Wiki In Africa/Wiki Loves Africa



Wiki Loves Africa was launched as an annual thematic photographic contest in 2014 (prior to the creation of the association). Anyone can enter images from Africa over the two months of the competition, although events are run in several focus countries by local teams. Over the last nine years, over 360 Wiki Loves Africa-focused events in 26 countries have been hosted by Africa's Wikimedia communities - and over 102,000 images and media files that celebrate the variety and richness of cultures of Africa have been contributed for use on Wikimedia Commons.

Themes that have been covered so far include Cuisine (2014), Cultural Fashion and Adornment (2015), Music and Dance (2016), People at Work (2017), Africa at Play! (2019), Africa on the Move (transport) 2020, Health + Wellness (2021), Home & Habitat (2022), Climate & Weather (2023), and Africa Creates in (2024).

Status: active

Wiki Loves Africa was conceptualised by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood in 2013 and launched in 2014. Wiki In Africa has been the lead organisation on the project since 2016, and the host since 2019. It has been previously hosted by the Africa Centre (2014, 2015) and Ynternet.org (2016, 2017) as fiscal sponsors. Funding for the competition has been provided by the Wikimedia Foundation, Foundation Orange, with institutional support from the Goethe-Institut and communications support from Unite 4 Heritage, UNESCO.

Impact

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The top 20 shortlist for Wiki Loves Africa competition under the 2023 theme, Climate & Weather.

Since 2014, the project has achieved the following (last updated 2024):

  • Over 102,026 images have been entered by 11,165 competitors from up to 55 countries under a free licence (CC-BY-SA);
  • 32 Wikimedia communities from 26 African countries have hosted participation events, information sessions and training workshops;
  • At least 357 participation and training events have been held by participating communities between 2014 and 2023.
  • The competition attracts high levels of new contributors to the Wikimedia projects – an average of 80% of participants are newbies;
  • The images entered to Wiki Loves Africa are viewed over 28 million times each month (Jan 2023);
  • Wiki Loves Africa’s images from the first 8 years have been viewed over 1,23 billion times altogether (Jan 2023);
  • A Wiki Loves Africa prize-winning image was included in the Journeys Through Our Fragile Heritage exhibition at the UNESCO headquarters, Paris;
  • Wiki Loves Africa’s ISA Tool was the winner of the WikiData Award for Best Multimedia Tool in November 2019.
  • Mohamed Hozyen, a prize winner for Wiki Loves Africa 2019, was selected for the The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), Prins Claus Fonds and Magnum Foundation Arab Documentary Photography Programme.
  • The Wiki Loves Africa image Firefighter, Ashton Bay, March 2017 submitted by South African photographer user:StevenTerblanche for the Wiki Loves Africa 2017 contest under the theme of People at Work. The stunning image was selected for 3rd position for the Picture of the Year 2021 award and depicts a courageous firefighter battling against a veld-fire at Ashton Bay, Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa.

1st placed photographs from each year

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You can view the international winning images from all years here.

Winning videos from each year

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For competitors

For organisers

Funders

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2024 Partners and Community Organisers

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Project extension 2021: Photographer professional development programme : Nos Jardins

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Nos Jardins is photographer training that takes place between January and June 2021. This free masterclass covers various topics such as Free Culture, Wikimedia Commons (use of, upload of images, description), Wikipedia (integration of images), free licenses, and photographic advanced skills. It is targeted to professional or advanced amateurs. The trainees are expected to actively participate in the 2021 Wiki Loves Africa and Wiki Loves Earth contests. The trainers are Florence Devouard, Serieminou and staff members of Ynternet.org, and professional photographers. The masterclass is being held through webinars and offline events and takes place simultaneously in Cameroon and Switzerland.

Nos Jardins is co-hosted by Wiki In Africa and Ynternet.org. The initiative is partially funded by Movetia.