WikiVibrance Partners with Africa Knowledge Initiative (AKI), Wikimedia Foundation, African Union and Africa No Filter (ANF) to recognize Africa Youth Day 2022 in the Wikimedia movement

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WikiVibrance, the implementing partner for Africa Knowledge Initiative (AKI) is organizing the Africa Youth Day 2022 campaign in the Wikimedia movement. Africa Knowledge Initiative (AKI) is an initiative focused on closing the knowledge and content gap that exists on the internet about Africa, leveraging Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects through three African Union (AU) holidays including Africa Youth day celebrated every 1st of November in the African Region. Hence, Africa Youth Day 2022 aligned with the WikiVibrance area of focus, will be organized in collaboration with African Wikimedia communities.

Africa Youth Day Flier/User:James Moore200

In 2021, we worked with six African Wikimedia communities namely Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda to organize the Africa Youth Day campaign in collaboration with Wikimedia Rwanda, African Union and Africa Tech Radio. This year, we are working with eleven (11) African communities in the movement selected through an application process that had about 40 applicants from diverse communities in Africa and diaspora.

The implementing communities were onboarded into the campaign on 26th October, 2022. The onboarding was an information session to familiarize them with their role as well as the objectives of the campaign. These communities include: Open Foundation West Africa (OFWA), Nigerian Wikimedians for Sustainable Development, Wikimedia User Group Benin Republic, Wikimedians of Arusha, Wikimedia Community User Group South Sudan, Wikimedia Botswana, Wikimedia South Africa, Wikimedians of Democratic Republic of Congo User Group, Wikimedia User Group Haïti, Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda, Wikimedia User Group Rwanda and AfroCrowd.

They will plan, organize and execute campaign activities, training, and events around Africa Youth Day focused on the campaign theme. They will also recruit and organize local participants for  the campaign while coordinating with the WikiVibrance core team around the international campaign and managing local communications about the campaign in their  communities. 

Later on the 29th October, 2022 at 17:00 UTC, the launch webinar for Africa Youth Day 2022 was held with the WikiVibrance Core team members (Eben Mlay, Euphemia Uwandu and Douglas Ssebaggala), AKI Wikimedian-In-residence (Ceslause Ogbonnaya), youth guest speaker (Aquayemi Claude), partnering communities and their community members in attendance. The theme of the campaign was unveiled as “Breaking the Barriers to Meaningful Youth Participation and Inclusion in Advocacy ” echoing an open call to African youth to join free knowledge advocacy. With this in mind, activities are built around this theme for the Africa Youth Day 2022 campaign. 

Through their activities on organizing contests, edit-a-thons, translate-a-thons, writ-a-thons and photowalks among others, we hope to  create articles in major African languages such as English, french, portuguese, arabic, etc.; translate articles into local languages in Africa; improve articles with both images and additional content; engage and retain 50% of new participants; kickstart and mentor new community(s) in Africa or diaspora; and reach new people and audience through publicity and advertisements in local community communications channels eg. radio/newspaper, podcast or social media in each of the participating communities. In order to support the creation and contribution of african-related content on Wikimedia projects, the implementing communities will have access to the African Union Resources related to the campaign theme. 

We are kick-starting these series of community activities with a post WikiIndaba side event to engage Rwandan youth in a 2-day photowalk and edit-a-thon on the 8th and 9th of November, 2022 respectively in collaboration with Wikimedia Rwanda. Given that we want this campaign to impact the Rwandan community in terms of place, people and content, we have planned the photowalk to focus on a specific knowledge gap as well as topic for impact on w\Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. From our desk research, we found a wide coverage of Rwanda related content on politicians, society, entertainment, and history but not of environment or climate change issues on Wikipedia and sister projects. Based on the campaign theme, we intend to make this a call to action for young people in Rwanda to join the advocacy for free knowledge on such an important topic as climate change while impacting on the people of Rwanda through storytelling in the digital space. Therefore, young people in Rwanda will be accompanied on a photowalk to capture images relating to landslides and soil erosion in Gicumbi and Rulindo District both in the Northern Province of Rwanda in addition to Nyandungu ecosystem park. We hope to have increased content about these topics and places that will create more value for Wikimedia Rwanda. 

The post-WikiiIndaba side event in Rwanda will be led by Eben Mlay, Douglas Ssebaggala from the WikiVibrance core team, the AKI Wikimedian-In-Residence, Ceslause Ogbonnaya, Wikimedia Rwanda represented by Protais Uwayezu and the rest of WikiVibrance core team, namely Euphemia Uwandu, James Popoola, Francesc Fort and Mrb Rafi. In addition to the side event, we had a session titled “Repositioning the youth towards achieving the 2030 strategy in the movement: Learnings from WikiVibrance” to share our experience and insights engaging the youth population in african Wikimedia communities on 6th November, 2022 at the WikiIndaba conference. 

This is followed by campaign publicity and community activities happening from 1st November through December, 2022. The campaign activities in communities will be concluded with the selection and announcement of top contributors as winners who will receive the different prizes set aside for the different categories in relation to Wikimedia projects in the campaign.  

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Congratulations to all the 11 African communities selected for the African Youth Day 2022 campaign especially the Nigerian Wikimedians for Sustainable Development.