Grants:Simple/Applications/WikiInAfrica 2020/Mid-term Report

Welcome to the Mid-term Report of Wiki in Africa for the grant application :Grants:Simple/Applications/WikiInAfrica 2020.

Program story edit

Over the first part of 2020 Wiki In Africa’s main focus has been on:

  • the c:Common/Wiki Loves Africa 2020 contest,
  • a Wiki Loves Women celebration of Women’s Day through an image drive on the ISA Tool,
  • multiple applications for additional funding of the projects, and
  • additional support for, and alliances with, Wikimedia groups and external groups examples include:
  • WikiGap Nigeria
  • WPWP,
  • Simon’s Town Museum Decendents of Slavery Event, and
  • a research project focused on Wiki Loves Africa’s mass messaging.

We have also focused on future-proofing Wiki Loves Africa and Wiki Loves Women inlight of the COVID pandemic and re-visiting the projects and their audience focus and targeting.

Challenges up to mid-term 2020 edit

COVID-19, of course, has had a massive impact on the work that has been done, ourselves and our community (as has the WMF event ban), although most programmes have continued as planned, with the exception of Wiki Loves Africa, being extended, the actions adapted and a special #stayathome #usearchives campaign being launched. Mostly, it allowed us the headspace to reconfigure each project and look at options for expansion and growth. More on the changes to Wiki Loves Africa in response to COVID can be found in the detailed Wiki Loves Africa report.

Program Progress edit

Diversity and Content Contribution: Wiki Loves Africa edit

What has been done so far edit

Although tumultuous and unpredictable (in the extreme), the opening part of 2020 has been relatively good for Wiki Loves Africa with stable participation (in spite of COVID), increased participation and involvement from Wikimedia groups with several new teams joining the contest, and a significant increase in quality submissions. There was also improved and engaged onboarding and training process for new teams. Overall, we are happy with how Wiki Loves Africa 2020 was organised and rolled out.

Wiki Loves Africa - the 6th iteration - was held from 15th February until 15th April 2020 under the theme Africa on the Move! (Transport). This year, 23 Wikimedia communities (including Brazil) officially took part in preparing events and creating local noise around the contest. As usual, the media competition accepted entries from across Africa, and from people outside Africa, as long as the images represented African-related material or content.

The contest resulted in 16,982 media files from 1,904 competitors in 53 countries. 75% of those competitors were new to Commons. The images have since been viewed 3,156,246 during June 2020, with 6,893,850 views since they were collectively submitted. Current usage of the images stands at 14.79%.

Four photography and one video prize winners were announced, along with 5 highly commended images. The winning images and featured images were chosen by a panel of nine international professional and Commonist photographers from Botswana, Zimbabwe and Uganda to Netherlands and France.

The full report of the Wiki Loves Africa 2020 contest can be found on this page.


What is expected in 2nd half of 2020 edit

  • Planning possible monthly mini-drives
  • Gifts to winners (August-September)
  • Results of WPWP participation (September)
  • End of project survey to be sent to local organizers (September)
  • ISA campaign for Wiki Loves Africa 2020
  • Seeking funding and partners for the photographer training programme
  • Preparation towards 2021 competition
  • WLA video creation for lead up to 2021 competition

Additional elements edit

  • OpenGLAM take-over:
In August 2019 to do a take over of the OpenGLAM twitter account (under the stewardship of Scann (Creative Commons GLAM Platform) and Alex Stinton, WMF). At the time, it was suggested that Wiki Loves Africa would be the best fit due to the GLAM and culture focus of the twitter account. All tweets can be found here

Gender Equity: Wiki Loves Women edit

For the first half of 2020, the main focus has been on fortifying the progress made and position of Wiki Loves Women within the larger Wikimedia and African communities. We have taken time to cement existing alliances and, looking at our key strengths, are planning for future actions and applying for funding to ensure these happen.

Statistics for the project’s direct involvement from Jan 2016*:



Côte d’Ivoire










South Africa

Jan 2016


March 2018

number of partners 11 8 18 16 4 14 2 5 78
number of events held 30 30 22 15 10 13 2 1 123
number in team 10 5 10 10 3 5 1 2 46
number of team female 5 2 6 4 1 2 1 1 22
number of partipants 250 200 415 325 170 108 20 13 1501
% participants female 43 32 62 79 62 60 42.25
  • These statistics do not include Gender Gap events and drives that have happened after the official project ended (as indicated by the dates above).

Communications development has been slowly developed over the COVID-19 period with more focus being targeted on future project research assessment and development and funding applications. An info sheet is in the midst of being developed to introduce the project to key potential funders and partners alike. The future focus of Wiki Loves Women activity is being based on developing key training materials that are accessible, and are aimed at, developing and appropriately growing the digital skills of future content creators across the African continent.

The newly sharpened focus of Wiki Loves Women moves the project from the current message: Encouraging the contribution of quality information on African women to be published on, and made widely available via, Wikipedia.

Wiki Loves Women bridges two significant gaps on the Wikimedia projects – women and Africa – in terms of supporting the creation of content about these subjects and empowering participation by people from these groups.

Towards a more activist approach: Wiki Loves Women activates, trains and encourages women across Africa to seize their own agency to address the persistent systemic bias that exists about African women online and in the media.

Wiki Loves Women uses a series of layered and complex initiatives to bridge certain aspects of the digital gender divide: participation and content creation. It encourages the contribution of meaningful content to the Wikimedia projects as a tool to transfer skills, build confidence and self-worth, and show the impact they can make. Wiki Loves Women has been operating for five years across Africa, working with over 76 gender-focused organisations in 8 countries.

Part of these future plans involve focussing on the following key elements:

  • Visibility:
    • SheSaid + Inspiring Women (social media, campaign, podcasts, drives, etc.)
  • Training:
    • in-person + via a proposed MOOC; online drives on Wikimedia, eg. #SheSaid Wikiquote campaign in late 2020.
    • Event toolkits
  • Opportunity:
    • Microfunding: events to be held by gender-focused groups across Africa, first of which, WikiGap Nigeria in May 2020
  • Community building
    • Strengthen local groups
  • Mentorship and support: for groups, new and established, across Africa


Tell Us About Her drive run in March 2020 edit

The Tell Us About Her campaign was run as a WikiGap associated drive to celebrate the 2020 International Women’s Day. Held throughout March 2020, the drive focused on images of Africa’s women leaders with a drive on the The ISA Tool. The drive was aimed at improving the visibility of political leaders and activists across Africa on Wikimedia projects. Participants headed to the campaign on the ISA tool to add better descriptions for the photographs that have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, so that they are more useful on Wikipedia and Wikidata. The categories chosen for this campaign were related to politicians, activists and, in particular feminists, from Africa.

1519 contributions from 14 contributors on 1782 images.

Gender Gap Portal Update edit

Anthere spent considerable time and effort reconfiguring and updating the Gender Gap portal on Meta to ensure that up-to-date statistics and information was available and that all projects working within the Gender Gap (and their activities) were listed and featured. Anthere also set up the Telegram group ‘’Wiki GenderGap’’ (join : to ensure that there was cross-communication on Gender Gap issues across language and geographical barriers.  

Wiki Loves Women Advisory Committee edit

In May 2020, the team approached key members within the Wikimedian and African Community requesting that they consider joining as members of an advisory committee to assist in the future decisions for the project. Our primary expectations for this WLW advisory board are for:

  1. input and feedback on strategic directions for WLW
  2. review major grant applications made by WLW to external funders or APG
  3. suggest people or organisations to contact/work with

Current expectations of the committee are:

  1. be part of a quarterly meeting on zoom, where we would discuss how WLW should best proceed to be the most useful to the community and beyond, to identify general directions
  2. provide feedback on how WLW is presented to the public (as in WLW website or 1 pager document or Facebook accounts etc.)
  3. review and provide feedback on wiki pages (such as our APG request in fall 2020, or WLW presentation page)
  4. review and provide feedback on some google docs (such as grant requests), etc.

The invitation was extended to 12 members of the Wikimedia Community. Eight of the people who were approached have agreed to take part. The criteria for this initial selection was to ask those who had led the WLW project in either of its iterations, a secondary target was to leaders of similar or aligned groups within the international Wikimedia Community.

Due to Florence’s illness in July, the initial meeting could not take place. The inaugural meeting has now been postponed until the early part of September.

Support to WikiGap Nigeria edit

In May 2020, the Wiki Loves Women team supported the WikiGap Nigeria Online Challenge that was spearheaded by Wikimedia Nigeria UserGroup and took place between 27 April – 27 May 2020. This Nigerian public writing competition was aimed at creating and improving articles that will strengthen Wikipedia coverage of Nigerian women. The Challenge was organized as part of the global WikiGap campaign by Wikimedia Nigeria in collaboration with African Women in the Media ( AWIM) and the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria, Wiki Loves Women from Wiki in Africa, and Women in Red.

The WLW team acted as advisors on creating the drive and was one of the presenters during the training webinar. Wiki Loves Women also donated 10 branded powerpacks to act as gifts to the winners of the challenge.

What is expected in 2nd half of 2020 edit

  • Inaugural Wiki Loves Women Advisory Board meeting
  • #SheSaid drive on WikiQuote

We have been thinking of further supporting the community interested in GenderGap issues in creating a specialized Mooc that would be hosted on the future Wikimedia France Mooc Platform. Some brainstorming already took place and a few funding applications have been submitted in that regard.

Education edit

WikiChallenge African Schools / Open Knowledge Curriculum

Not a lot has happened with regards to these two programmes, not just because there is n budget for them in the APG grant. WikiChallenge African Schools (run in partnership and with the support of Orange Foundation) was expected to continue in 2020. Half of it took place... however, is now suspended and delayed to 2021 due to the disruptions to schools in response to COVID.
Movement forward on OKC is dependent on funding, and funding has yet to be secured for the research and development phase of this project.

Other projects

3 Funding applications were made during the year. 1 has been rejected, 1 is still pending.

The third was a special case. We approached Wikimedia CH to fund a pilot extension of the WikiChallenge to Bénin, to be run in partnership with Wikimedia of Benin UG. Wikimedia CH agreed.

To give a bit of context to this Benin pilot: The WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique has been run with the Orange Foundation for three years now. But its operations are limited to the schools in the Digital Schools Program of Orange. We’d like the writing contest to expand and include any schools in any country. With Wikimedians from Benin, we decided to run a pilot in 4 Benin schools and Wikimedia CH accepted to support this effort. Project was launched but was suspended due to Covid-19. This program being essentially an Offline program and requiring school visits, it can not be replaced with online activities. We’ll resume the program when situation is more favorable.énin

Tech and Community Support edit


  1. Several Raspberry+SD cards have been given to Wikimedians from Benin as part of the WikiChallenge in Benin project. Project suspended due to Covid Pandemics
  2. There was a flurry of interest in WikiFundi from local government departments who were looking into WikiFundi as a solution to lockdown homeschooling, leads were followed, connections made, but this did not result in anything tangible.


  1. We ran the #TellUsAboutHere campaign in March 2020 and got good results. This campaign is detailed in the Wiki Loves Women program section
  2. We promote the ISA and structured data on Commons from time to time. Several communities seem to have successfully adopted it and use it to run their own campaigns. See for example Wiki Loves Earth Indonesia campaign :
  3. We will run more ISA campaigns in fall, to improve the description of images collected during Wiki Loves Africa.


  1. Florence has been following up and supporting Max and Envel in their new project Grants:Project/Maximilianklein/humaniki (Make the next generation of Wikidata diversity statistic).

Additional projects edit

Descendants of Slavery photo walk : Finding GLAMs Simon’s Town Museum edit

The Descendants of Slavery project at Simon’s Town Museum ran until March 2020. It was the first project that we collaborate with the Simon’s Town Museum. The collaboration took the form of a Photowalk that aimed to document the sites of slavery in Simon’s Town. The Photowalk encouraged participants to rethink ordinary spaces in Simon’s Town and reflect on the invisible pasts that linger in the area.

The event
The event was attended by 8 high school learners from Ocean View and Masiphumelele whose grandparents had been evicted from Simon's Town during the forced removals of Apartheid. It was also attended by slavery and forced removals expert Maryann Kindo. The Photowalk started by explaining the sites of oppression and repression within the Museum’s building (The Residency from 1777), most notably the holding cells and punishment cells underneath the space. The participants were also introduced to the Museum’s collection and a discussion on the development of communities in and around Simon’s Town with a focus on slavery and indentured people. The tour then moved to Jubilee Square and up into the “Black Town” section above this space and then to the Simon’s Town library for initial and basic instruction in how to connect to Wikipedia, to register and to upload their content.

The computers at the Simon’s Town museum were slow and there were not enough to host a training session on. Further, participants did not have the required leads to connect their camera devices to the computers in order to upload their images. Once out of the space, the participants did not have access to technology or data in order to upload the images.

Despite these challenges, the Simon’s Town Museum was excited by the response to this pilot programme and hopes to incorporate photographic drives for women’s month and heritage month – COVID-19 restrictions dependent.

Research with CAT Lab on MassMessage impact edit

Research study : In 2020, a full study was run with CAT Lab (previously CivilServant). It tested whether posting a message on the talk page of a former participant (to Wiki Loves Africa) made a difference. Full description of the process by Anthere is available. Study found out it did... A scientific paper should be published next.

Wiki In Africa Operations and Administration edit

Wiki In Africa as an organisation continues to struggle with not enough funding to keep both principals and projects at optimal levels. Operations have continued as planned, however, the added pressure of COVID has meant that additional consultancy work has not been as easy to access as in past times.

From an operational space, we have held weekly meetings, as and when possible.

Financial management and accounts edit

The early part of this year has been focused on sorting out the financials of the organisation. Our financial reports for 2018 and 2019 are now complete. Public release of these documents is yet to happen but can be provided on request. It was also decided, as an added safety measure and for good financial practice, to move a portion of the funds from a checking account to a 7-day notice investment account. This was done in July 2020.

FOREX challenges edit

The most notable issue we faced was not only due to COVID-19, but to the reaction of world economies to the pandemic and their own internal stability. The grant landed in the WIA bank in very late December. The South African Rand / US Dollar exchange rate plummeted from January onwards. The incoming funds were exchanged at 1:13.9425. The highest rate was 1:19.26367 reached in April. With the majority of payments being due in Euros or USD, this meant that the amount budgeted was being reduced each time a payment had to be made. With no idea of where relief could happen, and anticipating that things were only going to get worse as the health crisis did, we decided that, where we could, payments that were due later in the year, should be paid in February and March. We relayed this issue to the WMF and they responded with unanticipated generosity and trust.

Fundraising activities edit

We are grateful for the support and trust that has been shown to Wiki In Africa through this simple APG grant. However, the budget is not even close to the amount required to keep the operational costs and organisation’s programmes running and we wish to expand further.

Additional funding is an on-going need and as such applications have been sent in answer to a variety of calls. The current situation is as follows:

  1. Wiki Loves Women: 5 applications / 2 rejected, waiting to hear on 3
  2. Wiki Loves Africa: 1 application / waiting to hear
  3. Education: 3 applications / 1 approval, 1 rejection, waiting to hear on the other

Spending update Midterm edit

Link to a detailed financial report for the first half of the grant period

The total amount of Simple APG funds spent during the grant period:

Amounts received:

  • USD60,0000 = R838,555.00 (original grant amount at USD1:ZAR13.9425)
  • USD16,000 = R269,600.00 (additional WMF payment at USD1:ZAR16.8500)
  • TOTAL received = USD76,000.00 / R1,108,155.00

Total spend (11 July 2020)

  • ZAR 657,448.26 (USD47,154.26 using the incoming transfer rate of USD1:ZAR13.9425)