Image with information on Common Voice Festival DRC. Festival to be heldd in Lubumbashi on 24 to 25 May with prizes worth $300 USD or 693,000 CDF to be won.

Attendees will learn how to contribute to Common Voice and compete in a gender-inclusive write-a-thon

(LUBUMBASHI, DRC | MONDAY, MAY 22)Mozilla Common Voice fellows, in partnership with Nouveaux Horizons University and the Deep Learning Indaba - DRC chapter, are inviting students and academics to the Common Voice Festival in Lubumbashi on May 24 - 25.

This event, aimed at growing the Common Voice community and dataset, is the second Kiswahili festival of the year. The first was held in Mombasa, Kenya. The festival will strengthen the gender-inclusive Kiswahili language and tech community that is bringing the Kiswahili language online in an equitable way.

Says Rebecca Ryakitimbo Mwimbi, Mozilla Common Voice Fellow and festival host: “Women are a crucial part of the tech and language community the Kiswahili Common Voice project intends to engage and empower. There is much to be desired in voice tech when it comes to gender inclusivity for actual participation and meaningful engagement of women. We aim to contribute to change by hosting this festival.”

Common Voice is the most linguistically diverse crowdsourced dataset in existence, powered by the voices of volunteer contributors worldwide.

Participants at the festival may be:

  • Voice contributors - individuals who contribute their voices to the platform
  • Sentence creators - individuals who create sentences that are then used on the Common Voice platform
  • Voice validators - individuals who listen to the donated voices and validate the data
  • Voice dataset user (product developer) - individuals who use the data to develop products

The two-day event will include an introduction to the Common Voice platform for potential voice validators or voice donors. Day two will feature a feminist write-a-thon to curate feminist content for the platform, building on the Gender Action Plan by Common Voice.

Awards worth 693,000 CDF ($300 USD) will be announced at the end of day two to the winners of the write-a-thon and the model competition.

Press contact: Shandukani O. Mulaudzi, [email protected]

Related content