Commons:Wiki Loves Africa 2017/FAQ

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WIKI LOVES AFRICA 2017 Frequently Asked Questions
The photo contest around Africa

What is Wiki Loves Africa?

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 2017 photo contest is Wiki Loves Africa People at work. The competition scope is: The theme calls for photographs, videos and audio files that document all manner of occupations undertaken across the continent - formal and informal, contemporary and ancient, business-oriented and creative.
The project is a two-month competition which will start on the 1st October 2017 and end on the 30th of November 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. FOR MORE QUESTIONS NOT COVERED HERE - GO TO THIS PAGE:

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

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?

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 and 2017, 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 2017 edition is managed by:

How do I get involved?

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?

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 ?

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 ?

All images uploaded via the upload wizard will be put in the Category:Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2017. If you do not use the upload wizard, please add the template {{Wiki Loves Africa 2017}} to the tags so that we can identify the image as part of the contest.

Where will special activities take place ?

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 ?

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

:* – French
:* – English
:* – Arabic
Contact us on Facebook :)

Who are Wiki Loves Africa supporters and funders ?

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 ?

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 October and November 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 2017. 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 2017]];
  • 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 other prizes 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

  • to be announced


  • 1st prize: US$600 + see below
  • 2nd prize: US$400 + see below
  • 3rd prize: US$200 + see below
  • Organizer prize: US$200 + see below
  • Photo Essay Prizes illustrating either one of these two topics : Women Working or Rare, Fading or Threatened Traditional Craft, Style or Way of Working : US$200 + see below

Additional prizes in each category: a Wiki Loves Africa powerpack + t-shirt


There will be 4 winning pictures, announced before the end of February 2018 !

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).

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