Open the Knowledge Journalism Awards

Celebrating journalism that helps close knowledge gaps about Africa on Wikipedia

Between May 3 – June 30 2023, we invited African journalists living on the continent to self-nominate stories they wrote that expanded knowledge about Africa.

The Wikimedia Foundation launched the Open the Knowledge Journalism Awards in 2023 to celebrate the contributions of journalists in Africa who prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in their reporting.

The awards recognize the essential role journalists play in creating well-researched articles that volunteer editors can use as source materials to develop content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Their work helps to grow the knowledge base on one of the world’s most visited websites, so that it is more reflective of the topics, events and people that influence the understanding of culture and history through the ages.

Between May 3 and June 30, 2023, over 2,000 submissions were received from 37 African countries. The award recipients were announced on November 4, 2023.

Award recipients

Journalist Carlos Mureithi from Kenya was announced as the first place award recipient for the article “How a ‘headstrong historian’ is rewriting Kenya’s colonial history“.

Nigeria’s Osaruonamen Ibizugbe was recognized as the second place award recipient for her article “FGM: Survivors narrate experiences dealing with absence of the clitoris“.

There were also four articles receiving Special Mentions:

You can learn more about these articles in the official announcement press release. You can read more about the rules that led to their selection below.


The Open the Knowledge Journalism Awards would not have been possible without the support and collaboration from Wikimedia Foundation staff across departments, the Wikimedia community of volunteers, partners and members of the journalism community in Africa.

Special thanks go to the Wikimedians who helped us to develop the award, including identifying award categories and helping with the shortlisting process: Anass Sedrati, Bobby Shabangu, Ceslause Ogbonnaya, Daniel Abugre, Derrick Ndahiro, Douglas Scott, Euphemia Uawadu, Geoffrey Katerrega, Olushola Olaniyan, Reda Benkhadra, Romeo Lomora, and Terry Boke. 

Thanks also go to the selection committee members: Abigail Larbi Odei,  Programme Manager,  Media Foundation for West Africa; Professor Anton Haber, Investigative Journalists Conference; Femi Oke, international journalist and co-founder of Moderate The Panel LLC; Patience Nyange, Executive Director, Association of Media Women in Kenya; and Professor Winston Mano, University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI).

We also acknowledge the support of partner organizations that helped us to promote this initiative:, Association of Media Women in Kenya; Kenya Union of Journalists; Media Council of Kenya; Media Foundation for West Africa; Media Institute of Southern Africa; Novus Group; and the South African National Press Club.

Award criteria

  • Geography: Journalists must be citizens of a country in Africa, and primarily reside on the African continent. 
  • Relevance: Articles should be about the African continent, and relate to the award categories (listed below). 
  • Publishing date: Articles should have been published between January 1, 2022 to June 23, 2023.
  • Language: Articles should be published in English.
  • Originality: The articles should be your own original work, with in-depth analysis and/or investigative reporting.
  • Proof of publication: Submissions will be easier to review if you supply proof of the article’s publication in the form of a link/URL.
  • Reliability and accuracy: Articles that are submitted must be accurate and well researched, without seeking to misinform or misrepresent facts. Objective, well researched articles ensure that the information on Wikipedia is accurate.
  • Ethical conduct: Because the Wikimedia Foundation respects human rights, we are looking for articles that are developed with the utmost respect for people. We seek journalists who demonstrate ethical conduct and adherence to journalistic standards.
  • Accessibility: Wikimedia Foundation promotes access to free knowledge. Because of this, articles must be made available for viewing without a paywall. 
  • You can submit as many articles as you would like to be considered for this recognition. However, you cannot submit the same article in more than one category. You have to decide which category best represents the contents of the article.
  • There are no fees associated with this nomination process.
  • Wikimedia Foundation staff are not eligible to nominate their own work.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation (in collaboration with volunteer Wikimedia editors), through its discretion, will use these nominations to help identify journalists for this recognition.

What we are offering award recipients

  • First-place award recipient: will receive USD 2000, a trophy, a certificate of recognition and an opportunity to join Wikimedians at the African Regional Community Conference, Wiki Indaba, in November 2023. While there, the award recipient will have the opportunity to share more about their experiences as a journalist and some of the challenges and opportunities they see in their work.
  • Second-place award-recipient: will receive USD 1500, and a certificate of recognition.
  • Special Mentions: will be given by the Wikimedia Foundation to an additional four nominees, one in each category.
  • All awardees (including those receiving special mentions) and their work will be celebrated on the Wikimedia Foundation’s website and social media channels.


Africa journalists living on the continent can self-nominate articles they have written under the following categories that have been chosen with the help of Wikimedia contributors in Africa.

Article topics can include (but are not limited to) the following areas:

  • Advocating for the preservation of local languages, arts, and cultural practices that celebrate Africa’s rich heritage.
  • Showcasing the entertainment industry, including traditional cultural dance and music on the continent.
  • Sports reporting that showcases African sportspersons.
  • Stories about monuments, natural parks, and other geographic areas of interest.

Article topics can include (but are not limited to) the following areas:

  • Climate change and environmental issues affecting the African continent, and how they are being addressed.
  • Reporting on health and wellbeing to improve understanding or raise awareness of/dispel myths and misinformation about prevalent diseases.

Article topics can include (but are not limited to) the following areas:

  • Showcasing the various achievements of women in different facets of life, including in politics, economics, business, the development sector, and poverty alleviation.
  • Highlighting issues affecting Africa’s youth, including the impact of migration, unemployment and access to opportunities.
  • Showcasing young people who are making a positive impact on the continent.

Article topics can include (but are not limited to) the following areas:

  • Advocating for access to the internet, digital inclusion, and equitable distribution of information.
  • Tackling and exposing the challenges of misinformation and the importance of fact checking on the continent.
  • Highlighting issues that affect the upholding of the rights of numerous marginalized groups on the continent, including (but not limited to), LGBTI+ communities, those excluded due to race, identity, age or physical ability.
  • Highlighting challenges that exist on the continent in meeting the International Bill of Human Rights.
  • Issues affecting children’s human rights, as guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Key dates

  • Submissions open: May 3, 2023, 00:00 UTC
  • Submissions close: June 30, 2023, 23:59 UTC
  • Awardees announced: November (3–5) at the Africa Regional Community Conference Wiki Indaba.

Frequently asked questions

No. Only self-nominations are being accepted.

This year’s awards are focused on articles published in English. We are not accepting translated articles. There is an intention to expand to other languages in the future, based on the learnings from our first year of running the awards.

No, personal blog posts will not be considered for the awards. Articles should be included in media outlets that have a history of publishing well researched content.

The awards are open for written, published articles. Broadcast programs will not be considered for this iteration of the awards.

African Wikipedia editors acknowledge that online sources are much more “accessible and easy to verify”. We are only accepting articles that come with a verifiable URL or web link.

This award seeks to recognize journalists who are living on the African continent and writing stories about Africa.

Yes. African members of the Wikimedia community that are living in Africa and are also journalists can nominate published articles to be considered for the award.

Articles can be published in international outlets. As long as they are about Africa, and by African journalists living on the continent.

Feel free to contact us on this email: journalism-awards [at] wikimedia [period] org.

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