[Apologize for cross posting... ]


Wikimedia France is very happy to announce a great new project :

A partnership has been formalized on last Friday between Wikimédia France, the Institut Français (the network of the french cultural institutes in the world) and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (Association of Universities of the Francophonie) to support a common program about the development of Wikipedia in French-speaking Africa: this project is called "Afripedia".

Afripedia is a project to support the "digital development" of Africa. While the most part of the contributions and contributors on Wikipedia are from the North, we want to make easier the offline reading of Wikipedia and the production of content about Africa and made by African contributors. The project entails projected workshops to help use the encyclopedia and produce content on the Wikimedia projects.

Based on the offline technologies developped by Kiwix (and helped by Kiwix), the project will involve several phases:

1/ software development to produce offline versions of Wikipedia (and probably other Wikimedia projects like Wiktionary) regularly and easily, and then a download solution to get these offline versions easier, with no technical ability needed.

2/ Installation of these offline versions on flash drives, plugged on little computers extremely energy-efficient, without screen or keyboard. The computer spreads the content of the flash drive (=Wikipedia) with a wireless connection without internet (the content of the flash drive is available just by connecting to this wifi) [see [[Plug computer]]

3/ Installation of the computers and flash drives and training of students and professors on the "Digital campus of Francophonie", a network of digital points supported by the Association of Universities of the Francophonie, to support the dissemination of Wikipedia content without the issues of irregular access to internet. One plug (with or without repeater) can provide Wikipedia for dozens of students !

4/ Training in contribution on Wikipedia (in French and local languages)

5/ After a first implementation (autumn 2012) in 20 points in 15 countries of West Africa, we will assess the project and extend it over a larger scale for 2013, if the results are good.

As it is one of our missions, we consider producing free knowledge in French and in local languages and making it accesible in territories developping access to digital technology but having no active Wikimedia community yet, to be essential. So we will also support the forming of contributors communities in these countries.

See also (in french) http://www.wikimedia.fr/afripedia

The Institut Français is the operator for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of the cultural action in foreign countries. Through its French Language Department, the Institut Français works towards the attractivity and spreading of French language across the world. It particularly takes care of the development of the teaching of French language and culture in secondary school and in universities.
The Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (Association of Universities of the Francophonie) groups 786 higher education and research institutions from 98 countries on the five continents, using French language as a language for teaching and research. Its mission is to contribute to the solidarity between French-speaking higher education establishments and to the development of a scientific arena in French, respecting the cultures and languages diversity.

Adrienne Charmet-Alix
Directrice des programmes - Wikimedia France
Twitter : @AdrienneAlix
adrienne.alix@wikimedia.fr |