Agricultural technology must play a key role in Africa's economic development. In this paper agricultural technology development is seen as including innovation, diffusion and utilisation. It is particularly concerned with the enabling environment for technology development, specifically the policies and regulations that affect input availability, the interactions of the private sector with public agricultural research, and agricultural enterprise development. The paper examines the current status and future prospects for these aspects of the enabling environment. The analysis pays particular attention to current and potential donor roles for contributing to the evolution of a supportive enabling environment in sub-Saharan Africa.