The Wiki Indaba 2021 Scholarship Connectivity Fund

Have you been wondering what Wiki Indaba is? Since its conception, the aim of Wiki Indaba has been to build capacity for African Wikimedians, to foster the growth of the coverage and involvement of Africa in Wikimedia projects, and to connect African Wikimedians both within the continent and in the diaspora.

The first edition was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2014 by Wikimedia ZA, the 2018 edition was held in Tunis, Tunisia by Wikimedia TN Usergroup, the 2019 edition was held in Abuja, Nigeria by in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria by the Wikimedia UG Nigeria. The 2020 edition of the conference was supposed to be held in Kampala, Uganda but was postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and will instead be held as an online event hosted by the Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda.

Group photograph at Wiki Indaba 2019
Wiki Indaba 2019 Group Photo

Ensuring the growth of the Wiki Indaba community requires upholding its diversity and representation both within  Africa and in the diaspora. This is achieved by involving a wide range of participation, Africa regions, gender identities, and perspectives. 

Transitioning Wiki Indaba online this year offers an unparalleled opportunity to expand representation but it also requires participants to have access to a quality internet connection to meaningfully and actively engage and contribute.

The Scholarship Connectivity Fund

For WikiIndaba  2021, the first virtual edition of Wiki Indaba, we are launching a Scholarship Connectivity Fund to provide direct financial support to connect and engage during the conference.

Participants can apply for three levels of funding support ($50 USD, $75 USD, or  $100 USD), which they can use for:

  • Direct connecting: Purchasing internet data or contributing to the cost of internet access and use;
  • Support connecting: Travel to internet cafes to access computers and internet points;
  • Secure connecting: Purchasing privacy screens or VPNs;
  • Other support: Cost of childcare or other services that enable active participation.

How it works

The Scholarship Connectivity Fund is application-based and, as always, we will make funding decisions with a focus on amplifying the participation of underrepresented communities in Africa. In recognition that there is no one-size-fits-all model for supporting participation and in an effort to support as many participants as possible, we are asking those applying to identify the areas of support they need and the level of funding they require.

Beyond the Scholarship Connectivity Fund, we are taking a number of steps to ensure Wiki Indaba Online is accessible, including scheduling across time zones, providing lower bandwidth options for engagement, and uploading pre-recorded content that allows for flexible and asynchronous participation.

We recognize that our efforts to provide scholarship connectivity funds will not serve everyone. There are many both within Africa and in the diaspora who live in areas where proper infrastructure is limited or nonexistent. These barriers are systemic and part of a larger reality that makes it nearly impossible for certain communities to fully participate in promoting open and free knowledge. 

Apply Now

Participants can apply to receive connectivity funds by visiting our Wiki Indaba 2021 Meta Page available here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiIndaba_conference_2021/Scholarships 

Applications are now open until October 7th, 2021, at 11:59 pm EAT.

This is the first time a fund of this nature will be offered at Wiki Indaba. We deem it necessary as we transition from the familiarity of in-person conferences of yesteryear to the possibilities we are about to explore at the virtual Wiki Indaba 2021. 

Registration

Registration for the conference is still open till the 22nd of October 2021. Click on http://bit.ly/wikiindaba2021 to reserve your free ticket. 

We welcome your questions and feedback. You can reach out to our team by email at wikiuganda@gmail.com.