Afripedia Project

The Afripedia Project was launched in mid-June 2012 and is ongoing. It aims to expand offline Wikipedia access in French-speaking Africa, and encourage Africans to contribute to Wikipedia.[1] The project installs local Kiwix-serve wireless and intranet servers and provides training and maintenance support.[2]

Afripedia Project
Afripedia Logo

The founding partners are Wikimédia France, the Institut Français, and the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie.[3] French is spoken by an estimated 120 million (2010) people in Africa, spread across 24 francophone countries.[4]

Access to Wikipedia from USB keys was not new in Africa, but keys are often very outdated,[1] where Afripedia is regularly updated.[5] Many of the partnering universities have low-bandwidth internet, but a few have no internet access.[2]

The project offers additional content besides Wikipedia, such as Wiktionary.[5] Any content that is first packaged in a ZIM file can be relayed over the Afripedia network;[6] Project Gutenberg and Wikisource, for instance, are available as ZIM files.[7][8]

The project also encourages the formation of Afripedia clubs for local users.[9]

The project has been described as a worthy stopgap measure, until such time as internet access can be developed throughout Africa.[3]

Timeline

  • Autumn 2011 – Spring 2012 : Project preparation, partnership formation, Kiwix algorithm development
  • 2012, June 15 : Agreement signed on behalf of the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, the Institut français, and Wikimédia France, by Bernard Cerquiglini (AUF), Xavier Darcos (IF) and Rémi Mathis (WMFr).
  • July 2012 : Presentation of project and prototype at the Forum mondial de la langue française in Québec
  • 2012, November 6–9 : training of 15 leaders from 12 East and Central African countries held at the Campus numérique francophone at the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; deployment of 15 offline access points (plug computer + USB key+ wifi router)
  • 2013, June 24–28 : Second training and deployment, in Kinshasa
  • 2013, October 14–18 : Third training and deployment, in Yaoundé
  • 2014, September 29 – October 3: Fourth, Antananarivo

See also

References

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