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Wikipedia, the go-to online encyclopedia, visited by 15 billion users a month and populated with content contributed by over 200 000 volunteer editors, is in the spotlight this week as they hold their annual conference, Wikimania, in Cape Town. This is the first time this conference will be held in sub-Saharan Africa.

From 18-22 July, over 600 delegates will gather at the Cape Sun to debate some of the issues that Wikipedia and its associated projects are grappling with right now.

High on the agenda is the organisation’s vision for increased knowledge equity and a broader diversity of contributors and content. A vision that the global community have agreed to adopt and drive – and which is now being interrogated through a number of focused group projects.

New users to the Wikipedia environment will also be welcomed with an ‘Ideal for Newbies’ icon to assist in navigating the programme items most relevant to those who are just starting out.

 The world’s largest free knowledge movement will also put systemic gaps under the microscope throughout the conference. Gender, language and access are among the topics on the programme with Wikimedians bringing a host of opinions, proof points and project case studies into the mix. Plenary speakers include South African in New York and Africa is a Country founder, Dr Sean Jacobs on The Decolonizing Debate: Social Media as Source Archive and Wikipedia, participatory artificial intelligence researcher Joy Buolamwini on The Dangers of Supremely White Data and The Coded Gaze and the Oxford Internet Institute’s Dr Martin Dittus on Creating Knowledge Equity and Spatial Justice on Wikipedia.

The Main conference (20-22 July) will be preceded by a closed pre-conference programme (18 & 19 July) including a workshop called Decolonising the Internet in partnership with Whose Knowledge?

Members of the public interested in attending the main Wikimania programme from 20-22 July will be welcome pending capacity. As online registration is now closed, delegates can arrive on the day and South Africans may still be legible for the 50% local discount on the day rate of $75 per day or $200 for the whole three day conference.

Some of the talks will be streamed live and the organisers will share from the conference via

More about the event and the programme on

For more information and to ask questions visit

Media accreditation is live and open for application. Interviews with key spokespersons are limited so please get in touch soon.


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