Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 12% of the global population, and 4.3 million are blind and over 15 million are visually impaired. There are only 2.5 ophthalmologists per million people in SSA. Training of ophthalmologists is critical. We designed a systematic literature review protocol, searched MEDLINE Ovid and Embase OVID on 1 August 2019 and limited these searches to the year 2000 onwards. We also searched Google Scholar and websites of ophthalmic institutions for additional information. We include a total of 49 references in this review and used a narrative approach to synthesise the results. There are 56 training institutions for ophthalmologists in eleven Anglophone, eleven Francophone, and two Lusophone SSA countries. The median duration of ophthalmology training programmes was 4 years. Most curricula have been regionally standardised. National, regional and international collaborations are a key feature to ophthalmology training in more than half of ophthalmology training programmes. There is a drive, although perhaps not always evidence-based, for sub-specialisation in the region. Available published scientific data on ophthalmic medical and surgical training in SSA is sparse, especially for Francophone and Lusophone countries. However, through a broad scoping review strategy it has been possible to obtain a valuable and detailed view of ophthalmology training in SSA. Training of ophthalmologists is a complex and multi-faceted task. There are challenges in appropriate selection, capacity, and funding of available training institutions. Numerous learning outcomes demand curriculum, time, faculty, support, and appropriate assessment. There are opportunities provided by modern training approaches. Partnership is key.