Open Foundation West Africa ( OFWA) Launches University Tech Clubs Initiatives to Introduce Students to Wikimedia

In an exciting new initiative, Open Foundation West Africa (OFWA) through the African Wikimedia Technical Community (AWMT) has launched tech clubs in universities across Ghana to introduce students to the world of Wikimedia, specifically focusing on MediaWiki and tech contributions. This initiative aims to bridge the knowledge gap among tech-savvy students in Africa and provide them with opportunities to engage with and contribute to the Wikimedia ecosystem. The underrepresentation of African tech enthusiasts in the Wikimedia space is a significant issue that needs attention and this is due to factors such as lack of awareness and outreach, lack of skill development and training, and lack of support. This is why OFWA has taken it upon itself to launch a comprehensive initiative aimed at addressing the underrepresentation of African tech enthusiasts in the Wikimedia space.

Ghana boasts of a vibrant community of computer science students, coders, programmers, and tech enthusiasts. However, many of these students are unaware of the potential contributions they can make within the Wikimedia space, particularly through MediaWiki. MediaWiki, the open-source software that powers Wikipedia and many other collaborative platforms, offers numerous opportunities for tech contributions, including coding, software development, and project management.

Joining these tech clubs offers numerous benefits for students, including:

  • Hands-On Experience: Students will gain practical experience working with MediaWiki and other Wikimedia technologies.
  • Skill Development: Participants will have opportunities to develop and enhance their coding, software development, and project management skills.
  • Networking: Tech clubs provide a platform for students to connect with like-minded peers, industry professionals, and Wikimedia contributors.
  • Contribution to Open Knowledge: Students will have the chance to contribute to the global knowledge base, making information more accessible to people worldwide.

The first milestone of this initiative was the successful launch of a tech club at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. The launch event was a resounding success, attracting a large number of enthusiastic students eager to learn about Wikimedia and MediaWiki. The club's formation marks a significant step towards fostering a community of tech contributors who can actively engage with Wikimedia projects.

Building on the success at KNUST, OFWA plans to establish tech clubs at other universities and senior High Schools across Ghana. These clubs will serve as hubs for students to collaborate, share knowledge, and work on Wikimedia-related projects. By providing training, resources, and mentorship, OFWA aims to empower students to become active contributors to the Wikimedia community.

OFWA invites all computer science students, coders, programmers and tech enthusiasts to join this exciting initiative and be a part of the African Wikimedia Tech Community. Whether you are an experienced coder or just starting your tech journey, there is a place for you in the Wikimedia community. To get involved, students can join their university's tech club or reach out to OFWA for more information on how to start a club on their campus.

The launch of these tech clubs marks the beginning of a transformative journey for students in Ghana. By introducing them to the Wikimedia space, OFWA is not only expanding its horizons but also contributing to the global movement of free and open knowledge. We are excited to see the innovative contributions that will emerge from these clubs and look forward to supporting the next generation of Wikimedia tech contributors.

  • July 5, 2024