Hi Kasper

There's a French speaking part in Cameroon, if its not their official language. Cote d'Ivoire has French as national language. Egypt and Tunisians were present. English speaking countries like Ghana was there.

So speaking of French representations, I think for the first ever conference of wikiindaba, it was okay. In subsequent events, more countries can be included.

I may be wrong, but I don't think drawing language lines in this conference is of any importance. Whatever the different countries that come, the default language to be used will be English. The conference is for Africans, not anglophone or 'portophone' or whatever. Of course, attendees are free to speak language they are comfortable in when they attend.

I also must say that, I've hardly known Douala if not for my WiR in za. However, I cannot say for sure that, because myself or one or two of people I know doesn't know Douala, for that reasons, Douala isn't reaching out to many or Douala is making poor country-based representations.

The next wikiindaba will invite more from different countries. More countries will be represented. I don't think any special preference will be given to francophone countries whatsoever. Its a conference for Africans, not English speaking or Portuguese or French.

rexford | google.com/+Nkansahrexford

On Dec 7, 2014 3:52 PM, "Kasper Souren" <kasper.souren@gmail.com> wrote:
On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM, Isla Haddow-Flood
<islahf@africacentre.net> wrote:
> In June, Wikimedia ZA held Wiki Indaba. It was for wikipedians from Africa and wikipedians working on Africa from outside, as well as those from the aligned movement across Africa. We had delegates from all over Africa, including Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Tunisia, and France. Afripedia was
> invited, I know, because I made a special effort to make sure they knew
> about it. I believe Florence also mentioned it to them. But there was some
> change happening at Afripedia too.

That's participants from 3 Francophone countries in Africa, the
relevant Wikipedia mentions 24 and 31 countries. Last week I asked and
none of the 14 Africans who attended the Douala session knew about
WikiIndaba. Same for the participants in Madagascar if I remember
Also on wikiindaba.net I don't see *any* French language content (I
googled "français site:wikiindaba.net" ). That makes it pretty hard
for people who don't speak English to attend.

> I think another Wiki Indaba will definitely happen, but for when and where
> you will have to check with Douglas at Wikimedia ZA the original organizers
> (and aiming for Ghana for 2017 is a great idea, hopefully having had others
> in 2015-6).

That's great!

> I really don't see any point in spitting the conference and having a
> francophone one separate from the rest. It means we are going backwards, but
> with Afripedia on board, perhaps the weighting of the conference can become
> more balanced. You can find out more about the conference at WikiIndaba.net
> ... And on meta: http://meta.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Indaba

It's not really splitting if there was no French language part to
begin with, right? ;)

With a separate it would be much easier to convince French language
organisations such as La Francophonie to support the event. But I
guess a separate track with a big effort to attract Francophone
participants could also suffice for that.

Also note I can't speak for Afripedia, I'm merely a contractor who did
2 Afripedia training sessions. I do have some connections now though
that can help a lot to build afro-anglo-francophone bridges.

Moreover don't get me wrong, I agree it's better to create one
multilingual event, ideally also include Arabic and Portuguese and at
least 2 African languages spoken in different countries (e.g. Swahili,
Mande languages, Peul).  But this requires a lot more effort than from
what I can see from last WikiIndaba - and I'm happy to help make with
that to assure the next WikiIndaba will be a real polyglot conference!


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