Wiki Green Conference Sets to Change the Narrative of Climate Communication in Ghana

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The Wiki Green Conference, a flagship program by the Wiki Green Initiative is set to revolutionize climate communication in Ghana and Africa at large. The Green Conference brings together experts in climate change, sustainability practitioners, Climate Vulnerable communities and volunteers from the Wikimedia Foundation to dialogue in an inclusive environment in a bid to find solutions to how Africans can leverage the opportunities of the Open Movement to effectively communicate the impacts of climate change.

The annual conference has since its inception trained and equipped young people including university students in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Development Studies among others to create, improve and edit article on the English and Twi Wikipedia.

This year the conference included a special session on environmental reporting using Wiki Commons. Participants were taken through a systematic training on how to upload media content specific to climate and environment on Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 license.

Within the last two years, the wonderful people of Accra, Kumasi and Tamale have had a memorable introduction to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia project through the Conference.

The just ended conference – the 2023 edition, took place in two major cities in Ghana. The first occurred in Accra, the Capital city of Ghana representing the southern part of the country on the 19th – 20th May, 2023. In a two day workshop participants who were carefully selected were taken through the basic concepts of climate change and its impacts. The session was facilitated by Dr Antwi-Bosiako Amoah, Director of Vulnerability Assessment at the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana. After the workshop on the first day, participants were now ready to be introduced to Wikipedia. Stephen Dakyi, a Co-founder of the Wiki Green Initiative and Jesse Aseidu-Akrofi  of Wiki Podcast fame led the training and life edit session.

The Capital city of the Northern Region of Ghana received her maiden conference intended to address the impacts of climate change using Wikipedia and other Open Source digital platforms on 9-10th June, 2023. In an equally two day event, participants from the Northern part of Ghana were wowed with the wonderful resources the open Movement has available to address climate change. The first day of the conference coincided with the Green Ghana Day celebration. As a team of green lovers, the Wiki Green Team together with some conference participants engaged in an educative tree growing campaign which saw the planting of local indigenous tree species in four (4) different schools in Tamale and its environs. Otuo-Akyampong, a cofounder of the Initiative educated students on the need for tree growing as against the normal tree plant which is more of an event than a process. He admonished the students to be caretakers of the trees planted and ensure they grow.

Day two of the event at Tamale happened on the campus of University of Development Studies. Dr Kodimah Siita gave an elaborate speech on climate change and its impacts in the Northern part of Ghana. After the session, there was a training session on Wikipedia101 and Open Street Maps. Maxwell Beganim, one of the co-founders of the wiki green Initiative again shared light on possible partnership for groups and teams in the North to collaborate in coming up with projects for a better green future.

The 2023 edition of the Wiki Green Conference does not only reiterate the need to kick start a restoration action now but also the need to involve everyone in the process hence the theme: Involving to Evolve, the new climate paradigm.

“It is important to note that as a mantra of this Initiative we ensured that all communities including: Disability groups, women groups, youth and students are duly represented so that we may have an inclusive and balanced discourse” Mr Otuo-Akyampong Boakye, a co-founder of the Wiki Green Initiative opined.

About the Wiki Green Initiative

The Wiki Green Initiative is an initiative by three experienced Wikipedians who are as well environmental advocates. Having experienced the great opportunities in the Open Movement and knowing how the open movement could be a tool to address climate and environmental problems, the three namely: Otuo-Akyampong Boakye, Maxwell Beganim and Stephen Dakyi birthed the Wiki Green Initiative to create a community of diverse but experts in the sustainability ecosystem to explore ways of using the Wikimedia projects as main tools to communicate, educate and promote climate action and green development.

Otuo-Akyampong is an Environmental Scientist, Awarding Winning Climate Change Advocate, Open Knowledge Enthusiast, Wikipedian, Teacher and Youth Activist. His International presence, having spoken on most global platforms is an experience he brings on board readily.

Maxwell Beganim is an Educator, Tech enthusiast, a social Entrepreneur and a Climate Change advocate. Maxwell has worked as a Youth Worker with over 10 years experience in Training and Education, Entrepreneurship and Community development.

With a deep passion for using technology to create positive impact among the youth, Stephen Dakyi founded DABY Foundation and earned fellowship with GhanaSIG, VirtualSIG, inSIG, and ICANN76. His commitment to promoting sustainable development goals (SDGs) and empowering youth is reflected in his work experience and advocacy efforts.

The flagship program of the Wiki Green Initiative is the Wiki Green Conference, which has grown to become a nationwide annual event. There are other programs of the Initiative like the Campus Green Communities (CCC) and Wiki4Climate.

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