Grants:Conference/WM TN/Wikiindaba2018/Report

Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY 2017-18 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Background information




WikiIndaba Conference is the regional conference for Africans both within and in the diaspora. The first edition was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2014 by Wikimedia ZA which happens to be the only Wikimedia Chapter in Africa, the second one was held in Accra in 2017 by Open Foundation West Africa. This brought together Wikimedians and people from the Open Community within Africa and in the Diaspora.

Wiki Indaba was a 3 day conference held in Tunis, Tunisia. The conference had the luxury of being held in one venue for the conference and accommodation. It was a gathering of African and Pan African Wikimedians who are interested in developing the African Community and Promoting the Wikimedia Movement in Africa.

The Purpose of the Conference


The purpose and the vision of WikiIndaba is to provide an opportunity to wikimedians and other participants from different African countries to interact and to share their experiences and their activities, discuss organisational problems and solutions in order to enrich the quality and quantity of content of African projects.

The focus of the Conference were:

Increasing Participation/Community Engagement

  1. Increase the visibility of continental projects and other thematic Wikimedia projects.
  2. Active editors who are or may not be members of their country's community may after the conference.
  3. Encourage or spark the interest of countries that do not have existing communities or affiliation status.

Increasing Quality of Volunteers

  1. Participants will build capacity to increase the quality of Wikimedia Projects in their respective countries.
  2. Onboarding and educating community leaders whose skills will be enhanced to do a better outreach.



The conference hosted 75 participants in all, among them, 66 from different User Groups, WMF and from the Open Community. Also,There were 9 members of WikiIndaba conference 2018/Team present from the Tunisian user group.

Out of these, 37 had full scholarships, 6 received mini scholarships (covering transportation inside Tunisia and accommodation). There were 2 volunteers drawn from the community to help in the Conference who also received mini scholarships. Three participants from Ghana/Nigeria/ Uganda could not attend due to Visa and family issues. In all, participants came from over 25 countries across three continents (17 from Africa).



Did you meet your goals?

WikiIndaba aims to empower Wikimedians in order to enrich the quality and quantity of content of African projects and share awareness about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement in general. Through the creation of a regional network, local communities and groups that may later evolve as user groups or chapters.

Our specific goals for the conference are to: The primary goals of the event are to:

Promote knowledge transfer between affiliates in Africa about organizational development. Provide public outreach to the general public in Africa. Provide opportunities for training for African user groups about grants and program management. Support meetups for thematic work in the health care, cultural, and educational/academic sector. The secondary goals of the event are:

Create long-term networking and partnering opportunities with organizations from the cultural and educational sector (e.g. GLAM, universities, etc.) in the African region in order to build on the existing momentum and to achieve sustainability beyond the conference. Provide opportunities for face-to-face rapport-building connections between existing Wikimedia volunteers and community members to strengthening personal relationships between the participants and to improve the community health of the wikimedia movement.

The secondary goals of the event are:

  1. Create long-term networking and partnering opportunities with organizations from the cultural and educational sector (e.g. GLAM, universities, etc.) in the African region in order to build on the existing momentum and to achieve sustainability beyond the conference.
  2. Provide opportunities for face-to-face rapport-building connections between existing Wikimedia volunteers and community members to strengthening personal relationships between the participants and to improve the community health of the wikimedia movement.
Tracks Why is this a priority? What kind of session or activities will you do to help meet this goal? What kind of participants need to be included in these activities to make them successful? What do you want to accomplish

by the end of the conference?

What do you want to happen 6 months after the conference as a result of this work?
Surge Growth Within Africa Foster cohesion, identify collaborative projects to scale up efforts across the continent, forge the way forward for Africa User Groups Presentation, Remote project presentations, Ideas of collaborative projects, discussing the future of Indaba and expected results of having the conference. User Group Reps, Reps from emerging or new communities and Individuals leading projects that could scale up. To share experiences about past and new projects, Increase the visibility of continental projects and other thematic Wikimedia projects. To see more successful projects organized by existing communities, usergroups of chapters. At least one new usergroup coming to fruition as a result of this conference. Increased participation of Africa in thematic projects eg WLA, WLE, WLM, WLW, etc. Set up a committee or team that will lead future organization of Indaba.
Capacity / Skills Building To develop project leaders, grow individuals in areas they have little or no expertise, share or discuss projects that could work in Africa, equip leaders with new skills for projects. Training on contributing on other Wikimedia and outreach projects of interest, eg: Wiki Source, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, GLAM, etc. Training on use of metric tools. Training on basic copyright issues on commons, Training on the new grants program and how to put together a good grant. All active Wikipedians and Wikimedians. Increasing the ability of participants to do more and opening them up to other opportunities or projects that could work in their respective countries. More contribution on sister projects. See reduced incidents of copyright violations. Increased usage of Wikimedia metric tools for project reporting. At least 2-3 new GLAM and education projects started in Africa. More volunteers from Africa on Wikimedia volunteer committees and Increased participation or representation in WMF related conferences.
Connecting Africans Within And In The Diaspora Foster collaborations globally, run remote events that will increase content about Africa and the participation of Africans across the continent and in the diaspora. Presentations on what is happening in the diaspora, discuss possible projects to be collectively worked on and (or) upcoming global events that could be tapped in by all Africans. Active Wikipedians or Wikimedians in the Diaspora, People living outside Africa but working on African focused projects. To link Wikimedians in Africa to the Diaspora and to connect with opportunities of global collaboration or even keep up the motivation of participants from the diaspora. At least one collaborative thematic project between Africa and the Diaspora community. Increased participation in remote events from Africa eg: Arts+Feminism, etc.



Please share a brief update about the status projects, important discussions, or outcomes from the capacity building that took place at the event.

“”Wiki Indaba Steering Committee”” Creating a steering committee that will be responsible for supporting the organization of future Indaba(s), providing a unified voice for all organisations and will provide non-financial resources to all who associate with Wiki Indaba [1]

  • MedinaPedia and its expansion in other African countries (Egypt, Morocco, Cameroun)


  • Member of Tunisian and African Parliament, Mrs Jamila Ksiksi, paid a visit to the second conference day to meet with the developers community representatives (Felix Nartey and Derick Alangi) and discussed the needs of the Tunisian Wikimedian Community with the organising team and the ways of encouragement of the Indaba community across Africa with Katherine Maher and Mr Jack Rabah.

Development of the Community

  • Approved & Planning User Groups

1. Recognition Wikimedia Community User Group Tanzania [2]

2. Recognition of Igbo Wikimedians UG [3]

3.Planning to start a new UG in Libya:

4. Planning to start a new Language UG Wikimedians of Tamazight User Group

  • There has been some increase in the contributions on Wikidata from Africa following the Wikidata workshop

“Testimony about Wikidata” hemli

  • African Developers community (Derick Alangi)
  • As it’s the year of Africa XX WikiIndaba participants were awarded scholarships to Wikimania Cape Town 2018.
  • Number of accepted submissions from Wiki Indaba attendees to Wikimania Cape Town.



All though the Conference went well, we believe it could have been excellent if some issues were solved. We believe these lessons learned will help subsequent conferences to be excellent.

  • The time we had from the approval of funds to organizing this conference was really close and affected us in so many ways, such as the time of receiving funds, renegotiating deals because vendors weren't sure we would show up, prices of ticket shot up because bookings were closed, caused inconvenient flight bookings because of availability times of airlines, last minute change because vendors had given up on us due to no commitments, etc.
  • What can be done: Final decisions about grants approval must be sent at least 6 months before the conference date.

Transfer of funds

  • The transfer of funds quite delayed because of the approval time, this affected the organization team in effecting some payments pre and post conference.
  • What can be done: The process of sending funds at certain times only from the WMF should be looked at and make available a process for emergencies.

Breaking up funds

  • Funds were sent in tranches which made payments awkward since the funds available at any particular time had to be used for part payments. This method is mostly useful to check progress of a project and to be sure an organisation is able to manage such funds, however it didn’t work really well for us for the following reasons:
  • We had to invest a lot of time and money in travelling to and from vendor's places of work to reassure them of payments.
  • What can be done: In the midst of all these we had some good things to hold on to, because we had researched into a lot of places over a period of about a year before the conference, we had built relationships with these vendors over time as they saw us almost every time and were a bit relaxed whenever we gave them the assurance. So building a relationship with your prospective vendor is key to the success of your conference because you become friends outside your work and they are willing to do more than they will do for ordinary clients. We were also able to soak in pressure from vendors who gave up on us in the last minutes of organising because we had plan alternatives should a vendor fail.

Inconsequential costs.

  • These were due to the fact that the funding was approved late. This affected flight booking and other stuff and invariably we had to pay for people having to arrive earlier for the conference or having to stay later than the proposed departure because of difficulty in securing flight schedules close to the event date.
  • What can be done: Grant must be sent far ahead of time so that organizers can do effective advance planning to save them from incurring such costs.

Enough time for sessions

  • The Conference was very packed and speakers or trainers had to rush through their sessions and presentations in order to give a chance for other sessions. The reason behind this was that the program had many activities and speakers that did not adapt to the timeline we had.
  • What can be done: This can be checked by reducing the program content or making room for days to ensure a fine pace to achieve each program goals.

Limited time outside programs and venues

  • There were limited or no time outside events and activities for socialization because the timetable was jam packed but mainly because we only had a half day on the last day.
  • What can be done: Could be corrected if days are made 3 full days or content of the program reduced to ensure no over packed activities.

Financial documentation


This section describes the grant's use of funds

Budget table

Please list all project expenses in a table here, with descriptions. Review the instructions here. These expenses should be listed in the same format as the budget table in your approved submission so that anyone reading this report may be able to easily compare budgeted vs. actual expenses.

Please refer to the following sheet for the project expenses

Summary of funding

Total project budget (from your approved grant submission): TND150227.6836

Total amount spent on this project (this total should be the total calculated from the table above):


Total amount of WMF grant funds spent on this project:


Are there additional sources of revenue that funded any part of this project? List them here.

TND3000 (spent on scholarships not covered by the grant)
Remaining funds
The funds remaining from this grant in the amount of 2539.12 TND (~US$939.04 as of 1 February 2021) were deducted from another grant payment for Grants:Project/Rapid/WM_TN/Wikipedia_20.

Are there any grant funds remaining?

Answer YES or NO.

Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here. (This is the amount you did not use, or the amount you still have after completing your grant.)

Remaining from the grant :TND2539.12
Remaining from previous grants  :TND639
Total Remaining in TND  :TND3178.12
Total Remaining in USD :USD1329.75

The grantee has requested that remaining funds be reallocated to an existing grant for XXXXXXXXX. The request for reallocation has been approved, but final numbers need to be checked before the reallocation is finalized.

Anything else


Is there anything else you want to share about the conference or event?

Participant response - Forster partnerships with local institutions and authorities as they can plan a crucial role either as a leverage or on the contrary, a strong obstacle to Wikimedians. - Improve local content quality by content focused activities - Continue and increase outreach activities - Invest in regional projects and ensure cross collaboration of local Wikimedian communities instead of siloed activities i.e Wiki Loves Africa is a great and impactful regional contest but countries generally compete in siloed or compartmentalized contexts. Development of the African community is going to take a while but as long as we keep sensitizing, making people understand why the Wikimedia projects and creating a lot of partnerships with grounded organizations in African communities and hosting a lot of events, things will start falling in place once people fully understand why Wikipedia and other sister projects. -developing open knowledge culture and make use of the heritage we have. Initiatives that belong to the previously mentioned projects should take place to facilitate the way it will be delivered to people and make its spread way easier

Media coverage

The Conference was covered in the underlisted websites and blogs below.

Additional information on conference activities and social events


Conference program summary

Day 1

The first day kicked started with registration of participants, an official welcoming by the Wikimedia TN User Group and the WMF ED, Katherine Maher. The session was followed by an icebreaker to familiarize the Wikimedians.

The day was divided into two plenary sessions then lightning talks and separate workshops.

Day 2

The second day continued ice-breakers, different workshops, lightning talks, and summary sessions. Social Media, GLAM and Research findings were among the top sessions.

Day 3

The last day of the conference began with a debrief about the previous two days. This was followed by a brainstorming session on the Future of Indaba [6]. This was followed by a presentation about the Strategic Directions 2030, presented by Katherine Maher and Nicole Ebber. The last session was divided into working groups about the of Wikimania Cape Town. The announcement of the next hosting country Nigeria [7], and the creation of Wiki Indaba Steering Committee.

The Conference was officially closed with remarks from the Organizing Team (Tunisian User Group and African Wikimedian Volunteers.

Social Events

Visit of the Medina of Tunis (photowalk)- 15 March, 2018


The Medina visit curated by WTNUG partner ‘’’Carthagina’’’ took place upon the arrival of Wiki Indaba attendees on Thursday March, 15.

The Medina of Tunis is the Medina quarter of Tunis, capital of Tunisia. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. The Medina contains some 700 monuments, including palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasas and fountains dating from the Almohad and the Hafsid periods. It will be interesting to explore it to know more about the Cultural, Historical and Architectural Heritage of Tunisia.

Wiki Night Out - Saturday 17 March, 2018


The touristic historical village of Sidi Bousaid. Drinks with view on the port of Sidi Bousaid in Sidi Chebaane Coffee Shop aka Café des Délices were offered.

Shaping Wikimania Cape Town - Sunday 19 March, 2018


A trip to Cape Angela, the Northernmost point of Africa, took place on the last day of the conference. That trip was a tribute to the African Community and an aspiration to Wikimania Cape Town 2018.


Pictures and presentations from the conference can be found found here Indaba in Pictures