Wiki Loves Africa

A continent-wide online competition that encourages people to contribute Africa-relevant media (photos, video or audio) around an annual theme.

Status: Active

Wiki Loves Africa (WLA) is an annual contest that gives everyone across the African continent an opportunity to share media that is relevant to their experience. These photographs, video and audio files are contributed to Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia and other project websites of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Each year, participants are encouraged to submit media from Africa that relates to a specific theme. The theme changes each year and is selected by the community from a few universal, visually rich and culturally specific topics (for example, markets, rites of passage, festivals, public art, cuisine, natural history, urbanity, daily life, notable people, and so forth).

Once all submissions are received, the best media in Africa is selected, with a ceremony and prizes as deemed appropriate.

Past WLA themes include:

  • 2014: Wiki Loves Africa Cuisine: This competition documented the diverse types of cuisine across the continent of Africa. The theme encompassed foods, dishes, crops, husbandry, culinary art, cooking methods, utensils, food markets, festivals, culinary events, famine food and any other issues related to cuisine on the African continent.
  • 2015: Wiki Loves Africa Cultural Fashion and Adornment: This contest encouraged submissions of media that focused on cultural dress and fashion, especially that defined by local cultural influences – including cloth, styles, and ways of wrapping and hanging, etc. Entries covering adornment were also requested, including culturally defined jewellery, makeup, hairstyles, cloths and woven materials.
  • 2016: Wiki Loves Africa Music and Dance: This competition called for submissions that promote Africa’s rich heritage and culture expressed through music, song, dance, and movement.
  • 2017: People at Work – encourages the visual, audio or video documentation of all manner of occupations undertaken across the African continent … the usual and unusual, the banal and the extraordinary. These can be formal and informal, contemporary or ancient, business-oriented or creative. There are special prizes for photo essays that capture Women at Work and Rare and Endangered Work Practices.

Each year’s project runs for two months at the entire continental level. However, some specific actions, such as training and communication, are held in some countries with national organisers. This project is possible due to funding from the Orange Foundation (2014) and the Wikimedia Foundation (2014-6).

Explore this project in more detail: