Innovation plays an essential role in addressing the interlinked environmental, social, and economic challenges facing the agri-food sectors in the North Africa region. This systematic review analyses the state of research on innovation in North African agri-food sector and investigates whether sustainabil-ity is addressed in the research strand. The analysis shows an increasing interest in the research field, although many publications are authored by scholars based in institutions outside North Africa. Most of the selected documents deal with crops and the production stage of the food chain. The focus is generally on technical innovations while social, organizational, and marketing ones are overlooked. There are growing attempts to connect innovation to sustainability and sustainable development by moving towards the concept of ‘sustainable innovation’. Factors hindering agri-food innovation relate to policy, research, institutional environment, extension, and human capital. The promotion of innovation in the North Afri-can agri-food sector is crucial to unlock the sector’s potential and improve its competiveness, resilience, and sustainability.