Wikimedia Nigeria UG opens offices in Nigeria

Wikimedia Nigeria UG opens office in Nigeria

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On July 18, 2023, the Wikimedia Nigeria User Group opened its office in Lagos State, Nigeria. The opening ceremony was chaired by Alhaji Mohammed Idris, the Publisher of Blueprint Newspapers and the Secretary-General of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN). Civil organizations, friends, community members, and organization partners witnessed the ceremony. Alhaji Idris encouraged members of the group present at the event to be steadfast in their support for the community and contribution to the sum of all human knowledge, ensure the image of Nigeria through their contributions to Wikipedia, and always strive to promote the country.

According to Alhaji Idris, “The initiative will project the idea of the country positively, and I feel Nigerian influence should support it to achieve its purpose. He also advised the Foundation’s organizers not to relent and continue exploring higher ground. As a group of open knowledge advocates, the group should aim at increasing the visibility and availability of free knowledge in Nigeria while also fostering a community of Wikimedians who can support and guide each other in their contributions.”

Wikimedia Nigeria UG opens offices in Nigeria

Present at the event are the Chair of the BOT, Mr. Olaniyan Olushola; the Secretary of the BOT, Mr. Olatunde Isaac; the Executive Director, Ms. Omolayo Ogunsiji; the Programme Director, Ayokanmi Oyeyemi; and other distinguished members of the Wikimedia community in Nigeria.

On behalf of the organization, Mr. Olaniyan, the chair of the BOT, thanked the Chair of the event for honoring the invitation to attend the official opening ceremony of their office out of his busy schedule. Also, he commended the publisher’s contributions and involvement in the growth and awareness of newspapers in Nigeria. He believes the support of Nigerian dignitaries and philanthropies would complement the support received by the Wikimedia Foundation to promote open knowledge in Nigeria.

The Wikimedia User Group Nigeria is a community of contributors to Wikipedia and free knowledge enthusiasts based in Nigeria and in the diaspora. It is a recognized affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and other projects. The journey to formalize the Wikimedia community in Nigeria began in 2015. The organization has conducted hundreds of projects in the past years, from capacity-building to content creation. It has partnered with over 50 mission-aligned organizations, including government ministries, agencies, and departments.

Wikimedia Nigeria UG opens offices in Nigeria

In 2018, the group was registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria as a non-profit organization.

The group comprises open and free knowledge advocates, language enthusiasts, and people interested in contributing to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. They actively contribute to Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, and more. The group structured its operation around Fan clubs and networks across the country.

The Fan Clubs are registered clubs in Nigerian tertiary institutions and are operated by undergraduate and postgraduate students. At the same time, the Network comprises Nigerians from all walks of life who are passionate about contributing their time to improving the sum of all human knowledge. The user group provides platforms for Nigerian Wikimedians to collaborate, share knowledge, organise events, and promote the use and development of Wikimedia projects in Nigeria through a variety of projects.

The primary objectives of the group include, but are not limited to, promoting and supporting Wikimedia projects and initiatives in Nigeria and organising events, workshops, edit-a-thons, and training sessions to increase awareness and participation in Wikimedia projects. Encourage the creation and improvement of content related to Nigeria on Wikimedia platforms and Collaborate with other Wikimedia user groups, organisations, and institutions to advance the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation.

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