A gathering of Wikimedia communities from across Ghana is scheduled to take place in the city of Tamale from May 12-14, 2023. The Ghanaian Wikimedia Languages Meet-up will serve as a celebration of Ghana’s diverse linguistic landscape, highlighting the importance of collaboration and the sharing of experiences across the various Wikimedia projects.
Participating communities include the Gurene Wikimedia Community, Moore Wikimedian Community, Ghanaian Pidgin Wikimedians Community, Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, Fante Wikimedians Community, Dagaare Wikimedia Community, Kusaal Wikipedia Community, Wikimedians of Twi Language User Group, and Art+Feminism.
The idea behind the Meet-up can be traced back to a conversation between Sadik Shahadu, Founder of the Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, and Maxwell Beganim, co-founder of the Ghanaian Pidgin Community. They then reached out to other communities to gauge their interest in taking part.
A core organizing team was formed, consisting of two members from the language community, who have assumed leadership roles in organizing the meetup, with active participation from other language community members. Encouraging the development of open projects and cultivating inclusivity within the tech ecosystem are vital aspects of their mission. Collaborating with partner communities plays a pivotal role in achieving their goals, as it enables valuable knowledge sharing, encourages solidarity in preserving endangered languages, and empowers communities that lack resources.
In an email interview with Rising Voices, Maxwell mentioned the potential value in uniting Ghana’s language communities to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and establish strategies for making the Internet more inclusive, through the promotion of local content. Maxwell also said the Meet-up’s intended impact is to “create unity in diversity” and to “ see a united front amongst the local language communities in Ghana and to decolonize the internet with local content.”
The program has been released and will include different community activities, mini workshops, and talks and presentations delivered by representatives from each language community. To get a sneak peek into the agenda, you can access the tentative program outline has been uploaded here.
Maxwell also said that the core team recognizes the significance of establishing partnerships with communities experienced in open projects, seeking to bridge the knowledge gap among language communities. This collaboration serves as a symbol of solidarity, highlighting the collective effort to preserve local languages, especially those at risk of extinction in Africa. Safeguarding these languages is extremely important, as they represent an integral part of cultural heritage and identity.