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Exquisite photographs by African photographers display Africa On the Move on Wikipedia

[for immediate release] Cape Town, South Africa, 3rd August 2020 – Wiki In Africa, the international organisers of the 6th Wiki Loves Africa photographic and media competition, are proud to announce the international prize-winners of the 2020 competition.

The competition takes place annually and calls for submissions along themed lines. At the heart of its purpose, is a drive for Africans to document Africa. Both amateur and professional photographers and filmmakers are called to share the world they see every day; life recorded and observed from within their own communities. Their contribution forms a collection of royalty-free images about Africa, a continent that is often the subject of an external gaze and many subsequent stereotypes.

Initially intended as a month-long intervention, Wiki Loves Africa 2020 took place as the COVID-19 crisis hit Africa. It launched on the 15th of February, and the deadline was extended from 15th March to 15th April to facilitate the significant life changes wrought as the COVID lockdowns impacted each country after another.

Over the eight weeks of the competition, 1904 people contributed just shy of 17,000 images, 2 sound and 202 video files that broadly capture the 2020 theme of Africa on the Move! (transport) across the continent.  

An international jury of photographers from across Africa and Wikimedia specialists from around the world deliberated on the 16,982 images. The quality of images was a  key criterion in the selection, as was the encyclopedic value of the image, and also that it was visually arresting and well framed. Of equal importance was the quest to ensure that the unexpected was featured. As a project, Wiki Loves Africa is focused on obliterating the ‘single story of Africa’ by visually displaying the myriad of experiences that make up daily life on the continent. In this case, the thousands of images represented Africa in all its dichotomy through the theme of transport, from donkeys and potholed roads to high-speed trains, cargo and ferry boats. 

After an exhaustive jury process that lasted several intense weeks  over 4 painstaking rounds, they decided on the following winners:

1st prize goes to the image My Homeland (Lake Burullus, Egypt) by Mohamed Ahmed Yousry (User:Myousry6666). Download link

Mohamed told us how he came across this image: 

"I heard a lot about the virgin islands scattered along Lake Burullus. One particular image of an island called Shakloba haunted me. It might be the stunning image I saw on Facebook or the strange name of the island. But either way, curiosity got the best out of me and my travel companions and we decided to explore the island.

"Shakhloba is one of over a dozen small, mostly uninhabited islands in Lake Burullus. The magnificent lake, the largest in Egypt’s Delta, is located in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate. Lake Burullus has a very rich landscape. It is nestled in the green fields of the Delta, bordering it from the south, with Nile's Rosetta branch towards the east and the Mediterranean to the north.

"Fishing is very important for the local people here. The traditional boats— markebs and faloukas —are still used. Fishermen use traditional techniques (various kinds of nets) and take advantage of the reeds.

"This photo summarized the life in this place…Fishers and their homeland in a small island in Lake Burullus, Egypt."

2nd Prize goes to توزيع الخبز على دراجته or Bread delivery bicycle by Abd Elhamid Fawzy Abd Elhamid Tahoun (User:Abdo tahoon) also taken in Egypt. Download link

Abd said that his motivation to take this shot was “ because The boy attracted me for his great effort during work at midday, then I noticed the light and shadow and decided to take the shot.” 

3rd Prize goes to A Mess by Summer Kamal Eldeen Mohamed Farag (User:Summering2018). Download link

Summer is a return winner for 2020. She won 2nd prize in the 2019 contest. She took the photo during lockdown “because I like to shoot from the top when there are suitable configurations”. 

Every year the contest looks for an image that represents ancient traditions within a modern context, with this in mind the following image won the Traditional Culture Prize. 

Traditional Culture Prize: Salt transport by a camel train on Lake Assale (Karum) in Ethiopia by Olivier SIRET (User:LeFnake) Download link

The final prize goes to the new video category. The new prize category was to encourage quality video submissions to the competition. Over the years we have included media prizes as winners, but this year saw several fantastic mini-documentaries have been entered.

The video prize goes to User:Bouba Kam's Le Transport Lagunaire à Abidjan (STL) réalisé par Bouba Kam’s that displays an unexpected element to transport in Africa by taking us on a ferry ride across Abidjan’s Ébrié Lagoon. Download link 

The winning video was chosen by the competition organisers for its quality imagery and the simple, contemporary way of sharing the journey on board Abidjan’s Lagoon Ferry.

The encouraging entries from across Africa, events were held by local Wikipedia volunteers to encourage people to contribute photographs, and share information on the specifics of Wikipedia licencing and how to upload their entries. This year, before the COVID-19 restrictions came into effect, events were held by volunteers in 23 countries (including Brazil’s Afro-Brazilian community) in order to drive contribution and build Wikipedia savvy communities around the competition. These events took on the form of introductory workshops, photographic excursions and upload sessions. After COVID-19 hit, there was a concerted #stayathome #staysafe and #useyourarchive campaign that ensured people didn’t put themselves at risk to get the perfect shot.

Over the last six years, the Wiki Loves Africa contest has seen the donation of over 64,000 photographs to Wikimedia Commons for potential use on Wikipedia. In the first year, under the theme Cuisine, 873 people contributed 6,116 photographs. Cultural Fashion and Adornment was the theme for the next year, 2015, which saw 722 people contribute over 7,500 photographs. In 2016, Music and Dance contributed 7917 files from 836 people. In 2017, under the theme, People at Work 18,294 photographs were entered by 2,473 people. 2019’s theme Play! had 8,212 images entered by 1,350 people.

Wiki Loves Africa is activated by the Wikimedia community that created Wikipedia in support of WikiAfrica movement. The competition was conceptualised and is managed by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood of Wiki In Africa as a fun and engaging way to bridge the digital divide by rebalancing the lack of visual representations and relevant content that exists about Africa on Wikipedia. The competition is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and supported in-kind by UNESCO and a host of local partners in individual countries. The images donated are available for use on the internet and beyond, under the Creative Commons license CC BY SA 4.0.

Wiki Loves Africa celebrates Africa on Wikipedia every year by choosing a different theme. The 2020 theme was Africa on the Move! 



Prize Winner and Jury links: 

Wiki Loves Africa links:

Media release by Wiki In Africa 

For international media queries contact:

English: Isla Haddow-Flood

  • Cell: +27 76 077 3135
  • Email: isla @

French: Florence Devouard

  • Cell: +33 645 60 62 77
  • Email: fdevouard @
To see what’s happened in each country and to contact the teams, please click here.  


The international prizes are:

  • 1st prize: US$1000

  • 2nd prize: US$800

  • 3rd prize: US$500

Additional categories are:

  • Culturally specific or traditional representations of transport or structures that facilitate transportation: US$500

  • The prize for best quality video (audio and visual quality and storytelling will be taken into account): $500

Each winner will also receive a pack of goodies (proposed: a hat "I edit Wikipedia from Africa", a branded battery, stickers


  • Rule 1: All photos must be taken by the person submitting them. They can be uploaded by you or uploaded during a registered mass upload session. Your image must have your name or nom de plume on the uploaded file.

  • Rule 2: Entries will only be accepted if uploaded between the 15th February to 15th April 2020. You can enter media that was taken at any time, even historical photographs (as long as you own the copyright on these photographs or they are in the public domain), but they must be uploaded during those dates.

  • Rule 3: Images with watermarks or embedded signatures will not be eligible. All entries submitted to the contest will automatically be licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 (CC-BY-SA 4.0) (or those in the public domain). Read more about the cc-by-sa license here.

  • Rule 4: All eligible pictures will be categorised under Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2020, this will be automatically assigned during the upload process. (Feel free to add other relevant categories and descriptions to make the images more usable on the projects.)

  • Rule 5: Participants must register on Wikimedia Commons and be contactable. Please enable email on Wikimedia Commons so we can contact you should your image be chosen for a prize.

  • Rule 6: To be considered for the video prize, the file must be uploaded in the video format (.ogg, .ogv, or .webm) that is required for Wikimedia Commons. Please note the audio and visual quality and storytelling will be taken into account for your file to be eligible for a prize. 


About Wiki In Africa

Wiki In Africa ( is a South African registered NPO whose work across the continent focuses on bridging the digital divide by encouraging the contribution of African content to global educational platforms, such as Wikipedia. 

 The programmes Wiki In Africa creates are specifically aimed at skills transfer and community building to bridge the content and contribution gap that perpetuates the digital divide that plagues Africa, thus decolonising knowledge and the internet through the online celebration and contribution of the information, cultures and histories of Africa under free licenses. Wiki In Africa programmes address the following key areas:
  • Gender gap through its groundbreaking Wiki Loves Women programme that has been rolled out across 8 African countries, in partnership with 76 civil society organisations;

  • Youth and education through WikiChallenge African Schools and WikiAfrica Schools; Since 2017, the francophone and primary school-focused WikiChallenge African Schools has rolled out in 9 countries, involving over 100schools that has resulted in 139 articles and 600+ photos being submitted to, 17 schools received prizes. 2020’s edition has been merged with the 2021 edition due to COVID-19.

  • Contemporary society and cultural heritage through the annual Wiki Loves Africa photographic competition which in its 6 editions has seen the contribution of nearly 64,000 images to Wikimedia Commons by 8120 photographers from across the continent. On average 82% of all contributors are new to Wikipedia, and the images have a life beyond the competition with Wiki Loves Africa’s images being viewed 81 million times on Wikipedia articles in May 2020 alone. 

  • Technological solutions to Africa’s challenges by creating the offline editing solution WikiFundi (with offline resources) and the award-winning ISA tool.

  • Volunteer development and community support through all of the projects listed above. 

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit charitable organisation that is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property.


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