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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Tangible Africa, a local organisation that spreads offline coding skills to primary and high school learners across the continent, has received a prestigious accolade from the African Union.

The organisation - an engagement initiative of the Nelson Mandela University Computing Sciences Department and the Leva Foundation – was the first runner up in the African Union Innovating Education in Africa 2022 Awards.

They beat over 900 applicants to be one of only three organisations awarded grant funding and recognition for their innovative approach to education in Africa. Following a virtual pitch in October, along with 15 other organisations from across Africa who were short-listed, the Tangible Africa team was selected to pitch in person in Tunis, Tunisia, this week.

Jackson Tshabalala, Operations Manager at the Leva Foundation, received the grant funding of $30 000 (More than R500 000) following his 5-minute pitch to the convenors of the awards.

“This is evidence that teamwork makes the dream work. I want to acknowledge our full team who all share in this: from our headquarters at the Leva Foundation in Gqeberha, our regional coordinators as well as the 200 coding ambassadors in communities across South Africa and the continent,” said Tshabalala.

The Tangible Africa team also thanked Byron Batteson (for his development of the TANKS & RANGERS coding applications) as well as Avocado Chocolate (who developed the BOATS coding application). These flagship apps are played at schools and coding tournaments, and due to its offline capabilities, it has been introduced to some of the most remote areas in the region.

“For Tangible Africa the reward is a confirmation that our project has real potential to make an impact across the continent. We have come back from Tunisia encouraged and with a long list of people we plan to collaborate with in various countries,” said Prof Jean Greyling, Tangible Africa Founder and Associate Professor at the Nelson Mandela University Computing Sciences Department.

The Tangible Africa team plans to visit Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe to further spread coding skills across the continent by training teachers and other master trainers; and in December Tangible Africa will be hosting its first international coding tournament when teams from SA will take on teams from Ireland.

Unplugged coding has already been successfully introduced by the Tangible Africa team to coding clubs in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Watch an interview with Jackson Tshabalala on Newzroom Africa

To find out more about Tangible Africa, contact Prof Jean Greyling at  or Jackson Tshabalala at

Jackson Tshabalala, Operations Manager at the Leva Foundation, and Prof Jean Greyling, Tangible Africa Founder, on Thursday evening received grant funding from the African Union to further spread offline coding skills across the African continent. 

Contact information
Prof. Jean Greyling
Head of Department & Associate Professor
Tel: 27 41 504 2081