Introduction: When medical education became established in Africa, many curricula were adopted from the West so as to achieve comparable standards in training. Over the last half a century however, major global pedagogical shifts have occurred in medical education without African keeping pace.
Methods: This article reviews key pedagogical changes and other innovations in medical education that have occurred over the last half a century as reported in the literature and identifies some of the issues that need to be addressed in Africa.
Discussion and conclusion: Socioeconomic and political instability, failure to rapidly overcome the inertia for change by substituting the old curriculum with a more problem, system and student-based one and redefining the goals of medical education are some of the issues of concern for Africa, and its ability to keep up in the dynamic world of medical education. There are only few faculty and school managers with effective medical education backgrounds to initiate, evaluate and sustain these changes. African medical academics, national governments and the international community need to come together to assist Africa to rise up to these challenges to ensure attainment and sustenance of global standards in medical training.