environment to speak
  • Having a structure and rewards system for volunteers for mentorship of newcomers and guiding them on the right path
  • Collaboration between communities should be instituted and increase e.g. schools, cultural institutions
Product and Technology
  • Algorithms/AI, improvement with software to ease accessibility
  • Creating tech for newbies, people with special needs, easy to use software, Mobile and offline editing
Resource Allocation
  • Allocating resources for awareness about the resources that exist, capacity building, access. People don’t know what’s out there and how to access them, advocate for open government data set initiatives
  • Allocate resources for global priorities (such as an oral citation project for Africa)
  • Transparency and trust: Financing of local groups who should be encouraged to have a well laid out plan of the activities the resources are intended for so there is no conflict arising when it comes to priorities/activities
Capacity Building
  • General STRONG desire for monitoring, recognition, capacity building support, recruitment & training of trainers, self assessment
  • Partnerships with Academia, media, government, and information institutions/organisations/diplomatic missions (GLAM)
Revenue Streams
  • Allow User Groups to do their own fundraising
  • If WMF supports free knowledge platforms, but it prefers to partner with internet service providers to get Wikimedia for free (Wikimedia Zero).
    • Increase these partnerships and revenue, through ads.
  • Global media exposure
  • Funding to support national advocacy, public trust, WMF legal support, formulating and implementing laws

World Cafe: Community Recommendations


Sessions to gather more in-depth participant feedback in the highest interest thematic areas by a walkthrough of the existing recommendations and then gathering participant input by Theme

WG Recommendations Community Feedback
Partnerships #1 - Link A Framework that Supports Partnerships
  • The recommendation aligns with the Strategic Direction, but there needs to be coordinated and clear memorandum of understanding between partnering organisations.
  • Can lead to positive results of community health to implement projects better, and can help different free knowledge players join the effort for free knowledge.
#5 - Link Define priorities for partnerships to cover key aspects of building the free knowledge ecosystem
  • More focused on large institutions as opposed to smaller ones, and does not define a legal framework, long or short term partnerships.
  • The recommendation gives direction on who to approach, and why
#6 - Link A single point of entry for partners to engage with Wikimedia
  • Locks out opportunities for localisation, decentralisation, and implementation of policies.
  • Simplifies on boarding of strategic partners, and eliminates repetitive administration work for local groups so they can focus more on implementation
Advocacy #2 - Link Community actively seeks and provides a good environment and tailored pathways that attracts more people (professionals and volunteers) from a variety and diversity of languages and cultural backgrounds to engage in advocacy for Wikimedia on a local or global level.
  • The recommendation doesn’t go beyond culture and language. It should emphasise free knowledge and not Wikimedia.
  • It’s community driven, and recognises the integration of diverse people, can be easily prioritised by affiliates.
Revenue Streams General Input
  • Independent funding and less reliance on WMF Funds to have more relationships, partnerships, skill building, local ownership of brands .
  • Misplaced priority for Africa, as many African communities are focused on community development and sustainability.
Resource Allocation #E - Link Build Thematic hubs – to provide services to the free knowledge movement long term
  • Lots of people felt that WMF is disembodied, or sets an agenda that ignores local context (thematic hubs would increase active participation and allow people to set local agendas)
  • A clearly defined agenda with support will help faster development of emerging communities, and ownership of implementation.
  • There might not be good metrics to evaluate impact, and management where hubs exist
#H - Link Allocate resources to new types of partners/organisations (essential infrastructure of the free knowledge ecosystem)
  • There are limited resources and programs within the movement. Other people can make use of these limits to do better than the movement.
  • There will be an expansion for the pool of people, resources, skills and capacity building from the synergies created out of this recommendation.
    • General concerns about how the design of  implementation will be, without any pitfalls.
Capacity Building #1 - Link

#2 - Link

#6 - Link

Building Capacity for Capacity Building

Matching human assets and online knowledge resources with capacity building needs

Mentoring and leadership development

  • Need for a well developed curriculum for the training of trainers.
  • Supportive, especially when mentorship is grounded in exchange visits, feedback and  in-person awareness.
  • Generally supportive of these three recommendations
#7 - Link Online Training
  • Supportive especially for communities interested in starting User Groups, and having training resources in local languages, translation, subtitles. It’s also assumed to be cost and time effective.
  • Suggestion to combine online training with in-person coaching, mentoring and certification to avoid cultural, technology, and other accessibility limits like hardware, bandwidth, disability limitations.
#9 - Link Recognizing and Supporting Individuals
  • General interest in recognition and rewards system to involve hardware, data, endorsements, besides cash. And should be individually determined not Country based.
#10 - Link Independently governed Capacity Building ‘Unit’
  • We need a centralized body that prioritizes different capacity building needs and figures out how to build the structures.
  • Less emphasis given on the need for independence from the Foundation
Other general comments and gaps
  • Need to address capacity building needs of people with disabilities.
  • Belief that you need to have a User Group establish before WMF moves in with capacity building efforts so that you have something to build on (it’s difficult for individual users to advance without an existing User Group.
  • Want to get a user group started, but the interested volunteers don’t always meet the editing requirements. Maybe this should change - you will have the volunteer base but just not the edit count.
  • Maybe there are useful ways to leverage partnerships to help with capacity building
  • Broad support for a curriculum, and ranking for people to self-assess and build skills.


  • All these capacity building activities would increase awareness of wikimedia, which is strongly prioritized and desired in East Africa
  • Developing curriculum, certification, membership, etc. could really help drive volunteer numbers in some countries (culturally salient approach in East Africa)
    • People really like seeing their own ranking, progress and doing local challenges
  • Not all tech functions from English Wikipedia work in Swahili Wikipedia, like templates and toolbox. There should therefore be specific capacity building activities to train developers in Swahili, local languages to develop it. (maybe can make standardized tools? Better customizing?)
Diversity #3 - Link

#7 - Link

#8 - Link

Redesigning the platforms for more diversity of people and content experiences

Decentralized administrative structure for resource allocation

Bridging different local contexts and Wikimedia projects' notability and verifiability policies

  • Content diversity metrics and guidelines:
    • Marginalized groups should be specified better in the recommendation
    • Sometimes statistics are not the best indication of what is missing and what gaps there are
  • Digitization and resource prioritization of marginalized groups
    • The oral aspect is important so marginalised groups are not left out
  • Quotas for governing bodies
    • How these quotas should be filled is not quite clear. Even if you do 40/40/20, where should the 40/40/20 come from, regional bodies? and how to define it.
  • Notability and reliable sources
    • Difficult to find sources for some of the information because its not covered online. The policies put in place here would be very beneficial for the African community BUT it should be done by regional hubs because globally, someone say in Russia might not know what is notable in my area (so notability should be defined regionally, Create country specific reviewers of articles, work with education institution and give authentic information amidst what is received.
  • WikiOral
    • Awareness about the project is low. It’s something that can help protect undocumented languages, so generally welcomed idea
    • Some felt that this was a tech solution and not something that needs to have a lot of volunteer time/resources
Community Health #1 - Link A joint set of rules we all agree to live by (a.k.a. Code of Conduct)
  • Code of Conduct would really help bring commitment and professionalism.
  • It would make what someone should/should not do very clear.
  • Good to have ground rules as a point of reference for action.
  • Unclear who the custodian for the CoC should be: Community Consultations should be done around how to do this well and who is accountable.

Country Commitments

Country National level Regional level Timeline


  1. Hosting our upcoming Strategy Salon to talk about Diversity.
  2. Implement the same projects in a different way, Same model as has been done in this Summit
  1. Increased partnership in East African communities to help share knowledge, information, and strategies in a sustained and continuous way.
  2. Based on lessons learnt from the East Africa strategy summit, share ideas with different people in different countries to see each community rise.


  1. Create a Wikimedia community Usergroup
  2. Reflection - before coming we were not connected with one another. Now we are and this is something to build on.
  3. We will talk to the people and different organisations  around us about Wikimedia to help grow our group.
  4. We will actively create awareness for Wikimedia and its projects and thus bring new volunteers on board, and help them understand the benefits of writing articles to schools. We can also go to lectures and clubs for writing articles together.
  5. Acknowledge that each person can contribute in a different way and will be encouraged to contribute according to their strength(s) and  skills - leaders, writers,software engineers, etc.
  1. Propose an annual meeting such as this for interaction, regional development, sharing experiences, and cooperation.
  2. Try and keep abreast of events within the region to contribute meaningfully.


  1. Build more collaboration with other Open Knowledge  communities in the country.
  2. ICT Association of Uganda: make sure open knowledge and our activities become part of their agenda. One member has committed to this specifically.
  3. Make longer term goals as a group: 5-10 year plans, not just annual.
  4. Increase local content about Uganda and by Ugandans on Wikipedia and other projects
    1. See Wikipedia developed in other local languages beyond Swahili, Luganda, KiliRwanda (and also promote these last three)
  5. Trigger a meeting between all open communities in Uganda (open data, CC, linux, etc.) for collaboration
  1. More regular East African meetups (annual or biannual), an online monthly meetup “East African Hour” using Zoom or Skype with rotating hosting, teaching, presenting, so other countries can learn from each other. Last Saturday of every month at a set hour.
  2. Greater East African representation at Wikimania and WikiIndaba
  3. Commitment to support the development of more User Groups in the region
  4. Promote the growth and contribution to local language Wikipedias in the region (Luganda, Kinyarwanda, Swahili) to promote adequate access
  5. Extend a helping hand to emerging communities especially in capacity building


  1. Building a usergroup back home and a community (we met and connected together here for the first time, got to know about other Wikimedians in Ethiopia)
    • Will focus first on other active Wikimedians,  university students, training those interested (GLAM is a potential first focus topic)
  1. Support for East African monthly meeting idea


  1. Share lesson learnt from the summit
  2. Increase capacity building (new regions, schools, other parts of the country that are not in Dar-es-Salaam
  3. Increase new domestic partnerships (institutions, Government  agencies)
  4. brainstorm new projects, be innovative for our own projects to cover missing content in Tanzania (existing projects are just being supported and not owned)
  1. Collaborate with other User Groups and Wikimedians to create a strong East African Usergroup/Community


  1. Create guidelines, templates, and tutorials (make them) so our edits won't’ be taken down so regularly.
  2. Increase awareness (through editathons, talks in schools)
  3. Identify successful contributors through #1-2
    • figure out permanent members, and build a meaningful relationship with them..
  4. Create processes and structures that will eventually lead to application for User Group status.
    • Apply for funding
  1. session was highly necessary. Kenya is weakest as East Africa Wikimedia community. Good to see/learn examples from others in the region.
  2. Yes to a regional conference! Host such a conference, erase the past scandal.


  1. Structuring an official UG by defining responsibilities amongst ourselves  based on strengths (some are bloggers, editors, different strengths).
  2. Open different social media platforms (Facebook page, meta, etc.)
  3. Capacity building: beginning with us to get more knowledge and become trainers of trainers
  4. Initiative new projects that are focused on awareness raising  about wikimedia beyond Wikipedia.
  1. More organization of annual regional summits like this one, but rotating between country hosts. (Hosting you in Kigali 2 years to come)
  2. Organizations of online conference seminars between countries on specific topics
  3. Increased collaboration between member countries so none are left behind (help each other to grow together)
  4. Reflection: special thanks to uganda UG. We gained new knowledge about what wikimedia is/how it works. Have an understanding about the Foundation (Wikimedia vs Wikipedia, no confusion, a lot of knowledge was gained which will be shared with others in Rwanda.
  5. Summit helped us expand our networks and connections in the different countries.

Special Thanks


The Core Team would like to give special thanks to the following individuals:

  • Geoffrey Kateregga, our organizing partner from the Uganda user group, whose tireless efforts on all levels of planning and logistics were essential to the event’s completion and success.
  • Alice Kibombo and Sandra Aceng, both volunteers from the Uganda user group, for leading the vital and often exhausting task of capturing notes and key ideas throughout the event. Your work has helped document the thoughtful discussions and meaningful connections that the event produced.
  • Steve Bukulu, our volunteer event photographer, whose initiative and quick work enabled us to livestream much of the event on Facebook and capture the weekend’s activities in high quality photos that were edited and shared with a quick turnaround. His work was assisted by Tanzanian user group volunteer Iddy John, whose photography skills and organizational assistance helped the event move smoothly.
  • Doreen Mwesigye and Esther Owido, our excellent facilitators, whose thoughtful planning, energizing icebreakers, and skilled flexibility during the event helped carry the event forward gracefully and with a sense of community warmth.
  • Felix Nartey, former Wikimedian of the Year, WMF contractor, and participant on the Resource Allocation working group who travelled all the way from Ghana to guide, support, and inspire participants throughout the event.
  • Erina Mukuta, Ugandan user group member and participant on the Roles & Responsibilities working group, whose content knowledge and community leadership made a meaningful contribution throughout the event.
  • Country Wikimedia volunteer leaders who reached out to their members (Faith Mwanyolo (Kenya), Antoni Mtavangu (Tanzania), Abel Mbula (DRC), Ndahiro Derrick (Rwanda), Nebiyu Sultan (Ethiopia), Abdulahi, (Somalia - despite not making it to the event, thank you for the commitment and willingness to join the Strategy discussions)



Available on Wikimedia Commons.

Discussion on the priorities for Implementation in 2021

  • Some of the regional affiliates had a call on 21 October 2020 to follow up Movement Strategy, exchange ideas and share information for organising local community events to prioritise the recommendations for implementation.