Planning Wikimedia Ghana (PWMGH), which consists of Ghanaian Wikimedians is currently undertaking projects that encourage participation and contribution from Ghanaians to the various Wikimedia wikis. This is being done to aid the possible creation of a local chapter in the west African country, a milestone for Wikimedians here.
According to Wikimedia Foundation’s statistics from the last 12 months, Ghana has not performed well in contributing, editing, and even using the wikis. Contributions from the country were less than one percent of the total percentage of contributions made globally. (Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report – Wikipedia Page Edits Per Country 2012).
Some factors that lead to the small number of contributions surely include limited internet access and limited access to and/or ownership of internet enabled devices. However, lack of awareness of Wikimedia and the concept of a wiki is a bigger factor. Planning Wikimedia Ghana seeks to rectify this by creating awareness as they lay the foundation for a Wikimedia chapter.
Many of Ghanaian children agree Wikipedia is a great homework resource. Planning Wikimedia Ghana seeks to get many of school children contributing to it. Earlier this August, the first two school children signed up to join this project and are contributing articles about some local topics they wish to see on Wikipedia. According to Sandister Tei, a Planning Wikimedia Ghana team member, these youngsters were recruited from her neighborhood in Accra after they interacted with the planning committee as part of pilot efforts.
Also through PWMGH’s efforts Ghana is participating in Wiki Loves Monuments 2012. It has recently created the Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 Ghana page and hopes to curate about 51 monuments, forts and museums’ photographs. The group seeks to run the WLM as its first project in Ghana.
Recently, a representative from the Planning Wikimedia Ghana attended Innovation Week program in Accra, Ghana, organized by the Kofi Annan Technology Institute. He used the opportunity to make a presentation about Wikimedia Foundation project sites.
Rexford Nkansah, the initiator of the chapter-planning process in Ghana, believes there is a lot of work to be done and a lot of fun in the projects. The most important thing is that the outreach must succeed in making Ghanaians contribute massively to Wikipedia and to get them excited about the creation of a local chapter.
Currently the group has 25 members and is open all Ghanaians who share the vision of free online educational resources for all. One can join PWMGH via the their meta page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sandister Tei, Planning Wikimedia Ghana