MEFTV speaks to Jorge Vargas and Jack Rabah from the Wikimedia Foundation, who explains the objectives of the non-profit Foundation in focusing on efforts to make Wikipedia a truly global free knowledge resource – while widely known and used in the US and Europe, only 30% of Wikipedia traffic comes from emerging countries.
As part of the Wikimedia 2030 vision, the Wikimedia Foundation is working to expand partnerships with mission aligned organizations by empowering communities to participate in knowledge creation and sharing.
Jorge Vargas heads up partnerships for LatAm and the Caribbean as part of the Partnerships and Global Reach team : “The main goal of our team is to increase the footprint of Wikipedia as a free source for people to not only consume knowledge, but also contribute knowledge in their own language. We all have the world in our hands though our phone, all of the countries where we want to increase reach and who we want to bring Wikipedia to, are countries where mobile is more and more predominant – we’re talking about almost half of the world starting to get online through their phones, through the mobile internet. ”
“We want to find ways to reach people where they are – Wikipedia content is available through the regular website, through the app – but there is a big part of the population still connected via feature phones – they rely on SMS, USSD services etc – we want to explore how can we bring content through those channels.”
Jack Rabah also works for the Partnerships and Global Reach team, heading partnerships for the Middle East and Africa: “We’re seeing a world trend – a shift between desktop to mobile… smartphone prices are decreasing but they might not be decreasing enough in certain places, where affordability is still a major barrier”
“There are certain countries growing at different rates, there are certain countries that have more of an incentivisation towards technology than others, look at places like Kenya with a mature tech scene compared to others for example the DRC – part of the work we are doing is trying to understand that tailor-made solution that is coming to us from the communities that we work with, they’re telling us what these opportunities are.”
Watch the full video below.