This paper assesses the ex-ante impact of rice research in Africa on income and poverty for the period 2011–2020, with the final purpose of setting priority for Africa Rice Center research activities. It describes the methodology and analyzes the main findings. The methodology used combines research solutions elicited from scientists, household- and community-survey data, and econometric models to assess the potential benefit of the research. We found that the potential annual income benefit from all research options across all value-chain actors and for all sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries is US$ 1.8 billion, which aggregated over the period 2014–2020 reaches US$ 10.6 billion. As consequence, it is expected that at least 11 million people will be lifted out of poverty by the end of the period (2020) and at least 5.6 million of people will no longer be undernourished. In terms of actors, rice farmers will receive the highest benefit; however, significant benefit will also accrue to other actors – namely consumers, processors, and traders. In terms of research disciplines, the impacts of research that alleviates major biophysical constrains are the greatest. This indicates that priority should be given to this type of research, but there is also a need to consider postharvest work in the future research agenda. In terms of research nature, breeding research is the most important, followed by agronomy (including integrated pest management, IPM). In terms of geographical area, the main rice-producing sub-region in SSA is western Africa, which will receive the highest research benefit. Eastern Africa will receive the second-highest level of benefits and Central Africa third. In general, lowland ecosystems will have the highest benefit, closely followed by the upland ecosystem. The irrigated system – the importance of which is increasing – will be the third major ecosystem. The analysis shows a significant contribution of rice research to import reduction, and agricultural GDP. In summary, the analysis shows evidence that rice research in Africa in economically and socially profitable.