Just this week I came across a great example of using technology to harness and save local African knowledge and content. It’s called WikiforÃªts, and it’s a living dictionary and encyclopedia, bringing together French speaking Africans who can share their knowledge of the indigenous forests in West and Central Africa.
The homepage looks promising, especially after I run it through a translator, since I don’t speak French. It looks like there is information on everything from tree species, to pygmies to animals found in the Congo Basin. That could be a great wealth of knowledge, especially if it’s coming from the locals.
However, I’ve found the site has a lot of dead links, with areas that need someone to fill in some (any) information. That’s too bad really, as this is a really good example of how we can use technology to keep some of Africa’s indigenous knowledge alive.
What I’d love to see is sites like this getting even more traction and contributors.
Another lesson… there is an invisible language curtain that splits Francophone, Anglophone and Arabic-speaking Africa. What other types of work are being duplicated, or where are they not being contributed to, because of this barrier?