Wikipedia Academies

Boosting South African language Wikipedias

The 10th of November commemorated the first Wikipedia Academy held a year ago, an event that aimed to stimulate awareness and foster a community around local language Wikipedias in South Africa. Organised by the TACP team, the workshop was attended by Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and was run by a group of dedicated enthusiasts who are active in building the Swahili, German and Afrikaans language Wikipedias.

Students from Cida City Campus were taught to edit Wikipedia entries in their own languages – and a year after the event, the impact they have made is already showing. The following is a list of South African language Wikipedias, and the growth they have seen in the months after the Wikipedia Academy:

  • Afrikaans – 6,900 to 11,192 articles
  • Sesotho – 38 to 67 articles
  • Tsonga – 3 to 150 articles
  • Swati – 11 to 146 articles
  • Setswana – 19 to 102 articles
  • Venda – 33 to 120 articles
  • Xhosa – 33 to 109 articles
  • Zulu – 90 to 182 articles

The TACP team hope to run further Wikipedia Academies in 2009, though we are looking for any volunteers who are familiar with editing Wikipedia to help us out and are also open to suggestions for schools, colleges and community centres who would benefit from this training. Please leave a comment to this blog post if you’d like to get involved!

And if you need any more inspiring, watch this video documenting the first Wikipedia Academy event, which includes an interview with Jimmy Wales and highlights from the day.

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