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Submissions/Luganda Wikipedia

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

This submission is on the wait list for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 3017
Title of the submission
Luganda Wikipedia
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Paulina "Nakalema" Bäckström
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Sweden and WWF
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Luganda Wikipedia is a pilot project created by Paulina Bäckström (Nakalema), Caroline Gunnarsson (Ugandanstyle), Dan Frendin (NatureDan), Paul KIguba, Jan Ainali at Wikimedia Sweden and WWF Sweden. The pilot lasted from January 16th to February 16th 2014. The purpose was to expand the small Wikipedia page in the local language Luganda with articles on sustainable development and in that way open up a world where knowledge is freely accessible to everybody in Uganda. Partial goals were to strengthen youths and adults, strengthen democracy, strengthen liberty of speech, increase understanding of computers and increase the number of women who edits Wikipedia. It is also a project towards school and village sustainable development using the Luganda Wikipedia as a source of knowledge. Teaching was carried out at universities, in secondary schools, in the village Mbazzi, in the town Masaka, at WWF office in Kampala, at the Ugandan and Luganda newspaper "Bukedde" and at "CBS Buganda Radiostation". The project was ran by Wikimedia Sverige together with WWF Sverige, who was the financial sponsor, together with project manager in Uganda Paul Kiguba. Teachers who were sent to Uganda are Paulina Bäckström and Caroline Gunnarsson, both 20 years old. Even though this was a pilot project the journey was not the first for the teachers, as they also went to Uganda in 2012 with the exchange program "Global Profile" in high school, together with their former teacher Dan Frendin. As part of exam the students learnt writing articles on Wikipedia, based on experiences from the trip. Dan Frendin had through a cooperation with Wikimedia Sweden also introduced the idea to develop and widen the subject sustainable development in the Swedish Wikipedia. This created the project “Wikipedia: Projekt Hållbar utveckling” (Wikipedia: Project sustainable development) on Wikipedia with the purpose to create, translate and highlight articles regarding sustainable development. In recent times Wikipedia has not only been used as a source for knowledge, but also as a new way to teach in an educational setting. That is how the idea to this project came to be.

During the spring of 2013, teachers from Uganda got the opportunity (through the exchange in Global profile) to participate in a workshop arranged by Wikimedia Sverige, where they learnt to edit Wikipedia. From the start the idea was that these teachers would bring this knowledge back home and spread the work with Wikipedia in Uganda. In Uganda there is a possibility to work with the Luganda language and on the Luganda Wikipedia, or in English, but there are many practical hindrances for this. Many Ugandans do not have access to their own computer where they can edit and internet access is hugely expensive in many African countries. The solution on the latter is called "Wikipedia Zero", a project where telecom providers let citizens surf for free in selected languages of Wikipedia in developing countries. The solution on the first part might be to equip every village with a computercenter. This is happening in the Ugandan village Mbazzi, where the organization “Mbazzi Farmer Association” together with the project manager Paul Kiguba have recieved grants from the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Sweden to open such a center with the aim that knowledge should be shared between farmers on the Luganda Wikipedia. This computercenter was opened February 6th 2014 and its first lecture educated "Mbazzi Farmer Association". Furthermore, Paul Kiguba will join this presentation and the conference if he is chosen to get the scholarship of attendance from Wikimedia Foundation.

The Luganda Wikipedia is one of the smallest Wikipedia language versions. When the project started it only had 166 articles. In contrast, the language Luganda, in Luganda Oluganda, is spoken by over 16 million people in Uganda, mostly by the Ganda people in south Uganda. Ganda is an ethnic group derived from the Bantu group and belong to the kingdom of Uganda (one of Ugandas five kingdoms), where the capital Kampala is located. Today, Luganda Wikipedia contains 194 articles, which means that the project has succeeded in expanding the Wikipedia page.

We see this presentation as a great opportunity to inform people from all over the world attending Wikimania in how to use Wikipedia as a tool in developing countries in terms of education, decreasing computer illiteracy, decreasing poverty, increasing the number of female authors in Wikipedia worldwide, increasing the importance of Wikipedia and free knowledge, spreading knowledge, strengthening liberty of speech, village development and in the understanding of sustainable development. We also see this as a great chance to substantially show Wikipedians how grants from Wikimedia Foundation can be used, and what big impact they might have in people's lives.

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I'm not sure.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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  1. FKoudijs (WMF) (talk) 23:00, 10 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. SarahStierch (talk) 20:48, 13 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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