User language
de-N Dieser Benutzer spricht Deutsch als Muttersprache.
en-4 This user has near native speaker knowledge of English.
af-2 Hierdie gebruiker het middelbare kennis van Afrikaans.
Users by language

Hi all


I am Peter from Namibia. My contributions here on meta relate to a project on indigenous knowledge preservation and to several attempts to include a Wikipedia module into the general curriculum of the Namibia University of Science and Technology. I have also twice been a candidate in Board of Trustees elections.

My home wiki is the English Wikipedia, my main user page is there.



Board of Trustees elections

  • 2017: Came in fifth of nine candidates with a 75% support percentage
  • 2015: Came in seventh of twenty candidates with a 69% support percentage



These are activities from the past. For current activities and future plans please see my schedule on English Wikipedia.

Indigenous Knowledge and Wikipedia


This project is part of the Community-Centered Localisation research cluster at the Namibia University of Science and Technology ( and its spinoff, a portal for disseminating knowledge ( The following activities and publications are related:

  • 22 May 2019: Gave a talk titled "Otjiherero praises and the genesis and structure of knowledge on Wikipedia" (Slides) at the 2019 Innovation Bazaar in Windhoek. The talk compared knowledge operations on Wikipedia with those practised by indigenous communities.
  • February 2019: I travelled to Okapare close to Epupa Falls to discuss recommendations of the December 2018 AfriCHI workshop in Windhoek. The community was interested, active, and cooperative but did not like the way scientific papers are written about them. They came up with a different set of recommendations, which I will apply and further discuss in May.
  • 3-7 December 2018: With two of my colleagues I conducted a workshop Perspectives on safeguarding indigenous knowledge and intangible cultural heritage at the 2nd AfriCHI conference in Windhoek. Researchers and members of indigenous communities discussed Dos and Don'ts of community interaction and came up with recommendations, which we will implement in several rounds of verification in 2019.
  • 18-22 July 2018: I attended Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa, and gave a talk on Wikipedia for Indigenous Communities (abstract * slides * video). The talk caused quite an uproar, not just because I overspent my speaking time by a whopping 30 minutes, but also because knowledge creation, preservation and transfer in indigenous communities is so far off the "Wikipedia way".
  • 9-13 August 2017: I attended Wikimania 2017 in Montreal, Canada, on a Foundation scholarship. Sebastian Wallroth recorded a podcast about my work on indigenous knowledge (in German here). The podcast has been published as WikiStammtisch #72 on German Wikipedia.
  • 20-22 January 2017: I attended the second WikiIndaba in Accra, Ghana. I presented "Accra, we have a problem", on our research results from the previous 2 years (abstract * slides) and helped with a citation workshop. I also led a guerrilla session for everyone who felt sick of following powerpoint slides and would rather edit something... this cutie was one of the resulting articles.
  • November 2016: CaTaC 2016 produced a Special Issue book titled "Culture, Technology, Communication. Common World, Different Futures" (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-50109-3). I am the second author of the lead chapter titled "On Persuading an OvaHerero Community to Join the Wikipedia Community".
  • 21-25 November 2016: A short paper of which I was the second author was presented at AfriCHI 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The title is "Indigenous Knowledge for Wikipedia. A Case Study with an OvaHerero Community in Eastern Namibia".
  • 15-17 June 2016: I presented at CaTaC 2016 in London, thanks to a grant from the WMF. The presentation (slides * abstract * full paper) was titled "Clash of Cultures, Clash of Values: Wikipedia and Indigenous Communities".
  • 3-6 May 2016: I conducted a 4-day outreach outreach workshop in Opuwo, north-western Namibia, funded by the WMF. I prepared a post for the WMF Global Blog which was not accepted due to its negative evaluation of workshops in general. The Signpost was happy to publish it as op-ed in its 22 December 2016 edition, see here: Operation successful, patient dead: Outreach workshops in Namibia.
  • 2016: My research publications will eventually be bundled into a PhD by research, to be examined externally at the University of Oslo, Norway.
  • January 2015: I applied for admission into the DPhil degree in the Social Sciences at Oxford University, presenting a rather sophisticated proposal on how to solve the problem of lack of Wikipedia acceptance among indigenous people. Or so I thought. Turned out that despite all boxes showed a green tick, there must somewhere have been a "submit" button which I never pressed. Now counting my losses...
  • October 2014: I conducted an experimental workshop on oral citations at the 2014 Participatory Design Conference in Windhoek, Namibia. The workshop description (full version behind an ACM pay wall) and the Call for Participation are here. WMF was supporting this experiment to allow me to fly in Wikipedia editors for that experiment, see: Grants:Pgallert/Indigenous knowledge for Wikipedia workshop. A blog post at Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/The value of oral citations was published on the Wikimedia Foundation blog as Tapping into the knowledge of indigenous communities on 12 December 2014.
  • August 2014: Gave a talk titled Wikipedia for Namibia, Namibians for Wikipedia at the 6th Annual Research Conference of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Namibia
  • August 2014: Our outreach activity received a mention in the Signpost of 13 August 2014 in the article Wikimedia in education.
  • June 2014: I attended Africa's first Wikipedia conference, WikiIndaba 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was my first conference to deliver three talks on three days: Country Report: Namibia (20 June) (video), Oral Citations Experiment (21 June) (apparently not videotaped), and Omaheke: Namibia's research and outreach sandbox (22 June) (video, has an incorrect title)
  • June 2014: Was part of a field trip to Epukiro as the Wiki expert. I didn't give training this time but participated in the consultative talks to have the OtjiHerero Wikipedia resuscitated by a local user group.
  • October 2013: The project as a whole received coverage in English and Otjiherero in the Omundu Magazine, October 2013, pp 34-35. The title of the English article was 'Shaping Our Future'
  • August 2013: Participated in the Regional Innovation Fair at the Namibia Business Innovation Center in Windhoek, as invited panelist of the Indigenous Knowledge and Technology workshop. Gave an abbreviated version of my Wikimania 2013 talk.
  • August 2013: Participated in Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong on a WMF scholarship and presented a talk on Indigenous knowledge for Wikipedia: Bending the rules?. It has been videotaped, see here, and the slides are available on commons here.
  • April 2013: Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Namibia Education post (published on the Wikimedia Foundation blog as Teaching rural teachers in Namibia how to edit Wikipedia on 2 April 2013). Subsequently reprinted in the weekend supplement of The Namibian, Namibia's largest newspaper
  • August 2013: A book chapter (2013 pre-release on Commons) of which I am the first author was reviewed in the November 2013 Wikimedia Research Newsletter. The book chapter has in the mean time be finalised under the title "The sum of all knowledge? Wikipedia and Indigenous Knowledge" and is with the editor, estimated publishing date is early 2015.
  • July 2013: Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Namibia Education Update July (published on the Wikimedia Foundation blog as Using rural school computer labs for Wikipedia on 11 July 2013). A long quote from this blog was used in the Signpost of 17 September 2014.

Wikipedia in education

  • 30 September 2015: Presented a talk titled "The Digital Education Revolution: Introducing Digital Literacy" (slides) at the 3rd Annual Transformation & Governance Basic Education Summit in Johannesburg. Wikimedia was part of this talk, of course, albeit more due to its copyright regime than to its core mission
  • May 2015: Attended e-Learning Africa 2015 in w:Addis Ababa and presented a talk titled Wikipedia Assignments as an E–learning Component. Due to a nasty trick of mine the slides are CC-BY released on on commons, even though the conference proceedings are copyrighted. I have received a WMF grant to attend this conference.
  • August 2014: A proposed talk for Wikimania 2014 about our outreach activities to rural Namibian schools (1 year of outreach into Omaheke - ups and downs) was rejected.
  • March 2015: Aminuis. This time I presented English Wikipedia 'read–only' in order to not have to introduce 1001 rules. Article creation happened in the incubator in OtjiHerero and on the Setswana mini-Wikipedia. During 2.5 days in the school lab we had 4 hours of Internet access, that's why I didn't get very far introducing Wikipedia.
  • December 2013: Epukiro follow-up training. Lost one day to a power outage, and had only one serious participant. The rest came for the lunch and/or the T-Shirt but wasn't really interested in Wikipedia.
  • August 2013: Otjinene teacher's training workshop, cancelled after two sessions due to lack of participation
  • June 2013: Epukiro teacher's training workshop, see WMF blog report Using rural school computer labs for Wikipedia
  • May 2013: The Polytechnic of Namibia university project was temporarily suspended due to a wave of copyright violations that my students produced.
  • February 2013: Gobabis teacher's training workshop, see WMF blog report Teaching rural teachers in Namibia how to edit Wikipedia
  • October 2012: Gave a short talk on Wikipedia in education at a teacher's workshop in Gobabis
  • August 2012: Attended Wikimania 2012 in w:Washington, D.C. on a WMF scholarship. My proposed talk on Managing large university projects was not accepted into the main schedule, but I gave that talk at the Wikipedia in Education meetup at that conference.
  • April 2012: Failed to deliver an offline Wikipedia to Donkerbos Primary School, Donkerbos---the only school computer had neither a DVD drive nor a USB slot
  • April 2012: Delivered an offline Wikipedia to Claudius Heuva Junior Secondary School, Talismanus
  • 2010, 2011, 2012: Wikipedia module as compulsory part of the course Information Competence, results available on the Polytechnic of Namibia project page and the related archive. The Wikipedia assignment wording apparently was the first of its kind and has been re-used here by Martin Poulter, thankfully with attribution... sometimes the Wikimedians are the better scientists ;)

Other activities and publications

  • September-October 2023: Met with the head of GIZ for a large picture donation to Wikimedia Commons, and got as far as outlining the way I could facilitate the donation for them. A first test with 10 pictures was successfully completed in December 2013. I now have the permission to upload a further 100+ pictures, an activity that will have to wait until the WACS cable is repaired that carries the majority of Namibia's Internet traffic.
  • August 2023: Attended Wikimania 2023 in Singapore. Didn't submit a talk because the deadline of talk submissions far preceeded the scholarship decision.
  • August 2020: Ran a virtual editathon during COVID-19, hosted again by Goethe Institute: Decolonise the Internet
  • January 2020: Ran a workshop on Fake News at the local Goethe Institute (slides). Got this assignment mainly because of my Wikimedia activities, and Wikipedia does feature in there occasionally.
  • 3 September 2019: Gave a talk "Wikipedia in Namibia, Namibia on Wikipedia" (slides) at the Namibia Scientific Society in Windhoek. Funny how outsiders know predominantly three things about Wikipedia: 1) Some random edit war or fruitless multi-megabyte discussion, 2) w:Julian Assange, and for the German community 3) Die dunkle Seite der Wikipedia. A number of people expressed interest in a beginners' workshop.
  • 9-13 August 2017: At Wikimania 2017 in Montreal, Canada, I had an approved workshop Pirates at work, modelled after the guerrilla session in Ghana in January. I did not conduct this workshop because there already was the Editathon for Bassel Khartabil throughout the conference.
  • 31 March-2 April 2017: Attended WMCON 2017 in Berlin as unaffiliated member.
  • Bi-monthly March-September 2016: Met the Head of Information and Library of Windhoek's Goethe Institute to discuss possibilities of cooperation. Agreed to reconvene about monthly in search of methods of editor recruitment for Wikipedia, and of ways to productively spend German tax money. Another two Wikipedian residents in Namibia, Chtrede and Dumbassman, joined the team. The meeting has not taken place since September, but we can hopefully revive it.
  • March 2016: Travelled to Opuwo to gather data to improve the town's appearance on OpenStreetMap. This was done with the aim of providing audiovisual coverage of the place, which is thought to include an OSM map. However, I got some of the technicalities wrong and gained mainly experience, and not so much usable data.
  • February 2016: Served on the review panel of Wikimania 2016 Critical Issues track and reviewed some 60 or 70 submissions.
  • July 2015: Attended Wikimania 2015 in Mexico City on a WMF scholarship. Both talks were rejected.
  • August 2014: Attended Wikimania 2014 in London on a WMF scholarship and presented a talk on research and the OR policy (slides). The talk received prior attention by Dirk Franke in his pre-Wikimania presentation in Berlin: Coolest talks, and extensive reflection in the Wikimania 2014 edition of the German Wikipedia newsletter Kurier.
  • November 2011: Gave technical assistance at the Polytechnic of Namibia's first and so far only Translat@thon