You are here: HomeNews2014 01 05Article 296996

Opinions of Sunday, 5 January 2014

Columnist: Ofori, Oral

Q&A with Wikimedia Ghana

#TheAfricanDream had the privilege of talking to Rexford
Nkansah; a
member of Planning Wikimedia Ghana
(PWMGH) , which
is working on establishing a recognized Wikimedia Chapter in Ghana. We had
this conversation prior to the departure of Mr. Nkansah to South Africa to
further the work of free access to information with the Africa Center.

(Video of interview here:

Below is a loose transcription of how the question and answer

*(Q&A)* session
transpired and an accompanying video as well. Do not hesitate to share this
with your friends and feel free to leave a comment or contact this blog
about how you can be of assistance to making Wikimedia Ghana a reality.
Thanks for your assistance and enjoy:

*Q: What is Wikimedia*

*A:* The Wikimedia Foundation *(WMF)*, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable
organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and
distribution of multilingual, educational content and to providing the full
content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The
Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited
reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia; a top-ten internet

*Q: Why is it necessary for Ghana to have a recognized Wikimedia Chapter*

*A:* Recognition as a chapter means we are allowed to use the Wikimedia
Foundation trademarks and logos and other copyrighted instruments of the
organization in our local activities in promotion of the use of *WMF*
We are currently limited in the use of Wikimedia trademarks, hence
delimiting how far and open we can go with our activities. This is why we
are currently calling ourselves Planning Wikimedia Ghana *(PWMGH)*. As a
recognized Chapter, we also can get funding not only from the mother
organization, but from interested local entities.

*Q: How many countries in Africa have recognized Wikipedia Chapters*

*A:* Only South Africa presently has a recognized Chapter of this global
foundation in all of Africa. Kenya used to be a recognized chapter but
recently lost that privilege, which is why PWMGH is working hard for
recognition today.

*Q: What is Ghana doing to become a Chapter too*

*A:* Ghana has a team of about 5 core dedicated members and about 12 other
persons and institutions that have also volunteered their time and
resources to promoting the use of WMF project websites in the country. The
basic goal of this team is to help introduce as many possible Ghanaians to
contributing and making good use of these sites. By getting more active
members on board, the team can therefore transform into a chapter provided
we have almost met all the requirements and in the continual process of
encouraging our members to actively contribute by way of making edits
regularly and accurately on the wikis.

*Q: Is the government or private sector engaged in anyway in helping those
pushing for the formation of a Ghana Chapter of the WMF*

*A: *Yes the private sector is involved. Organizations such as MiPromo;
Owners of
and GhanaThink
Foundation who are
organizers of barcamps. Organizations like the Peace Corps and World Reader
among others are currently in talks with us and we hope to form lasting
partnership with them all. As for interest coming from the government
sector, well I will say we are yet to feel any form of involvement from
there for now.

*Q: I hear you will be in South Africa for a year working with Africa
Centre, talk a bit about who they are and what your job with them will be*

*A:* Basically, Africa Centre has found its purpose of creating a platform
for exploring contemporary Pan-African creative practice as a catalyst for
social change and as a result, I have been drafted to be in their employs
to assist with this purpose.

Well, actually, my work there as a Wikipedian in Residence will involve
more than just wiki Indaba of South Africa. As outlined in my contract; I
will be keenly working in direct collaboration with the wiki Africa
projects, which will involve myself being a liaison between the Africa
center and wiki Africa content partners. About 5 other wiki African related
tasks will also be assigned to me and I am really excited and looking
forward to becoming a force for good.

*Q: Before you leave, what will you say to anyone out there who wants to
help PWMGH?*

*A:* I will simply encourage individuals and organizations to get
interested and involved in the work of PWMGH by liking us on Facebook,
following us on Google+ and Twitter and not just become passive members,
but actually remain active contributors as we help update, edit and create
new info about not only Ghana, but Africa and the entire world to be freely
consumed by generations to come. Thank you!