By Pamela Ofori-Boateng
Open Foundation West Africa (OFWA), and Asaf Bartov, Senior Programme Officer Emerging Communities, Wikimedia Foundation held fruitful discussions with the various departments at the University of Ghana on Wikipedia initiatives.
The departments are; the University Library, African Studies, Archaeology, and English Department.
Discussions were centered on writing contests, Wikipedia Education Programme (WEP), digitizing the museums at the African Studies Department and Archeology department. However, a strong emphasis was placed on possible collaborations around WEP.
The WEP allows students to contribute assignments relevant to their field of studies on Wikipedia with hopes that the articles (assignments) will stay on Wikipedia, thereby preserving knowledge and providing reuse of the knowledge.
OFWA currently runs the Wikipedia Education Programme at the Ashesi University in Ghana with the Social Theory class which generated 54 new Wikipedia articles last semester.
More often than not, school papers, thesis, and project work by students are shelved and left for ruin, which does not augur well for knowledge sharing. However, when assignments are shared on Wikipedia, people can easily access it for studies which goes a long way to contribute to knowledge sharing.
Also on the table of discussion were Wikipedia writing contests which will enable students to write articles on Wikipedia and be awarded for their contributions and efforts.