Literacy is generally considered to be “the ability to decipher, use, and understand, some given code of knowledge or procedure, and then apply it to initiate levels of competence in many different fields of endeavor” (Easton, 2009). Although global literacy rates have been rising steadily over the past few decades, there is still a long way to go, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Africa, 7 out of 10 children are likely to become semi-literate adults, meaning they will be unable to read or write with ease or fluency. In 18 African countries, more people are illiterate than literate (Ouane, 2009). Within this context, USAID requested that RTI review existing literacy data for primary grades in 20 sub-Saharan African countries and complete a report on the state of literacy. This brief reviews the various early grade reading assessments that RTI analyzed and provides key findings noted in the forthcoming State of Literacy report.