Heart failure is a growing problem in sub-Saharan Africa. This arises as the prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease rises, life expectancy increases and causes of heart failure more common in Africa, such as rheumatic heart disease and endomyocardial fibrosis, continue to be a significant issue. Lack of access to diagnostics is an issue with the expense and technical expertise required for echocardiography limiting access. Biomarker strategies may play a role here. Access to essential medicines is also limited and requires a renewed focus by the international community to ensure that appropriate medications are readily available, similar to that which has been implemented for HIV and malaria.