Abstract: As little information is available in Africa on Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, a highly destructive pathogen of rice, and its relationship with released rice varieties, a disease survey and samplings were carried out in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali which indicated a wide spread of Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) in farmers fields. Sixty pure BLB isolates cultures were obtained. Pathogenicity of 4 Malian isolates against four important rice varieties revealed differences in pathogenicity among isolates and in resistance of the varieties tested. The results obtained in these initial studies revealed the future research directions to increasing rice production in West Africa.