Thank for your observation and concerns,
First of all, do you mind letting us know how you’re involved in the
Wikimedia projects? It will help us explain better if we know from which
perspective your concerns are meant to address.
As Emmanuel has already mentioned, the Dagbani Wikimedia user group is an
independent organization/user group based in the northern part of Ghana and
working to support the 16 Mole-Dagbani languages spoken in Ghana, Benin and
Burkina Faso. The breadth and scope of our work is available on our landing
page and Affiliations Committee/Resolutions for your perusal.
I was a founding member of GOIF but I’m no longer involved with them.
Please take a look at
about the current team of executives. Since you are not speaking on behalf
of affcom and the MEA regional committee, I will kindly request that you
address them directly about their decisions pertaining to the recognition
and funding of the User Groups in question. If you are interested however
in learning about what we do and our work on a daily basis, then feel free
to reach out to us on the usual channels.
To touch on the grant application though, the initial proposal has been
reviewed following the recommendations and discussions made by the grant
committee on Meta so I think it’s fruitless to continue a discussion here
that is no longer applicable. We have already responded to the MEA
committee on the discussion page
As a new user group and a first-time applicant, we are very much interested
in learning about the grant process.The proposal in question has been
changed long ago, do you mind letting us know why it is important to
continue a discussion about it now?
Finally, I am not here to argue with you on how many Mole-Dagbani languages
in Ghana, studied in schools and has a lot of Literature or content and
sohas encyclopedic status”. We have already noted your concerns and if you
need further clarifications, I will suggest you reach out to leaders of
On Tue, Dec 7, 2021 at 12:47 PM <
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1. Re: Grant Application concerns (Seydou Diakite)
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2021 04:47:27 -0800
From: Seydou Diakite <clement.bogous78(a)gmail.com>
Subject: [African Wikimedians] Re: Grant Application concerns
To: Mailing list for African Wikimedians
Cc: "affcom(a)lists.wikimedia.org" <affcom(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Thanks for coming out to try and resolve the issue although your
explanation is not convincing. Yes the Dagbani User group may be existing
as a separate entity but why is that so? What I said is it is the same
people are behind it and I haven’t because the Executive Director of the
Dagbani Usergroup is a founding member of GOIF.
In the budget it was the Executive Director who was requesting to be paid
an amount of $5000 a month for a period of 12 months that’s $60,000 to be a
project Manager. In fact the edit history shows he did most of the grant
application so why is he not even coming to justify that grant here?
Talking about Mole-Dagbani languages in Ghana how many of them are written
in Ghana, studied in schools and has a lot of Literature or content and so
has encyclopedic status?
Concerning LUCG how different is their goals from GOIF? What is the
ultimate plan of LUCG because I have seen the Twi group gearing up to be a
Usergroup? And if you follow things closely you will realize the Dagbani
Usergroup initially started as Twi, then GOIF and now the same group is
trying to start a Twi group.
Sorry if my tone is harsh but I believe that’s inconsequential in this
regard. If you think I have been conclusive and my observation are out of
Can you justify why a small language group like the Dagbani group was
requesting $190,000 since you conveniently chose not to address any of the
observations bothering around the padded figures in your budget?
I think this is a public platform so by putting my concerns here is another
way of reaching out to you publicly.
Lastly I want to know on whose behalf you’re speaking because you seem to
be in all these groups.
On Tuesday, December 7, 2021, Emmanuel Yeboah <hazel3993(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Thank you Seydou for sharing your observations and raising these
However, we would like to clarify that, although the Dabgani Wikimedians
Usergroup is one of the language groups that Global Open Initiative
birthed, they currently exist as a separate entity operating from the
Northern half of Ghana supporting multiple languages in the Mole-Dagbani
tree including Dagbani. And the Global Open Initiative team is not
or has no say in the day to day running of the
Dagbani Wikimedians group.
We do still collaborate when asked but we are not aware or involved in
every decision or activities the group takes. So their activities and
operations are different from that of GOIF.
We apologise for the delay in making this clarification soon.
Secondly, concerning the LUCG
this is a project proposed by a long-volunteer to recruit and maintain
already existing members of Lakeside University College, Ghana (LUCG).
is in line with our objectives to empower
self-sustaining Wikihubs at the
institutions that we collaborate with. Their proposal couldn’t have been
included in our plan because it was brought to our attention after we
submitted the annual grant.
We do empower and support individuals and groups to contribute in various
ways to the Wikimedia Movement (which we believe aligns with the
recommendation of increasing the sustainability
of the movement) but at a
point, if they want to operate on their own as a group or embark on
individual projects, we give them a chance to.
The assumption that GOIF is taking advantage of the Foundation by
offshoot communities to rip the Foundation off is
absolutely wrong. The
tone of this message is rather conclusive. This makes it difficult for us
to accept that these concerns were raised in good faith. We’d kindly
request for you to reach out to us publicly to seek clarification before
drawing these conclusions.
On Tue, 7 Dec 2021, 07:12 Mohamed Aliyu, <mmaliyu2012(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Good! Thanks for your insights into this matter.
> We hope that the Wikimedia grant committees be cautious in their
> decision to fund those types of affiliates.
> Mohamed Mustapha Aliyu (he/him)
> On Tue, 7 Dec 2021, 01:19 Seydou Diakite, <clement.bogous78(a)gmail.com>
>> Hello all,
>> I have been following the grant process with keen interest. I have
>> rather noticed a worrying trend that I think for the sustainability of
>> grant program and the continuity of the
volunteer spirit we need to
>> this issue as a regional group.
>> First and foremost we must bear in mind that Wikimedia Foundation is
>> donor funded and non profit. And as such people give and make it
>> for the organization to support the
activities of volunteers.
>> request and demands must be guarded.
>> Again we need to know that the movement relies on the activities of
>> volunteers ( more content are created by volunteers than any other set
>> people) and as such that should be spirit
we should be promoting
>> all our undertakings.
>> After painstakingly going through the grant request of some Usergroups,
>> what I noticed was something rather alarming. I will just mention a
>> my observations.
>> The Wikimedia Inc Nigeria for instance was requesting over $55,000
>> (aprox $4800 a month) for an office space at a time when even bigger
>> organizations etc are moving to working
remotely and hence promoting
>> from home.
>> In addition to this, there were line items for projects that have other
>> organizations running and hence have funds they disburse for
>> (Arts and Feminism,Wiki Loves Africa
>> My second observation wasn’t only alarming but also ridiculous.
>> The Dagbani Usergroup which linked to GOIF as exclaimed on their own
>> pages (was actually formed from the GOIF
>> put in separate grant applications totaling over $220,000.( far higher
>> a continental group like Wiki in Africa
and country group like
>> CIV) This same group is also behind
another group (LUCG) that has
>> put in another rapid grant
>> request. ( tye proposed Twi Wikimedians Usergroup
>> is also an offshoot) A question was posed
about their link to GOIF
>> (their mother institution) and the answers seem quite unreasonable,
>> all the separate activities can be
rounded in one grant request as
>> to paint a holistic picture of their
annual activities rather than
>> Now let’s take things into perspective.
>> The Dagbani language is spoken by less than 10% of Ghana’s population
>> over 30M people. The user group is fairly
new and their primary focus
>> reach the target Dagbani population which
could be much more organic
>> their forced request for salaries for 10
trainers per month.
>> Their community has less than 30 active contributors based on the
>> current criteria for active members (3 edits per month), and hence even
>> using their entire membership for the 12 month period, means members
>> be overwhelmed and burned out easily.
>> Now the request to pay volunteers to train is to be treaded cautiously
>> as this could change our culture for volunteerism and encourage
>> participation because members can receive payments for contributing
>> (mentoring, training, etc.).
>> Based on the monthly salary requested for these 10 trainers, it is only
>> right to assume that each of these trainers will organise at least 2
>> trainings per month making a monthly total of 20 trainings (annual 240
>> trainings). This is somewhat ridiculous and overly ambitious for even a
>> well developed Wikimedia community.
>> Aside from the aforementioned monthly payment for 10
>> they are also requesting for 2 other paid
roles with very exorbitant
>> amounts requested as salaries especially for the Executive Director
>> ($5000 a month), which even top manager
levels in Corporate Ghana and
>> government workplaces never receive. In
the first place this is a small
>> group trying to rally and sustain a community and these requests for
>> is just surprising and out of place.
>> In addition to this, there was a request for a paid WiR for 12 months
>> ($3,500 for 12 months). Apart the huge salary this is even problematic
>> judging from the fact there was no partnership with any organization
>> a GLAM activity or a project that needed
an embedded Wikimedian in a
>> partner organisation, which is normally the workflow that creates the
>> for a WiR.
>> Again this wasn’t even part of the goals of this organization. A
>> look at the budget further shows that
most of the requests are either
>> frivolous, overpriced or outrageous.
>> Looking at such a small language Usergroup what is the need for an
>> office space and all the equipment for an office?
>> The request for 6 MacBook airs for team members is rather an insult to
>> the charitable donors of the foundation. The million dollar question
>> though, is why MacBooks? And why 6 of
them? Wikimedians don’t need
>> priced equipment to deliver on their jobs and if the intention is to be
>> able to loan it to the community then macbooks still seem outrageous
>> (because they can be destroyed easily with change of hands).
>> Then comes a request for two foreign trips at a time when most
>> organizations are putting hold on trips. However the question is trips
>> where? For what? And why two team
>> These and many several budget items feel out of place, from requesting
>> for research line items (which I am wondering what it's meant for and
>> goals of the research) to requesting
specific team members for projects
>> (arts&feminism) which should be managed by already requested staff
>> (why hire other people again when you
have a project manager for the
>> organisation, who is supposed to run projects anyways)
>> Everything in that budget seems padded and inconsiderate to the many
>> donors that believe in our vision. Such characters should not be
>> in our movement and be watched closely.
>> Lastly I have noticed significant changes to the budget (from about
>> $190,000 to about $39,000) after the questions posed by the committee,
>> is a significant 80% drop from the
>> As to whether the new requested amount is a true reflection of the
>> on the ground we all all judges. I am
fully aware that the grant
>> has been updated but I decided to bring
to light the initial grant
>> because if it has has been approved I am
sure the group would have
>> the full funding. And also the current
grant is still padded.
>> I have also copied Affcom in this mail because I wanted to bring to
>> their notice the other trend that I wanted to spell out. The
>> of language Usergroups. The same group
has one Usergroup and three
>> incubator groups why so? Three of these groups have applied for grants
>> We need to re-examine our commitment to this cause. Wikimedia is a
>> voluntary movement to promote the sum of all human knowledge. Yes it’s
>> when we sometimes expend our expertise so
ask for some remuneration.
shouldn’t form Usergroup groups with the basis of
being employed or a
conduit for making profit.
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