About Us

Tangible Africa places coding concepts within reach of any child willing to learn.

We believe children from “un-plugged” communities could one day plug the global shortage of software developers.

Our solution targets scenarios where computers, internet access or even electricity are inaccessible. It utilizes cost-effective instruments, implemented by teachers or facilitators who aren’t qualified programmers. Our product is as simple and fun as a game.

Founding Story

The concept for Tangible originates from the sunny coastal city of Gqeberha, South Africa. A 21 year old student, Byron Batteson, developed the TANKS app for his Honours project in 2017. Prof.

Jean Greyling, Head of the Computing Sciences Department at Mandela University, identified outstanding potential and expanded the concept into a flesh and bones operation.

Their partnership, formally a Mandela University Engagement project, shows the power of collaboration between student and teacher.

Byron is now a software developer for Amazon in Cape Town, South Africa. Meanwhile “Prof” continues to inspire his students, at the same time facilitating operations of the expanding Tangible team.

From the original TANKS, two more apps, RANGERS, and BOATS, have been developed. Since its 2017 launch, thousands of bright minds have been impacted in countries as diverse as Ghana and Ireland.

Stories of Impact

Celebrating Mandela Day 2023!

Tangible Africa hosted their Mandela Day Coding Tournament, with our Love Your City team on-site, providing assistance and spreading the spirit of learning and collaboration.

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Coding with the President

Pres Ramaphosa spent 30 minutes at the Mandela Day coding tournament in Qunu this morning. He gave learners a chance to explain to him how

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Tangible Campaigns

Our Work

There is a global shortage in software developers. That’s a fact. 

Cut to a child living in rural Tsomo in South Africa. How does this impact him or her? When you don’t have running water in your home, a career in software development seems a little out of reach. At Tangible, we have found the best way to cross this complex barrier is through play. Our product is simply a really fun game. The program itself consists of unplugged lessons led by trained facilitators, using both physical coding kits and corresponding mobile phone-based apps. Our ethos “Let’s play” introduces coding concepts and robotics in such a way that a real-life career in software development feels within reach. We then stand by as the power of play closes the gap between circumstances and potential.

The Model

We subscribe to a “Teach one Teach all” philosophy.

Our model encourages colleagues to teach colleagues, teachers to teach learners, and learners to teach peers.

Our process of introduction into a community is broken down as follows.

  • Let’s play …
  • Teacher Training
  • Tangible Academy
  • Careers

Key Benefits

Practical Benefits
Low budget | No need for electricity | No need for Internet connectivity | No computers and/or robots | Mobile phones are highly accessible medium | Charging of phones can be done beforehand
Facilitator Benefits
Simple facilitator training requirements | No need for prior coding knowledge | Minimal setup requirements (Pen and paper, readily available phones) | Fun to learn, fun to teach
Pedagogical Benefits
Computational thinking | Group work | Communication | Problem-solving | Immediate feedback | Strategy | Leadership | Staggered learning | Fun while learning | Peer learning



NPO Registration Details

Tangible Africa is a project of the Leva Foundation.

The Leva Foundation is a non-profit organisation (NPO) based in South Africa.

Our Public Beneficiary Organisation (PBO) certification allows us to issue section 18A tax exception certificates.

We are actively developing funding offices in the US (registered 501C3 NPO) and Europe.

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