Celebrating One Year of Afrika Baraza: A Transformative Journey for African Wikimedians

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March 30th, 2023, will go down in history for us as African Wikimedians. On this day the Baraza was launched, setting us on a journey that exemplified the importance of our shared values, bringing us closer together despite our diverse backgrounds. 

The inaugural ‘Afrika Baraza’ marked a significant milestone, revolutionizing the way we connect, celebrate, and collaborate as Africans. This past year we brought together over 500 African Wikimedians, and looking back this was the type of discussion, debates, and discourse around pertinent issues in the movement that we have never had so authentically before. More directly, the Afrika Baraza delivered the Africa Agenda and facilitated many other crucial conversations geared towards empowering African Wikimedians to engage in the movement.

The Baraza has become a catalyst for collaborative and impactful change across the African region.

The Afrika Baraza has been instrumental in bringing the African community together beyond the Indaba conference. Such a  platform is crucial now more than ever to drive forward the forthcoming continental agenda.

Reda Benkhadra

The name ‘Baraza’ is Swahili for a public forum or gathering where a community often gathers to deliberate on issues and, for a community that thrives in amplifying and documenting our local languages, we couldn’t have chosen a better name! A catchy, authentic, and vibrant name indeed, that creates a sense of ‘belonging’ in our African context.

The Journey – Impact of Regional Convenings 

The birth of the Afrika Baraza underscores the power of collaboration between the Wikimedia Foundation and volunteers, exemplifying the success of regional convenings like Wiki Indaba. The strategic discussions initiated at Wiki Indaba 2022, paved the way for the birth of Afrika Baraza, ensuring sustained community engagement beyond the annual event.

“The formation of Baraza has not only shown how essential it is to collaborate with the communities we strive to support, but also our commitment to proactively assist communities or regions when they seek our help. While taking into account the diverse needs of each region within the movement.”

Felix Nartey

“The Baraza has opened up a vital space for dialogue that extends beyond the WikiIndaba conference. It has also helped WISCOM with a regular communications channel to be actively engaged with the needs of the community.”

Bobby Shabangu


Central to Afrika Baraza’s impact is the development of the Africa Agenda — a comprehensive document addressing critical issues and providing recommendations for a sustainable Wikimedia movement in the African continent. This collective effort highlights the community-first approach maintained by the Baraza Working Group, which continually seeks feedback and input from all stakeholders.

One of the amazing gifts the Africa Baraza gave us is the Africa Agenda. This agenda will not only enable the Wikimedia Foundation to better navigate its African community but will also help institutions outside the Wikimedia movement to know how to work with the Africa Wikimedia communities, as I have seen how these non-Wikimedia institutions like the African Union struggle to understand how to work with the movement in Africa.”

Ceslause Ogbonnaya

The ripple effect of Afrika Baraza is evident in the emergence of similar regional convenings like Wiki Causerie, further enriching the movement’s diversity and reach. By providing language support for Arabic, English, French, and Swahili at the Afrika Baraza, we ensure the utmost inclusivity for participants across the continent.


The support from the Foundation’s Movement Communications and Community Growth Teams, including vital translations, has ensured Afrika Baraza remains inclusive to Africa’s Francophone and Arabic communities.

Comprising community representatives that include two representatives from the Wiki Indaba Steering Committee (WISCOM), other members of the community with virtual production expertise and regional language diversity, and Foundation staff. The Baraza Working Group exemplifies the collaborative spirit driving our shared goals. Together, we continue to shape and strengthen the Wikimedia movement in Africa, guided by the principles of inclusivity, collaboration, and collective action.

“Afrika Baraza has demonstrated that indeed when people with a common goal come together great things are bound to happen! I’m immensely grateful for the dedicated community leaders who collaborated in shaping the vision of the Baraza. It’s also worth noting that the establishment of the Working Group, which continues to serve as the cornerstone of this initiative, has been pivotal.”

Winnie Kabintie

The feedback and appreciation we continue to receive from the wider community on the impact of the Baraza, keeps providing a sense of reflection and direction for the Baraza. Here are some more community voices:

“Africa Baraza has been empowering young people to lead and participate. The working group for instance has youth representation. An experience that  stood out is during the Africa Baraza session at the 2023 Wiki Indaba conference in AgadirMorocco, where a young member of the working group, Derrick Ndahiro, led the African community in captivating discussions around the Africa Agenda,”

Eupemia Uwandu

Ce n’est plus un secret pour personne. L’avenir du mouvement Wikimedia en Afrique passe maintenant par Africa Baraza. Africa Baraza est la plateforme virtuelle qui l’ensemble du mouvement en Afrique et essaie de proposer des solutions aux problèmes communs qui touchent nos communautés. Un élément encore très intéressant avec Africa Baraza est qu’elle se force de prendre en compte la diversité linguistique et en particulier le Français où nous voyons de plus en plus les communautés francophones s’y impliquer,”

Abel Mbula

Africa Baraza is and has been a cross-pollination platform for me. It has really been an instrumental platform to inform on what is happening around Africa and how I can improve my community back at home. My aspiration is to see it grow in a learning space where we can all learn and share ideas” 

Martin Hipangwa 

Aspirations for the Future

In 2024 we are focusing on the implementation of the Africa Agenda and a plan to host a virtual WikiIndaba 2024 pre-conference as we celebrate 10 years of WikiIndaba. The Baraza Working Group will constitute an Implementation Committee that will oversee the execution of the agenda. 

In continued unity and collaboration, African Wikimedians will shape the Wikimedia movement in Africa, guided by our shared values. Together, as we celebrate one year of Afrika Baraza, we eagerly anticipate the transformative journey ahead.

Long Live Afrika Baraza!

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