The year 2023 has been an astounding year for the Higher Education Initiative (HEI) by WikiAfrica Education, a program for African Youth aimed at learning new digital skills while simultaneously spreading African languages and cultures online. There have been eight training sessions editions that inspired participants to become the primary creative architects of an authentic digital narrative of Africa.

The last session of the year took place in October, where an enthusiastic group of 20 students, coming from  “Libre Académie des Beaux-arts Laba Douala”, Burkina Institute of Technology (BIT), Université Alassane Ouattara and many other Universities, alongside the African scholars of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined the WikiAfrica Education community, trained in a francophone session. 

The session opened with Dr. Kossi A. Komla-Ebri, a medical professional and migrant writer, reminded the students that youth are the primary drivers of innovation and capable of transferring intergenerational knowledge.

 “Young people can play a leading role in community awareness, creating opportunities. The contribution of the youth is essential for creating dynamic, inclusive, and prosperous communities. Their active participation in the promotion and access to information and culture.” The awe inspiring message delivered by the Dr as well the leadership of Wikimedian Aboubacar Keita, led the creativity sparkle in the participants which created 54 new articles hitting the 53,700 views. 

The success of the initiative does not reside solely in the numbers and production; it is the young people who have taken part in it who are the first witnesses to the transformative power of such an initiative.

“I admit that this course has great value for Africa. I didn’t even know that I could participate on Wikipedia. I discovered an unacceptable gap in 2023 in my field and in my country, Burkina Faso, which truly motivates me to fill it.” C.P. – participant from session 3 of 2023.

“In Pular, I say: 𞤌𞤲𞤔𞤢𞥄𞤪𞤢𞥄𞤥𞤢/On Jaraama/Thank you for this training; it has opened many doors for me and has been a very enriching journey. I am more than satisfied. WikiAfrica is the initiative that every young person fighting for Africa should know and join, so that the whole world knows about our cultures, traditions, stories, legends, beliefs, dishes, languages, philosophy, etc. This is how we will honor our commitment to be worthy guardians of history for future generations.” A. H. D. – participant from session 3 of 2023

Our gratitude is all for the Professors, Universities, Institutions, and Academies that, throughout 2023, believed in the innovation of WikiAfrica Education. Thanks to their openness, the Higher Education Initiative has expanded:

On Wikipedia, 2,200 new pages have been added and modified in approximately 20 local languages, reaching 1,200 million views and thereby reaching new people still with limited access to knowledge.

Approximately 120 African students had the opportunity to enhance their skill set and make an impact on communities through the use of digital technologies and community collaboration. 

We invite you to join us in exploring new WikiAfrica Education horizons together in 2024!