Wikipedia records high web traffic from Kenya

The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. Photo/AFP

What you need to know:

  • Kenya had 12.6 million page views to Wikipedia in October 2012
  • A total of 307 million Wikipedia page views originated from Africa

Kenya accounted for seven per cent of total African traffic in October to Wikipedia, which is a free, web-based encyclopaedia.

According to data from the firm, Kenya had 12.6 million page views to Wikipedia in October 2012. More than 40 per cent of these page views were from mobile phones.

“This means, on average, Kenya is twice as mobile-centric as the rest of Africa. This also means that Kenya is one of the top five most mobile-centric countries of Wikipedia’s major readership territories,” said Amit Kapoor, Wikipedia’s mobile partnerships representative.

A total of 307 million Wikipedia page views originated from Africa. 16.3 per cent of these views were to the mobile site.

Mr Kapoor was speaking during a meeting with Telkom Kenya chief executive, Mickael Ghossein.

Telkom Kenya along with other France Telecom subsidiaries have partnered with Wikipedia to provide free access to the encyclopaedia to all data users.

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia with more than 20 million articles in 280 languages. It has nearly half a billion unique visitors every month.

Wikipedia has 20,000 articles published in Swahili. In November, Wikipedia’s Kiswahili content had 1.7 million views.

In contrast, English content had about 8.2 billion page views while in total, Wikipedia received 19.4 billion page views.

Ghossein said that his firm is working closely with Wikipedia to generate more local content and drive traffic to Kiswahili articles.

Wikipedia is a non-profit endeavour run by the San Francisco based Wikimedia Foundation.

It has been estimated that the site could be worth billions of shillings and rival internet giant earners such as Google and Yahoo if it sold advertising space.

The firm’s current financial strategy is to solicit donations from users and well-wishers across the globe in a bit to fund its Sh391 million ($4.6 million) budget.

The sustainability of this business model has come into question.

Further, Wikipedia has been involved in several scandals due to the credibility of the information it publishes.

Almost anyone can modify Wikipedia pages leading to situations where incorrect information has been published.

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