This paper sets down the first comparative measurement of the extent and features of the social mobility of men in five countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Intergenerational as well as intra-generational mobility between the farm and non-farm sectors are examined, and are linked to migration patterns on the one hand, educational development and mobility on the other hand. The two former British colonies of our sample, Ghana and Uganda, stand out with the highest level of social fluidity. Two former French Western colonies, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, come next. Last, Madagascar exhibits specifically large and sustained inequalities of opportunity. In the case of the three Western African countries, the discriminating power of education explains most of the differences in the correlation between fathers’ and sons’ occupations.