There is great interest in sweet sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor
L.) for promoting resilience in rural livelihoods in Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA). Unlike other crops, sweet sorghum is a multi-purpose crop for grain, feed, fodder, chewing, syrup and biofuel production. The objective of this paper is to analyse information on the diversity within the crop, its adaptation and plant breeding efforts in SSA. We also discuss opportunities that exist in SSA that make the crop an attractive alternative. It is clear from the review that the crop has a wide genetic base, hence significant improvements can be made on a number of preferred traits. The review further outlines four possible production models for the economic development of the sweet sorghum industry in Sub-Saharan Africa; which are (i) production for supply to urban chewing markets, (ii) syrup production, (iii) biofuel production and (iv) fodder production. Although current research focuses on production of ethanol for biofuel, other potential uses such as production for chewing, syrup and fodder cannot be overlooked for most SSA farmers. A lot has to be done on the research front before biofuel production from sweet sorghum
can be profitable and technically feasible. Future plant breeding efforts can be tailor made to deliver cultivars with peculiar traits for various end-uses.