Online Content Emanating from Africa

Or the lack thereof… I recently attended the first pan-African Wiki Indaba in Johannesburg. Wiki Indaba was a three-day conference that brought together African Wikimedians and other open knowledge volunteers. Recognising that access to mobile devices in Africa is on the rise and will intensify in the next few years, thereby increasing Africa’s online presence, the conference sought to discuss ways in which to establish and strengthen Wikipedia and Wikimedia structures in Africa in order to take advantage of this projected growth.

 

The conference produced some stimulating the debate but also highlighted the lack of African content on the Internet. In terms of traffic, Wikipedia is the seventh largest website in the world but the amount of content originating from Africa is decidedly low. Afrikaans is the largest language group to which users are adding and editing content with Swahili a distant second. All of the above statistics are courtesy of Ingo Koll. See more detail HERE and HERE.

Developing digital platforms for the the recording and sharing of locally relevant content in African languages is something that we are are passionate about and have been doing for the past few years. See, for example, the Ulwazi Programme and the eNanda Online projects. It was encouraging to see that organisations like the Wikimedia Foundation are also trying to address this dearth of African online content but also daunting as there is still so much work to be done!

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