This press release is also available on the Wikimedia blog here:
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2018/07/18/wikimedia-foundation-and-kiwix-partner-to-grow-offline-access-to-wikipedia/Wikimedia
Foundation and Kiwix partner to grow offline access to Wikipedia
*The Wikimedia Foundation and Switzerland-based Kiwix announce a global
collaboration to increase offline access to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia
projects.*

Lausanne, Switzerland, and San Francisco, USA, 18 July 2018 – The Wikimedia
Foundation has announced a partnership with Kiwix, the free and open-source
software solution that enables offline access to educational content, to
expand and improve access to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects
globally. This partnership will include a $275,000 contribution to Kiwix to
further enhance offline access to Wikipedia in parts of the world where
consistent, affordable internet connectivity presents a significant barrier
to accessing Wikipedia.

“Our hope is that one day everyone will have access to the internet, and
eliminate the need for other offline methods of access to information.”
said Kiwix CEO Stephane Coillet-Matillon. “But we know that there are still
serious gaps in internet access globally that require solutions today.
Kiwix is a tool to start fixing things right now.”
The Wikimedia Foundation and Kiwix have had a long-standing collaborative
relationship to expand access to Wikipedia around the world. This includes
recent support to Kiwix and WikiProject Medicine to improve the
availability of offline Wikipedia medical content [1], as well as
improvements to the Kiwix desktop experience.

Through this partnership, the two organizations will collaborate to create
a long-term strategy for third party reuse of Kiwix’s free access platform,
fix longstanding code debt, improve Kiwix’s usability across mobile
platforms including Android, and integrate Kiwix’s and the Wikimedia
Foundation’s technical operations more closely for improved Wikipedia
offline experiences.

“As part of the 2030 direction for Wikimedia’s future [2], we’re thrilled
to be partnering with Kiwix to invest in solutions to address one of the
critical barriers to participating in Wikipedia globally: reliable internet
access,” said Anne Gomez, Senior Program Manager at the Wikimedia
Foundation. “We have made a commitment as an organization to actively
address the challenges and barriers to reaching our global Wikimedia
vision: a world in which everyone can freely share in knowledge. Today
marks an important step toward realizing that commitment.”

The Wikimedia vision is global: a world in which everyone can freely share
in the sum of all knowledge. While there has been a significant reduction
in high mobile data costs and other barriers to participating in Wikipedia,
more than half the world’s population is not yet online. [3]

Today, Kiwix sits at the heart of the offline ecosystem with more than 3
million users from more than 200 countries. It can store millions of
Wikipedia articles from any of Wikipedia’s nearly 300 languages along with
thousands of books and videos on a single flash drive or microSD card for
access on smartphones and computers. Kiwix has also worked with nonprofits
such as the Orange Foundation, Human Rights Foundation, Internet in a Box,
WikiFundi, and Digisoft to scale distribution of offline education
materials around the world to students, teachers, and the general public.

More information about the Wikimedia Foundation’s work to expand access and
participation to Wikipedia globally, including information about this
partnership with Kiwix, can be found in the Wikimedia Foundation’s
2018-2019 annual plan. [4]



About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that supports and
operates Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge projects. Wikipedia is the
world’s free knowledge resource, spanning more than 45 million articles
across nearly 300 languages. Every month, more than 200,000 people edit
Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, collectively creating and improving
knowledge that is accessed by more than 1 billion unique devices every
month. This all makes Wikipedia one of the most popular web properties in
the world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is
a 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

About Kiwix

Kiwix is an open-source software that brings internet content to millions
of people without internet access - be it because of cost, poor
infrastructures or even censorship. Websites like Wikipedia, TED talks, the
Gutenberg library and many more can be stored and browsed as if users were
online. Kiwix is available in more than 100 languages, and runs on all
major desktop and mobile platforms. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, Kiwix
Association is a registered Swiss Verein that is funded solely through
donations and grants. For more information, see www.kiwix.org.

Press contacts

Wikimedia Foundation
Kui Kinyanjui
pr...@wikimedia.org


Kiwix
Stéphane Coillet-Matillon
+41 79 215 8510 or steph...@kiwix.org



[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project/Stephane/Kiwix/Offline_medical

[2] https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/11/03/wikimedia-movement-new-direction/

[3] https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx

[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/New_Readers/Annual_Plan_1819
-- 
*Samantha Lien*
Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
1Montgomery Street
Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94104
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