The democratic reforms introduced in many sub-Saharan African countries during the 1990s involved the restoration of multipartism. The re-emergence of party politics spurred a number of analyses of the continent's new parties and party systems, largely based on theories and concepts derived from the study of advanced democracies. The article reviews and critically examines recent works on Africa's parties and party systems by presenting the dominant themes and issues and by investigating the utility of Western-derived models for the analysis of new multiparty regimes. In spite of a quantitative increase and a qualitative improvement in the study of Africa's parties and party systems, the latter still suffers a scarcity of empirical and theoretical investigations. At the same time, the use of political science tools for the study of party politics south of the Sahara is part of a broader positive trend towards a better integration of the analysis of African politics with that of politics in other world areas.