From Wikimania

Africa is a continent of over a billion people, who speak more than a thousand languages. Many of those are spoken by over a million people, in no particular order: Yoruba, Tsonga, Zulu, Tigrinya, Akan, Swahili, Hausa, Chewa, Xhosa, Makhuwa, Oromo, Sango, Ndebele, Igbo, Kongo, Tswana, Fula, Fon, Amharic, Sotho, Dinka, Bemba, Dioula, and many, many more.

Unfortunately, Wikipedias and other Wikimedia projects in these languages have very few articles and contributors. In some of these there is no project at all!

Having the Wikimania conference and the Hackathon in Africa is an excellent opportunity to take a close look at these projects and understands what is blocking them from developing. This is especially appropriate with regards to technical issues:

  • Translation of MediaWiki user interface
  • Support for keyboards and fonts: typing with special characters, displaying fonts on various devices, etc.
  • Capability to translate articles
  • Capability to add and edit information in Wikidata
  • Support for searching
  • Importing templates from other projects
  • Taking projects out of Incubator into their own domains

It is also an opportunity to learn about any other special needs that communities that write in different languages have, the status of the languages in their societies and countries, their use in education, availability of resources such as dictionaries and textbooks, and so on.


Please sign up if you are willing to participate in this process, and even if you simply speak any language of Africa, or if you have any challenges with reading or writing in Wikipedia or in other Wikimedia projects in any language.

  • Amir E. Aharoni, Language strategist in the Wikimedia Foundation. Interested in listening to people's stories about any of the above: challenges that they have with support for their language on Wikipedia, whether technical, cultural, or social, and to provide relevant technical support.
  • Dumi, small language volunteer and interested in talking about how to get Wikipedia language projects out of the Incubator.
  • C. Scott Ananian, mw:LanguageConverter caretaker. Interested in language pairs which differ in minor ways (writing system, orthography, small vocabulary differences) which could be bridged using LanguageConverter. See m:Wikipedias in multiple writing systems for some examples.
  • Helmoony, a community manager in the Arabic Wikipedia. I have a presentation about how to support small wikis. Looking for help for pending tasks related to the Arabic Wikipedia on phabricator.