Commons:Wiki Loves Africa 2016/FAQ

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What is Wiki Loves Africa?[edit]

Wiki Loves Africa (WLA) is a public annual photo contest where people across Africa can contribute media (photographs, video and sound files) about their environment on Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia and other project websites of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Wiki Loves Africa particularly encourages participants to contribute media that illustrate a specific theme for that year. Each year the theme changes and could focus on any such universal, visually rich and culturally specific topic (for example, markets, rites of passage, festivals, public art, cuisine, natural history, urbanity, daily life, notable persons, etc).
The theme for the 2016 photo contest is Wiki Loves Africa Music and Dance. The competition scope is: submissions that promotes Africa's rich heritage and culture expressed through music, song, dance, and movement.
The project is a two-month competition which will start on the 1st December 2016 and end on the 31st of January 2017.
The project will be run at the entire continental level. However, some specific actions (training, communication etc.) will be held in some countries with national organisers. The project will feature a contest to select the best media at the continental level, with a ceremony and prizes as deemed appropriate.

What happens to the photos or media after they are uploaded?[edit]

All images or media that are used on Wikipedia are uploaded to a website called Commons. This is a large and wonderful database of images, audio, and video files. All those media files are published under free licences – this means that they are free to be re-used by anyone as long as they say who authored the photograph or media and keep them free (under the same licence). For more information on Wikimedia Commons' licence policy, read here.

Who's behind it?[edit]

Wiki Loves Africa is organised by the Wikimedia community with the help from (whenever applicable) their local Wikimedia chapters or user groups. The competition was conceptualised by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood as a fun and engaging way to rebalance the lack of visual representations and relevant content that exists about Africa on Wikipedia. In 2016, the competition is supported by In 2014 and 2015 it was supported by the Africa Centre. It is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and local partners in individual countries.
The 2016 edition is managed by:

How do I get involved?[edit]

It's really simple and easy, and fun! You may participate in two main ways
  • You can participate to the contest itself! Grab your camera (or any relevant device) and shoot pictures or a video clip or a sound file. Upload !
  • Be part of a local event! In this case, please check out Local events. If you want to organise your own events (please do!), then check out the Organizers' FAQ

What are the technical requirements for the pictures?[edit]

There aren't any general technical requirements for the pictures. All self-taken photos that fulfilled the other basic rules and filled in the Wikimedia Commons scope will be accepted into the contest. As the main goal of Wiki Loves Africa is to collect as many pictures that can be used on Wikipedia as possible. Quality pictures are essential to the success of your entry and the competition. For tips and trick in how to take a good quality image for Commons, take a look at these guidelines:

What software will be used to upload pictures ?[edit]

We will be using the UploadWizard simplified by a special Wiki Loves Africa overlay.
Pictures can be uploaded using other tools (e.g. Commonist, but as this requires further knowledge of wiki markup and Wikimedia Commons itself).
To upload images, please use this link

How should I tag the images ?[edit]

All images uploaded via the upload wizard will be put in the Category:Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2016. If you do not use the upload wizard, please add the template {{Wiki Loves Africa 2016}} to the tags so that we can identify the image as part of the contest.

Where will special activities take place ?[edit]

We hope that events will take place in several countries. Typically, there are ten focus countries that will host events to present Wikimedia Commons, and organise photo hunt parties or mass-upload sessions.
Click here to get more information and in contact with the local organisers.

How can I contact you ?[edit]

Please drop a message on the talk page: Commons:Wiki Loves Africa/Help desk.

Who are Wiki Loves Africa supporters and funders ?[edit]

Wiki Loves Africa is supported by the WikiAfrica movement, hosted by and is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.

What are the rules of the contest ?[edit]

There are just a few simple rules to participate to Wiki Loves Africa photographic contest:

Acceptable files

  • All photos or media entered in the competition should be taken by the person submitting the entry. They can be either self-uploaded or uploaded during a registered mass upload session;
  • Upload is done in December and January only. However, the media can have been created at any time; e.g. historic photographs can be entered as long as you own the copyright.
  • You must supply your entry under a free copyright licence, or release it to the public domain. The preferred licence used by the upload wizard is Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 CC-BY-SA 4.0;
  • All eligible pictures must be categorised under Wiki Loves Africa 2016. This is assigned during the upload process. The identification is done by adding the following category to the page description of the image: [[category:Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2016]];
  • Participants must register on Wikimedia Commons, and enable e-mail, to be eligible for prizes.

Not eligible files

  • Non-photographic works such as drawings or entirely computer-generated works.
  • Photographs that are already on Commons (i.e. re-uploading is not allowed).
  • As the images will be hosted on Wikimedia Commons, all entries must fall within the Commons scope. Any that do not will be disqualified and may be deleted without notice.
  • Any entries with watermarks or signatures embedded on the image or file will not be accepted.

Judging criteria

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be selected by a jury of international Wikipedians and professional photographers. The Community Prize is chosen by the Wikipedia Community from the Jury’s short list. The Awesome Prize will be awarded for outstanding media contribution to the project, and will be chosen by the two organisers. The jury will judge individual entries based on the following criteria (in no particular order):
  • Technical quality
  • Originality
  • Potential usefulness and overall value of the image (including its licensing) to the Wikimedia projects.

Jury composition

  • Jacques KOUAO is a professional photographer who, with bloggers and friends, decided to visit various cities of Ivory Coast in search of these men and women that provide real and pragmatic solutions to the problems of their communities. The story of their adventures since January 2015 is available on Jacques is also co- founder of the Wikimedia User Group Ivory Coast.
  • Doris Anson-Yevu aka Kafui is a Ghanaian photographer and social entrepreneur. She is the founder of Photowalk Ghana and works as Programme Manager at Impact Hub Accra. Find her work on Flickr. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Michael Maggs is the Chair of Wikimedia UK and is an administrator and bureaucrat on Wikimedia Commons. He has been a keen photographer for many years. Examples of recent projects to record theatre and opera performances can be found here and here.
  • Born in Cape Town in 1962, David Brazier studied photography at the Harare Polytechnic after which he travelled extensively round Europe, South-East Asia, Australia, North America, Canada, Central, East and Southern Africa with his camera. In the early 1990’s he founded a small professional studio in Harare focusing on architectural, environmental and development assignments. During the early 90’s Brazier worked as a stringer for Agence France Press in Harare. His architectural work has been published in the New York Times, the International Ove Arup Journal and the Architectural Review. He has contributed and his photos have been featured in the Zimbabwean Review journal, Revue Noire, the cover of TIME Magazine (Africa), National Geographic Africa, Claiming Landscapes, Warscapes, Ogogii magazine.
  • Théo Bondolfi is a Consultant and trainer in eCulture, the president of several associations and regional organizations that work on social, economic and cultural issues. He is a lecturer, artist photographer and communicator. Currently he is the president and co-founder 1998) of His work with yorg includes the coordination of research and development, conferences, publications and training in eCulture (EU programs, North / South cooperation).


  • 1st prize: US$600 + see below
  • 2nd prize: US$400 + see below
  • 3rd prize: US$200 + see below
  • Community Prize: US$200 + see below
  • Awesome Prize: US$400 + see below

Each winner will also receive a year’s online subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan and a portable power pack.


There will be 4 winning pictures, announced before the end of March 2017 !

The small print

The organisers of the Wiki Loves Africa competition reserve the right to modify these rules or to cancel the contest at their sole discretion, even after it has started. The organisers accept no responsibility for the provision by the sponsors of any prizes, nor of any liability whatsoever in respect of this contest. Neither the rules nor anything on these pages amount to an offer to create legally binding relations with any of the organisers. Members of the jury and continental organisers are not eligible to receive any award (although they are otherwise welcome to contribute images).