Alongside the spread of democracy in the developing world, vote buying has emerged as an integral part of election campaigns. Yet, we know little about the causes of vote buying in young democracies. In this paper, we analyse the sources of vote buying in sub-Saharan African. Using data from the Afrobarometer, we focus on the impact of poverty on vote buying at the individual- and country-level. Results from multilevel regressions show that poor voters are significantly more likely to be targets of vote buying than wealthier voters. This effect increases when elections are highly competitive. Thus, micro-level poverty seems to be an important source of vote buying in Africa and has major implications for the way electoral democracy operates.