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Revision as of 14:12, 27 May 2015


The role of Wikipedia in the intellectualisation of the African Languages: Why, what and how?

Wikipedia changed the world by putting an encyclopaedia within reach of anybody with internet access. Available in over 280 languages, it grows and improves by the hour and has become one of the most well-known and used resources on the Web. However, in spite of the many languages currently represented in Wikipedia, not all of them have thorough and in-depth content to support multilingual education. Moreover, outside of the realm of a human readable online encyclopaedia in multiple languages, the full value of Wikipedia has remained largely hidden to many readers. Today Wikipedia, for example, also provides a building block for many other advanced technologies, especially language technologies.

Through this workshop, the Academy of African Languages and Science (AALS) hopes to play its part in creating an awareness of the significance of Wikipedia as a key educational and language resource through which encyclopaedic information and educational content can be produced and consumed in the African languages.

Our hope is that academics, school teachers, language practitioners, subject experts across many domains, students and any other interested persons will recognise and embrace the opportunities that Wikipedia offers for the development of the African languages. Possible ways of contributing are, for example, by translating articles from other Wikipedias, specifically the English one, or by writing new content in the African languages. Since Wikipedia relies on volunteers for its existence, growth and quality, AALS also offers opportunities for training and support for persons interested in getting involved in the building of the African languages Wikipedias in the future.

The specific aims of this workshop are to

(1) explain what Wikipedia really is and why it is of such strategic significance for sustainable multilingualism;
(2) explore possible ways to identify topics on which to write and to select articles in the English Wikipedia to translate;
(3) provide basic technical information on how to participate and how AALS can assist;
(4) get a glimpse of what it means to be a Wikipedian – examples and lessons learnt.

Invited keynote speaker – Amir Aharoni, Wikimedia Foundation. Amir was born in Moscow and now lives in Jerusalem. He received a B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Hebrew language and Structural Linguistics, and began studying for an M.A. in Romance studies in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a member of the language engineering team of the Wikimedia Foundation, improving the software support for different languages. As a volunteer, he is also a member of Wikimedia Israel and of the Wikimedia Foundation's language committee.

Date: 3 June 2015
Time: 08:30—15:30
Venue: Bamboo Room, Kgorong, Unisa Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria
Attendance: Free of charge, but registration is essential since the venue has limited seating
RSVP: Ms Motswalle Kanyane, (aals@unisa.ac.za)

African Meet-up, WMCON, Berlin 2015

Representatives from Africa at the 2015 Chapter's Conference. Photo: CC BY SA Habib M'henni

Representatives from South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria and Ghana were present at the Chapter's Conference 2015, held in Berlin this weekend.

At the African meet-up, discussion were held about the way forward for the movement in the African context and how WMZA, as a Chapter can assist usergroups throughout Africa to promote the movement in their respective communities.

For more information on the Chapter's Conference, please visit the meta page for WMCON2015.

To read what was discussed during the Meet-up please visit the etherpad.

8th Cape Town Meetup

The 8th Cape Town Wiki Meetup will take place on Saturday, 30 May 2015 from 10:00 to 14:00.

This event will be held at the same time and location as the FPV Fest, South Africa's first First Person View drone festival which will be hosted at the Stellenbosch Model Aircraft Academy.

Wikimedia ZA has organised a small photographic competition to encourage members of the public, but drone flyers in particular, to submit aerial images to Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia. At this event we will be announcing the winners of the competition.

For more information, please visit the meetup website.

Launch of Joburgpedia 2015


Joburgpedia is a project aimed at increasing Wikipedia coverage of iconic buildings around Johannesburg with historic and heritage importance.

This Saturday, 9 May 2015 we will be launching a Writing Competition in collaboration with our partner, Constitution Hill Education Project.

The competition will run from 9 May 2015 to 30 June 2015 and is open to residents of Gauteng, as well as schools who wish to participate as a collaborative input unit.

The Constitutional Court of South Africa
Constitution Hill Trust, 1 Kotze Street, 2000 Braamfontein, Johannesburg
09:00 - 12:00
Join us via Facebook

For any queries, please contact The Administrator

Wiki from Above - Extension of Competition Date

Wiki From Above LOGO 2015.png

Breaking News! The closing date for the Wiki from Above competition has been extended to 25 May 2015.

The focus of this project is to increase the quality and quantity of aerial photographs and video media of important public landmarks and scenery in Africa. Participants are encouraged to also edit Wikipedia by adding their pictures, or media to relevant Wikipedia pages.

To view submissions to date, please visit the Commons Category for the competition.

SA User Survey

Short version Infographic-WMZA survey results 2015.png

A very big thank you to the 404 participants who took the time to complete our online survey!

We have summarised some of the more interesting results.

The complete info graphic can be viewed on Commons.

CBS Interview with Jimmy Wales

CBS Interview with Jimmy Wales.png

Over 200 times a second, half a billion times a month, somebody clicks on Wikipedia. It's the greatest argument-settler wrought by man, or at least the fastest, perfectly suited to our era of instant gratification.

When it debuted 14 years ago, the online encyclopedia was a novelty, its accuracy hit or miss. Now it's one of the world's busiest websites, its reliability vastly improved, but not quite perfect. What's more, it's a charity, a non-profit where a devoted army of unpaid authors collaborate: articles about everything you can imagine. Who are they? And how does it all work? Ask Mr. Wikipedia himself, Jimmy Wales.

Watch the interview with Jimmy and find out more about Wikipedia.

One of Wikimedia ZA's projects, Joburgpedia is featured!

Afrikaans Wikipedia - Interview on RSG


Did you know that the Afrikaans Wikipedia is 13 years old and holds in excess of 34 000 articles!

Learn more about this Wiki in an interview with one of the contributors in Afrikaans on RSG.

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