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Wikidata’s tenth anniversary has been celebrated in Tamale, Ghana, by the Dagbani Wikimedians User Group and two of its sister communities

March 16, 2023

The Dagbani Wikimedians User Group has successfully organized Wikidata’s 10th anniversary with its sister communities in Tamale, Ghana. The event brought together some members of the Dagbani Wikimedia, the Gurene Wikimedia, and the Moore Wikimedia communities in one place for the first time to celebrate the 10th birthday of Wikidata in Tamale.

Wikidata is one of the Wikimedia Foundation’s multilingual projects that everyone collaboratively edits. Like any other Wikimedia project, such as Wikipedia, it is a common source of open data that anyone else can use under the CC0 public domain license. “Wikidata is a wiki that runs on the MediaWiki software and the Wikibase set of knowledge graph MediaWiki extensions.”

Wikidata went live on October 29, 2012, and has since become one of the most important projects of the Wikimedia Foundation. It turned ten years old in October 2022, and after bringing new energy into the open source system, there are various celebrations across different parts of the world where people are brought together to appreciate the achievements of their communities and also to talk about Wikidata to the rest of the world to get more people to contribute to it. These get-togethers and birthday events take several forms in different parts of the world, such as meetups, workshops, discussions, live streams, and editing campaigns. It is a new effort to provide a database of knowledge that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike.

The Tamale event by the Dagbani Wikimedians User Group and its sister communities in Ghana involved a three-part celebration. Over 80 participants participated in a mini-float, led by scouts, to prepare for the event and raise awareness about the anniversary. The event included a health walk from the event centre to Tamale's principal streets, aiming to energize participants and promote physical activity. Following the mini-float, Sadik Shahadu, Executive Director of the Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, led stretching exercises for participants to rest and prepare for the remaining planned activities.

Dnshitobu, a facilitator, provided an overview of Wikidata, basic editing skills, and tools for easy and fun editing for newbies and community members. The session aimed to understand and appreciate Wikidata, its functions, and why it is worth celebrating. Participants were tasked with creating items and adding labels, descriptions, and statements, with team members and community leads assisting. The session concluded at 3:00 pm, with participants feeling joy and expressing their appreciation for Wikidata's celebration.

Shahadu Sadik led a cake-cutting celebration for the birthday, featuring indoor games, singing competitions, pick-and-act competitions, and chair dance competitions. Participants enjoyed local dishes and drinks during the party or dinner. Saganity TV, a satellite television network that broadcasts both English and local-language news bulletins, covered the event. The event was a celebration of diverse languages and cultures.

The Wikimedia Foundation played a crucial role in the success of the event in Ghana, surpassing expectations. The program coordinator and communications manager commended the team for their immense contributions, ensuring an exciting and engaging event. The program coordinator expressed gratitude to the three community members who travelled from various regions, and the communications manager praised the team's commitment and passion, making the event a success.

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