Résumé : Drying is a widely used technique in sub-Saharan Africa which allows food conservation, weight reduction and added value for some products. However, the technique is quite complex, making the rational concept of drying devices challenging. A rational method for the design and the construction of a fruit and vegetable solar dryer is presented. A prototype was designed and constructed at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) to test the concept and was found to be capable of drying more than 40 kg of fresh tomatoes in 10 h. A second prototype was constructed in Bandiagara (Mali) by both local craftsmen and students from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, using local materials. Speed of drying and prevention of food spoilage was far superior to that of traditional solar dryers. Based on these prototypes, a dryer industry is being constructed in Bandiagara in order to increase food self-sufficiency.