Wikimedia hosts formal launch event

By Tajudeen Hamzat

Nigeria has joined the rest of the world in the Wiki Loves Earth photographic competition.

The activity is an annual international photographic competition held throughout May and June every year. Participants take pictures of local natural heritage in their countries and upload them to Wikimedia Commons, a sister project of Wikipedia. This year there are over 35 countries across the globe participating in the contest.

Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation in partnership with Tour Nigeria, PlusTV Africa and Nigeria Photographic Classroom have joined forces together to celebrate Nigeria with photos.

Wikimedia User Group Nigeria (operating as a non-profit organisation) made its maiden participation into the contest in the year 2017. Unlike in the previous years where organizing committee members engage in photo tour with selected photographers. This year, the plan is to organise two major outreach programs in some designated cities in Nigeria. The head of the organizing committee of the contest in Nigeria Mr Olaniyan Olushola announced at the launch that there are categories of awards for this year contest. The First Winner will go home with a voucher worth of N250,000.00. The Second Winner receives a voucher worth of N150,000.00 while the third prize will take N100,000.00. The winner of any of the three prizes must contribute a minimum of 50 photographs to qualify for the prize. The contest ends at 12 mid-night on the 30th of June 2019. The Ten best photographs will be selected to represent Nigeria at the international award. At the international level, the First place winner will get a fully funded scholarship to attend Wikimania 2020 for an Amazon voucher for the same value, other international prizes are Amazon vouchers

The first outreach which also coincided with the launch of the event took place on the 7th June 2019 at the prestigious Freedom Park in Lagos.

It was a festival of professional photographers across the length and breadth of Nigeria led by the group called Nigerian Photographic Classroom (NPC) with over 50 members in attendance.

The attendance at the event was unprecedented in the history of Wikimedia event in Nigeria with the participation of the major stakeholders in the energy conservation industry in Nigeria and the representative of the Nigerian government through Tour Nigeria, a brand of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation ( NTDC). The delegation was led by Mr Folorunsho Coker, the Director General of the Corporation. NTDC is the agency in charge of marketing of the country tourist site attractions in Nigeria, The DG was the Chief Guest of Honor of the launch. According to him , the agency is ready to support this event by ensuring access to and deepening the digital archives of positive images on Nigeria.

The media practitioner, Mr Kayode Akintemi, who is the CEO of PlusTV Africa led the media delegation to the official launch of the contest in Lagos. He spoke about Photography: A tool for promoting Nigerian Heritage and Natural Sites. According to Mr. Kayode, TVplus Africa will assist the organizer to showcase some of the best photos of the contest to the enitre world.

The Channels TV delegation was led by Mr Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata the Presenter TECH TREND on Channels TV. He spoke on Role of ICT in Heritage Conservation.

One of the major highlights of the event is the International Press Conference where participants and the press at the event were given the opportunities to ask questions.

The activities for the day was brought to a close with photo uploading session with a focus on Wiki Loves 2019 in Nigeria.

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