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In response to the growing interest in estimating carbon stocks in forests, available allometric equations have been compiled for sub-Saharan Africa. Tree, sprout and stand volume and biomass equations were reviewed. The 850 equations and 125 related references were incorporated into an open-access database on the Carboafrica website (http://www.carboafrica.net). The collected information provides a basic tool for the estimation of biomass and carbon stocks and other purposes, such as bioenergy and fodder supply assessment. A Tier-method approach was developed to illustrate the possible use of the equations. Current available biomass expansion factors that are used to convert a volume to the total aboveground biomass appear to be limited; incomplete species-specific allometric equations are preferred to generalised equations. The analysis of the database highlighted important gaps in available tools to assess forest carbon stocks and changes in these stocks. A quality control assessment revealed that 22% of the equations were misreported and recommendations were proposed to guide further research. Further statistical analyses, such as the Bayesian approach, would help to produce more accurate biomass estimates.