This article complements existing literature by assessing determinants of property rights protection with particular emphasis on history, geography and institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The empirical evidence is based on a sample of 47 countries for the period 2000-2007. Random effects GLS regressions are employed using property rights measurements from the Mo Ibrahim and Heritage foundations. The results broadly show that ethnic fractionalisation, Polity IV and GDP per capita have positive effects on property rights institutions while the following have negative effects: military rule, the Protestant religion, maturity from colonial independence and population density. The findings have relevant policy implications for countries in the sub-region currently on the path to knowledge-based economies.