Background Prostate cancer (PCA) is rated the second most common cancer and sixth leading cause of cancer deaths among men globally. Reports show that African men suffer disproportionately from PCA compared to men from other parts of the world. It is still quite difficult to accurately describe the burden of PCA in Africa due to poor cancer registration systems.We systematically reviewed the literature on prostate cancer in Africa and provided a continentwide incidence rate of PCA based on available data in the region. Methods A systematic literature search of Medline, EMBASE and Global Health from January 1980 to June 2015 was conducted, with additional search of Google Scholar, International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and WHO African region websites, for studies that estimated incidence rate of PCA in any African location. Having assessed quality and consistency across selected studies, we extracted incidence rates of PCA and conducted a random effects meta-analysis. Results Our search returned 9766 records, with 40 studies spreading across 16 African countries meeting our selection criteria.We estimated a pooled PCA incidence rate of 22.0 (95% CI: 19.93-23.97) per 100,000 population, and also reported a median incidence rate of 19.5 per 100,000 population. We observed an increasing trend in PCA incidence with advancing age, and over the main years covered. Conclusion Effective cancer registration and extensive research are vital to appropriately quantifying PCA burden in Africa. We hope our findings may further assist at identifying relevant gaps, and contribute to improving knowledge, research, and interventions targeted at prostate cancer in Africa.