Hello everyone

WikiAfrica has recently started a new project, the Wikipack Africa.

The project amalgamates:

* the coding of a software, WikiFundi, that provides an off-line editing environment that mimics the Wikipedia environment. The software will be made available in French and English.

* the creation of action packs for use by local Wikimedia chapters, user groups or isolated individuals in Africa, and

* a Wikipedia Writing Contest to be run in African Schools, #WikiChallenge African Schools

It will roll out in two phases :

Phase 1 involves the creation of the WikiPack Africa. WikiPack Africa is a digital kit located via a local network device (Raspberry PI). The local network device will provide access to an off-line editing platform that mimics Wikipedia, and provides related materials and additional OER resources. The WikiPack Africa will both facilitate the outreach work of Wikimedia chapters, User Group and individuals, and encourage the growth of digital skills and content contribution by teachers and students across Africa. The pack allows for ongoing training and contribution even when technology, access and electricity outages fail or are not available at all.

The WikiPack Africa delivered to users will comprise two Raspberry PIs and some offline materials (posters, leaflets, pull-up banner, tee-shirts, etc.). The WikiPack will be delivered to several Wikimedia User Groups located in Africa end of 2016. A Call for Interest will be made to identify which groups will receive the Packs (8 countries will be covered as part of the pilot launch).

The project has been conceptualised and conceived by Isla and myself after seeing how frustrating limited access to internet or even to electricity could be when trying to participate to Wikipedia.

The WikiPack Africa is primarily meant for individuals and groups wanting to implement outreach projects and: * work with galleries, libraries, archives and museums to bring cultural content online; * work with education partners to get educators and students contribute or better understand Wikimedia projects; * more generally, organise edit-a-thons, photo hunts, workshops, press conferences, etc. to promote Wikimedia projects.

The #WikiChallenge African Schools (Phase 2) will use the WikiPack Africa to facilitate an entertaining, powerful, collaborative and interactive content creation competition between schools in Sénégal, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinée, Niger, Tunisia, Madagascar, and Cameroon (countries may change...). The challenge will run early 2017.

The full project is run in partnership with Wikimedia CH and the Orange Foundation. It will be primarily implemented by Florence, Isla and Emmanuel Engelhart (Kelson, from Kiwix) from May 2016 until summer 2017.

The project proposal, its documentation and its outcomes will be under a CC BY SA 4.0 licence.



Current next steps include in particular

* working on the WikiFundi software. This shall be lead by Kelson and part of the development should be done during the Kiwix Hackhaton prior to Wikimania. If you are interested to help, and simply interested to better understand what is planned, please get in touch;

* working on the content that will be put on WikiFundi.
We will NOT provide the entirety of Wikipedia on the plateform, but only a mix of "presentation material", some "help:pages", "showcase of best articles" and a large % of templates currently available on Wikipedia. If you want to help or provide insightful input, please get in touch (with me), by email or on the wiki talk page or during Wikimania. We start working on the English content first. My current challenge is to identify the most relevant help pages... and adapt them to this offline editing environnement.


* To read more about Wikifundi:

* More information about the wikipack :
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipack_Africa/en and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipack_Africa/fr

* WikiProject page on the English Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wikipack_Africa

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