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African traditional fermented foods remain the main source of nutrition for many rural communities in Africa. Although lactic acid bacteria are integral to many of these foods, little is known about the specific health benefits they confer or the properties of their strains. This mini-review explores the history of some African fermented foods and their microbial content and properties within the context of probiotic characteristics. Given the recent upsurge in probiotic research, recommendations are made on studies that could be performed with African fermented foods and their strains, with a view to improving the health of people in sub-Saharan Africa.