Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) bears a considerable disease burden, but its health systems struggle to reduce this burden. Research can help identify the challenges to reducing the disease burden. Research can equally propose solutions to these challenges. Unfortunately, SSA lags behind other regions in terms of research. In this essay, we identify the challenges and propose solutions to advance medical research in SSA. We discuss increasing the medical research workforce and building capacity among young researchers. We equally propose alternative funding solutions for research, and we address scientific communication among African researchers.