The authors present a summary of the proceedings and the recommendations of the Fourth International Conference on Envenomations by Snakebites and Scorpion Stings in Africa, held from 25 to 29 April 2011 in Dakar. After a two-day workshop for Senegalese health personnel on the most relevant aspects of the management of envenomations, about 270 participants met to share their experiences in the field. Nearly a hundred oral and poster presentations were made on the epidemiology of snakebites and scorpion stings in Africa, the composition and action of venoms and the manufacture and use of antivenoms. The last day was devoted to an institutional debate involving experts, representatives of national health authorities and concerned professionals (physicians, pharmacists, nurses and traditional healers) as well as members of the pharmaceutical industry to discuss and elaborate a set of recommendations. It was agreed that it is necessary to improve knowledge of the epidemiological situation by case reporting. Quality control of antivenoms and procedures for their registration at the level of national health authorities should aim at improving the distribution of safe and effective antivenoms in peripheral health centers for the better assessment of victims. It was also recommended that adequate training should be provided for health personnel in all aspects of medical management of envenomations. Equitable distribution of funding and the establishment of a network of African experts were also discussed in the conference.