Low iron and high phytic acid content make fonio based meals a poor source of bioavailable iron. Phytic acid degradation in fonio porridge using whole grain cereals as phytase source and effect on iron bioavailability when added to iron fortified fonio meals were investigated. Grains, nuts and seeds collected in Mali markets were screened for phytic acid and phytase activity. We performed an iron absorption study in Beninese women (n = 16), using non-dephytinised fonio porridge (FFP) and dephytinised fonio porridge (FWFP; 75% fonio-25% wheat), each fortified with (57)Fe or (58)Fe labeled FeSO4. Iron absorption was quantified by measuring the erythrocyte incorporation of stable iron isotopes. Phytic acid varied from 0.39 (bambara nut) to 4.26 g/100 g DM (pumpkin seed), with oilseeds values higher than grains and nuts. Phytase activity ranged from 0.17±1.61 (fonio) to 2.9±1.3 phytase unit (PU) per g (whole wheat). Phytic acid was almost completely degraded in FWFP after 60 min of incubation (pH≈5.0, 50°C). Phytate∶iron molar ratios decreased from 23.7∶1 in FFP to 2.7∶1 in FWFP. Iron fortification further reduced phytate∶iron molar ratio to 1.9∶1 in FFP and 0.3∶1 in FWFP, respectively. Geometric mean (95% CI) iron absorption significantly increased from 2.6% (0.8-7.8) in FFP to 8.3% (3.8-17.9) in FWFP (P<0.0001). Dephytinisation of fonio porridge with intrinsic wheat phytase increased fractional iron absorption 3.2 times, suggesting it could be a possible strategy to decrease PA in cereal-based porridges.