Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Free Knowledge Africa Development Support

Free Knowledge Africa Development Support
start date2022-07-012022-07-01T00:00:00Z
end date2023-06-012023-06-30T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)19608750 NGN
budget (USD)47250 USD
amount recommended (USD)25000
grant typeNonprofit organization with Wikimedia mission
funding regionMEA
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 2
applicant and people related to proposalTimmylegend


organization (if applicable)Access to Knowledge Africa Initiative

Midpoint Learning Report 

Final Learning Report

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Applicant detailsEdit

Wikimedia username(s):


Haylad Bilijin


Access to Knowledge Africa Initiative

G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?


H.1 Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?


M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.


Additional informationEdit

R. Where will this proposal be implemented?


S. Please indicate whether your work will be focused on one country (local), more than one or several countries in your region (regional) or has a cross-regional (global) scope:


S1. If you have answered regional or international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and 5 other Sub Saharan African Countries

T. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)






M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.



1. What is the overall vision of your organization and how does this proposal contribute to this? How does this proposal connect to past work and learning?

Free Knowledge Africa is a group of volunteer Wikimedia editors that seek to promote the use of Wikimedia projects by Africans, and bridge content gaps in the sphere of travel, geography, places, settlements, landmarks, heritage, historical and tourist sites towards sharing and contributing to global knowledge. We are partaking in the contribution to the GLAM by advocacy and documenting items in the Public Domain in Nigeria.

In previous years, we organized events, contests and GLAM advocacy campaigns towards achieving the organizational set goals.

2. What is the change that you are trying to bring about and why is this important?

In previous years, we realized a systemic gap in the contributions made on Wikimedia projects and in the wider open-movements platforms. This systemic gap depicts that Africans don't contribute to the projects when compared to other parts of the world. This has resulted in a colonized and prejudicial view about the contributions or stories of Africa shared on these Open platforms. This gap has also birthed the systemic bias on these platforms, thereby undermining the legitimate contributions made to these platforms. We will expand on this by stating that travel information about Africa is underrepresented on Wikipedia and Wikivoyage as the contributors are mostly not Africanss. This is to point out that articles that exist on Wikivoyage (a travel guide anyone can edit) will be outdated in the coming years. It is imperative we inform Africans about this project and properly educate them on how to contribute to it.

The global sports industry is worth $500 Billion and the economic potential that is maximized in Africa is little or less than $2 Billion USD. We have realized the underrepresentation of information on open-access platforms such as Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sister projects. We plan on creating an awareness campaign by organizing a writing competition called Afrosports, this will happen after an awareness event (Wikimedia Sports Symposium) has taken place. The awareness event will be between FKA and the various sports bodies or associations in Nigeria and other African countries.

We started a project on documenting the items in the public domain in Nigeria, during the course of this project, we realized the poor understanding and representation of GLAM in Nigeria as regards OPEN GLAM and the Open movement at large. We intend to train and engage the institutions, GLAM professionals and relevant stakeholders on the various ways they can adopt open licensing for their collections. In a recent publication by CC on the Case Study of Open Access practices in Nigeria, with a focus on Nigerian Libraries, it was stated that these Institutions (Libraries) have little or No idea about what Open Access is and how it can benefit their organization and the society at large.

There’s currently no defined and widely accepted framework for capacity building and upskilling new Wikimedians and future Wikimedians in Africa. The Wiki Fan Clubs in Nigeria was an attempt at doing this and we got into the Wikimedia movements through the Wiki Fan Clubs. We led the Wikimedia Fan Club, the University of Ilorin with a membership strength of about 200 members for four years (2018 - 2022) and we received multiple grants of about $10,000 and we were able to organize several events: training sessions, meetups, edit-a-thons, and completed several projects successfully. This has made the Wikimedia Fan Club at our Alma-mater one of the most vibrant student-led Wikimedia communities in Africa/World. We intend to help young people in Africa join the Wikimedia movement and build leadership, project management, partnership community engagement skills through an established Leadership and Training Program that will equip them to find their way through the Wikiverse and the wider open movement. This will also help attain the movement strategy recommendation of “Increasing the Sustainability of Our Movement”.

The main changes we will like to see are: Increase in the number and quality of contributions about African content on Wikimedia Commons, Wikivoyage and Wikipedia. Improved knowledge about Open GLAM in Nigeria as it relates to documenting works in the Public Domain and GLAM institutions in Nigeria opening up their collections gradually and beginning to adopt open licensing policies. Young people begin to actively participate in the processes that Africans have not been participating in the Wikimedia movement. More young people starting projects and communities that address different knowledge gaps about African content.

3. Describe your main approaches or strategies to achieve these changes and why you think they will be effective.

In line with our organizational goals, we have four key strategies to achieve these changes:
1. Promote the adoption of Open Access practices in cultural and heritage institutions in Africa, this will encourage the institutions to gradually open up their collections. We will start by raising awareness and create a database of works that have entered into the Public Domain.
2. Promote the use, contribution and increase the reach of Wikimedia projects as it pertains to gaps in African travel, geographic information, sports, cultural and tourist sites through contests. We would promote the contests through the central notice banner on Wiki.
3. Partner with organizations, institutions and bodies involved in African culture, travel and tourism towards showcasing its resources on Wikimedia projects and promoting the use of Wikimedia projects.
4. Provide a space for young people who are/will engage(d) in Wikimedia to collaborate on projects, discuss strategies, and socialize with each other. We will develop a framework for capacity building and upskilling young and new Wikimedians and future Wikimedians in Africa.

4. What are the activities you will be developing and delivering as part of these approaches or strategies?

Explore Africa (Africa Expedition): There is a rising culture of digital nomads, Wikivoyage is a tool that enables the growth of the culture, contents about Africa are unavailable on Wikivoyage thereby depriving the continent of the economic benefits attached to this new Nomadic Culture. We would be organizing a writing and photography competition to reduce the knowledge gap of travel information available on the English Wikivoyage for African destinations and highlighting the tourism potential in the various destinations. This will help position the English Wikivoyage as a reliable travel advisory for travelling in Africa. The following activities will take place:

Virtual Webinar on Wikivoyage: We will be organizing two Webinars on the travel potential on the African continent, where we would invite different travel organizations across the different regions in Africa. We will discuss the economic potential of the travel and tourism sector in Africa and the role Wikivoyage has to play in achieving unexploited resources in the Africa Tourism sector as it is the Travel guide anyone can edit. Explore Africa Contest: We are going to organise a Contest on contributing to Wikivoyage in order to drive up contributions, prior to the contest we will create a structure around training existing wikimedians in the African community and other newly recruited African contributors to the project. We will have an onboarding session for those joining newly, it will include training sessions on What Wikivoyage is and How to contribute to Wikivoyage. We will also improve on the current tutorials we have created by adding motion graphics where it is needed or polishing the videos to look more educational and interesting.

It is important to note here that the Explore Africa Expedition is the successive project to the Explore Nigeria Expedition that was concluded in January 2022. Our approach is from the feedback we got from the participants of the previous project, we are paying attention to what worked for us and we are seeking to improve the capacity of contributors across the African Continent. We achieved all our set goals from the projects and some contributors to the projects have gone ahead to organise edithathons in their local Wikimedia community and hubs in Nigeria.

AfroSports: We plan on creating an awareness campaign by organizing a writing competition on Wikipedia called Afrosports, this will happen after an awareness event has taken place. The awareness event (virtual) will be between our organisation and the various sports bodies or associations in Nigeria and other African countries, examples are the Nigerian Football Federation, Nigerian Basketball federation and other emerging sports federations and organizations.

OpenGLAM advocacy to GLAM Institutions in Nigeria: We intend to train and engage the institutions and relevant stakeholders on the various ways they can adopt open licensing for their collections. We already have established relationships with libraries and librarians in Kwara State, Nigeria. During the course of this project, we would improve the understanding and representation of GLAM in Nigeria as regards OPEN GLAM and the Open movement at large. We would be hosting workshops to train GLAM professionals about open licensing practices and meeting with stakeholders of GLAM institutions on ways they can progressively open up their collections and make them available in a digital format. We intend to support some of these institutions by digitizing some of the collections/works that they have agreed to open up. This will help to remove the financial hindrance needed to see the process to the end. This will ultimately help us to provide access to digital cultural heritage in a free and open format, considering the fact that there are a great number of works locked up in the collections of GLAM institutions. We would also be doing a monthly podcast about open licensing.

Free Knowledge Leadership and Training Program: This will equip free knowledge enthusiasts and beginners with the skills required to become free and open knowledge advocates. It will build a holistic knowledge and skills transfer system that provides clear guidance and direction to aid volunteers who join the community to navigate their way through the movement. The program will be delivered online through weekly live practical sessions with experienced members of the Wikimedia movement with a capstone project at the end of the program, where participants would address a knowledge gap they are interested in working on. The program targets young Nigerians and other Africans who are interested in participating in the program. The organizers would spend time in publicizing and awareness, communications with the participants, training and guiding participants, reaching out to experienced Wikimedians and free knowledge advocates in open GLAM, open data, open education, technology and content drives in various topics.

5. Do you want to apply for multi-year funding?      


5.1 If yes, provide a brief overview of Year 2 and Year 3 of the proposed plan and how this relates to the current proposal and your strategic plan?


6. Please include a timeline (operational calendar) for your proposal.

7. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

Isaac Oloruntimilehin [User:Timmylegend] - (Project and Campaign Lead) - He is an experienced Wikipedian, and the past leader of the Wikimedia Fan Club, University of Ilorin. I have organised various campaigns at the University of Ilorin Wikimedia community such as Nigeria Expedition, Explore Nigeria, 1Lib1Ref, Art+Feminism, Wiki Loves Africa, and Wikipedia pages wanting photos. He was a participant at Wiki Indaba 2019 and Wikimania 2021 conferences. He will be facilitating the creation of landing pages, instructional videos/materials, virtual meetings and selection of speakers/trainers on virtual training workshops for new members.

Alaafiabami Oladipupo [User: Haylad] - (Coordinator/Lead instructor) - He has previously led the Wikimedia Fan Club, University of Ilorin, organized multiple meetups and Wiki loves Africa photo walks/events at the University Club in Ilorin and Ado-Ekiti in 2019 and 2020 respectively. He has previously organised the Afrocine Nigeria Contest and facilitated multiple events and training. He was also the Regional ambassador for the 2021 HACK4OPENGLAM that took place during the 2021 CC summit. He will be in charge of training, recruiting and onboarding new members during the projects.

Bolaji Alabi [User:Bilijin] - (Project Manager) - She is an experienced mobile developer and Wikimedian with a knack for prudence, she had been contributing to the Wikimedia project since 2018 and just handed over her leadership of the Wikimedia Fan Club, University of Ilorin. She is a board member (Vice-Chair) of the Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc/Wikimedia User Group Nigeria. She and her team will be in charge of result collation and disclosure of Winners.

To be decided - (Communications and Publicity)

8. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified CONTENT knowledge gaps (Knowledge Inequity)? Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Content Gender gap, Geography, Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

8.1 In a few sentences, explain how your work is specifically addressing this content gap (or Knowledge inequity) to ensure a greater representation of knowledge.

Our work will cover content about female sports professionals in Africa and from Africa, thus addressing the gender gap on Wikimedia projects and the internet. We would be covering African destinations on Wikivoyage and Wikipedia as well as digital cultural heritage from Africa and building a pipeline of African talent, this will help solve the problem of the gap on African content (geography, cultural, racial)

9. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or THEMATIC focus. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work and explain the rationale for identifying these themes.

Education, Culture, heritage or GLAM , Advocacy

10. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Please note, we had previously asked about inclusion and diversity in terms of CONTENTS, in this question we are asking about the diversity of PARTICIPANTS. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Gender Identity, Geographic , Age

11. What are your strategies for engaging participants, particularly those that currently are non-Wikimedia?

In the past, we have successfully onboarded newbies into the Wikimedia projects and they have become active contributors to Wikimedia projects. This was as a result of their high interest in contributing and becoming a part of the movement coupled with the support and continuous engagement we provided to them through different activities after meetups and editathons.

What has kept them going in the movement is the desire and all we have to do is to stir up the desire in them to contribute. This is the same strategy we are adopting as we move forward with our activities. We would also encourage feedback from the participants to see how we can support them specifically. We would also carry out social media engagements about the need to contribute to Open source platforms like Wikipedia and it's sister projects.

The specific investments we are making to reach underrepresented groups is to reach out specifically to these communities and encourage them to apply, while we also allocate a certain quota to the underrepresented communities.

12. In what ways are you actively seeking to contribute towards creating a safer, supportive, more equitable environment for participants and promoting the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy, and/or equivalent local policies and processes?

The UCOC and the Friendly Space Policy will be implemented in each event, meetups, workshops and competitions that we will be organizing. When each participant registers to participate in an event, we will notify them that our events are using these policies and they will have to read the policies and agree on them in order to join the events. In each face-to-face event, we will remind all participants that all of these policies will be observed and failure in following these will result in actions towards the participant.

13. Do you have plans to work with Wikimedia communities, groups, or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


13.1 If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

The project will be announced on the Wikiproject Africa discussion pages, Wikivoyage travellers pub, African Wikimedians telegram group.

We will share with some of the existing Wikimedia mailing lists and also create a mailing list and a page on meta to inform people who sign up to follow the project's progress. The page will also allow us to seek input and feedback from the community along the way. We will also share this project on our social media pages to encourage participation. We are targeting existing editors, new editors and individuals who are willing to share their experiences and not actively edit.

14. Will you be working with other external, non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


14.1 Please describe these partnerships and what motivates the potential partner to be part of the proposal and how they add value to your work.

We would be partnering with stakeholders in the African sports, travel and tourism sector to raise awareness about the campaigns for a wider reach and maximum impact. We will be establishing the relationship in the coming weeks, we will be organizing a roundtable discussion, where we will be discussing How Wikipedia works? with these various Sports bodies in Nigeria. The discussion can also happen virtually depending on the availability of the parties involved.

We will also be engaging and partnering with GLAM and Local Heritage Institutions in Nigeria in a bid for them to adopt open licenses and open up their collections. We have partnered with some GLAM institutions in Kwara state in Nigeria previously, we have established relationships we want to transcend to some other part of Nigeria. Making them choose to release their works under creative commons licenses can be a difficult task to achieve, which shouldn't deter Us from educating them about the GLAM and them acknowledging that some of the items that they have in control are in the Public Domain. We are also looking towards starting the discussion on the digitization of some of these items in the Public Domain.

We only plan to share knowledge based on contributing to the Wikimedia space with the partners, which refers to in-kind support, we do not envisage a need to support them with donations or any form of payment.

15. How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?

In the past, we engaged our participants by connecting them through other ongoing Wikimedia projects, this time around we would create a structure for growth and ensure we continue to engage with participants after the end of the projects through our social media channels and mailing lists. This will be possible by connecting them to existing Wikimedia Usergroups and hubs or create partnerships with individuals that will be interested in leading one. This would help to build a community that continues to work on bridging the gaps on the topics where we would be able to provide continuous support and guidance.

In the case of GLAM institutions and Cultural Heritage organizations, we will ensure we get them to document their contents and open up their collections.

16. What kind of risks do you anticipate and how would you mitigate these. This can include factors such as external/contextual issues that may affect implementation, as well as internal issues, such as governance/leadership changes.

Free Knowledge Africa has a separate bank account. All receipts and invoices for expenses are uploaded to a shared folder on Google Drive. We maintain a high level of financial transparency and all financial statements can be provided on request.

17. In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select a maximum of three options that most apply.

Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement, Invest in Skills and Leadership Development, Identify Topics for Impact

18. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  


Learning, Sharing, and EvaluationEdit

19. What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?

The important lesson we are hoping to learn is the best way to share value to the African continent through the Open knowledge Movement (Wikimedia Movement). The volume of the value will be quantified over time as it relates to the economic influence of the open movement in the continent of Africa. A series of surveys and research will enable us to get this data.

We would also like to learn about the challenges that volunteer editors in Africa encounter while contributing and specific ways the Wikimedia Foundation can support volunteer editors in Africa without having an in-person Trainer.

It will be important to also learn what excites the young people in the continent? What makes them interested in the Open movement and what future do they hope it will bring to the continent.

We have recorded tutorial videos in the past that helped accelerate the onboarding of new participants, but we discovered that was not 100% effective as some new participants didn't feel carried along and lacked an understanding of what wikimedia projects are. We intend to adopt a different approach this time by implementing a mixture of recordings, live sessions, 1 on 1 etc.

20. Based on these learning questions, what is the information or data you need to collect to answer these questions? Please register this information (as metric description) in the following space provided.

Main Metrics Description Target
Participants This will include people who participate in our campaigns, attend our events and webinar, participate in our surveys and outreaches. 1000
Editors Editors who participate in our writing and photography contests (Afro Sports and Explore Africa) 250
Organizers At least 25 people would be involved in organizing activities and events for this project. There are five core team members. 25
' N/A
' N/A

Here are some additional metrics that you can use if they are relevant to your work. Please note that this is just an optional list, mostly of quantitative metrics. They may complement the qualitative metrics you have defined in the previous boxes.

Additional Metrics Description Target
Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities We would ensure that at least 50% of editors in our programs continue to actively contribute after the project ends. 125
Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities We would support some of the organizers to set up their own projects and provide support during execution. 5
Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability We would be establishing strategic long term partnerships with GLAM institutions in Nigeria and travel, tourism, sports organizations. 25
Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors We would carry out a feedback survey for all our activities to measure and evaluate our impact for further improvements in subsequent projects and share learnings with other organizers in the movement. 6
Diversity of participants brought in by grantees N/A N/A
Number of people reached through social media publications The number of people reached through our social media publications related to the work developed within this proposal. 500000
Number of activities developed At least 6 activities would be carried out during the project. 6
Number of volunteer hours N/A N/A

21. Additional core quantitative metrics. These core metrics will not tell the whole story about your work, but they are important for measuring some Movement-wide changes. Please try to include these core metrics if they are relevant to your work. If they are not, please use the space provided to explain why they are not relevant or why you can not capture this data. Your explanation will help us review our core metrics and make sure we are using the best ones for the movement as a whole.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants We would ensure that at least 25% of participants become volunteer editors on Wikimedia projects. 250
Number of editors We would ensure that at least we have 100 newly registered users (editors) 100
Number of organizers N/A
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikimedia Commons Images collected through the Explore Africa and AfroSports contests as well as GLAM collections opened up 1000
Wikivoyage Articles created about African destinations during the Explore Africa contest 1000
Wikipedia Articles created during the Afrosports and articles that are within the scope (cities, villages, geographical areas/regions, churches, monasteries, buildings, schools) of Explore Africa contest. 1000

21.1 If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.


22. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

Outreach dashboard

Mass messages The Hashtag tool X tools (WMF labs) MailChimp Surveymonkey Zoom (pro)

Financial ProposalEdit

23. & 23.1 What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency. If you are thinking about a multi-year fund, please provide the amount for the first year.

19608750 NGN

23.2 What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

47250 USD

23.3 Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it.

23.4 Please include any additional observations or comments you would like to include about your budget.

The budget would help us make headway into uncharted territories and difficult areas in bridging knowledge gaps on African contents.

Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s):

Final MessageEdit

By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.