Exploring the East African Regional and Thematic Hub (EARTH)

The East African Regional and Thematic Hub (EARTH) is a proposed hub that seeks to bring together communities in East Africa to work towards a common agenda in the pursuit of championing free knowledge in line with the implementation of initiative 25 of Wikimedia 2030 Strategy: Regional and thematic hubs.

EARTH is currently in the research and planning phase. The core organizing team received funding from the movement strategy team to facilitate the process.

The proposed hub will target 11 communities: in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Zambia, and Botswana

The extensive research seeks to identify both opportunities and the existing challenges facing East African communities and establish whether EARTH Hub is something of interest to these communities as well as find out how this hub will be a solution to the existing EA communities’ problems in the pursuit of free knowledge. We will also explore similar hub-like structures within our regions and learn more about their operations and governance models and consider what might be worth adopting.

Scope

  • To ensure that the existing and future communities have the capacity and resources to make and implement meaningful decisions for Wikimedia 2030, and the Movement Strategy.
  • Make new connections and structures that will strengthen the identified communities to fulfill the Strategic Direction.
  • To empower groups of affiliates to collaborate on capacity building, knowledge transfer, coordination, and participation in the Wikimedia Movement discussions and activities.

Community participation is Key

The project will define the scope and role of a hub in our region through community outreach to gather input around what a regional hub means for the target communities; what tangible steps are needed in creating a hub; identify thematic areas of mutual interest; and identify solutions to solve coordination or representation decisions, inclusivity, and also provide a systematic way of Knowledge and skills sharing.

An external consultant will be recruited by the steering team to facilitate the research process, and a call for the target communities to participate will be published soon.

The end result will include an evaluation on the gaps and needs, plus recommendations for a pilot implementation.

Background

East African Countries enjoy historical political and economic relations that are enshrined in the East Africa Community economic bloc (EAC) and the East African Regional and Thematic Hub (EARTH) seeks to leverage on this goodwill.

Earth is looking into building on a journey that started gaining momentum in 2019 when 8 communities in the East Africa region and others drawn from nearby countries that are not within the EAC like Ethiopia, convened in Uganda for the East Africa Strategy Summit.

Learn more and see how to get involved on the EARTH Meta page