The co-founder of Wikipedia says the languages of Yoruba in West Africa and Swahili in
East Africa are the most popular among the several African languages being used on the
online encyclopaedia. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, 45, says Yoruba is the most popular African language for Wikipedia, with 29,000 pages. The Swahili Wikipedia version is second
among African languages with 23,000. Other African languages on Wikipedia include
Afrikaans, Hausa and Zulu. Speaking in Lagos this week, Wales says his website is branching out from English. "For a long time, there was this sort of cultural concern as to why we have to do
everything in English. What happens to local culture? Now, we are going to have
both," said Wales.
Wales founded Wikipedia in January 2001. Eleven years later, Wikipedia has become
the go-to site for hundreds of millions of internet users seeking information about
anything and everything. Its content is generated by thousands of self-appointed
editors who write and rewrite the articles in an open, online process. Wikipedia has seven active editors working in Yoruba, but Wales hopes that more users for the online encyclopedia will appear in Yoruba as well as other African languages.