Increasingly, many institutions and surgical groups are resorting to laboratory simulations when teaching surgical skills. The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland partnered with the West African College of Surgeons and Johnson and Johnson Corporation to introduce basic surgical skills (BSS) training into West Africa. The local faculty at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, was able to use the opportunity of this partnership to establish a regular basic surgical skills training programme. The achievement in Enugu shows that, with a dedicated team of local faculties, giving the local medical trainers a short introduction to the practicalities of organizing and conducting BSS is enough to jump start the programme in resource-poor countries. The Enugu example is a model that should be emulated by centres in other resource-poor countries to make the course a regular feature of their surgical training.