Heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) is a condition frequently encountered by healthcare professionals and, in order to achieve the best outcomes for patients, needs to be managed optimally. This guideline document is based on the European Society of Cardiology Guidelines for the treatment of acute and chronic heart failure published in 2016, and summarises what is considered the best current management of patients with the condition. It provides information on the definition, diagnosis and epidemiology of HFrEF in the African context. The best evidence-based treatments for HFrEF are discussed, including established therapies (beta-blockers, ACE-i/ARBs, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs), diuretics) that form the cornerstone of heart failure management as well as therapies that have only recently entered clinical use (angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI), sodium/glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors). Guidance is offered in terms of more invasive therapies (revascularisation, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) by implantation of a biventricular pacemaker with (CRT-D) or without (CRT-P) an ICD, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) use and heart transplantation) in order to ensure efficient use of these expensive treatment modalities in a resource-limited environment. Furthermore, additional therapies (digoxin, hydralazine and nitrates, ivabradine, iron supplementation) are discussed and advice is provided on general preventive strategies (vaccinations). Sections to discuss conditions that are particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa (HIV-associated cardiomyopathy (CMO), peripartum CMO, rheumatic heart disease, atrial fibrillation) have been added to further improve clinical care for these commonly encountered disease processes. You are encouraged to read the complete 2016 ESC Heart Failure guideline: Ponikowski P, Voors AA, Anker SD, et al.; on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. 2016 ESC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure. Eur Heart J 2016,37:2129-2200.