Vitellaria paradoxa is one of the major components of African parkland agroforestry systems. In order to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of this species, we isolated and characterized 14 polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci. Primers developed to amplify these loci were used to analyse 200 individuals of a shea tree population in Mali. Loci have shown a high number of alleles ranging from four to 26, and display an observed level of heterozygosity between 0.37 and 0.85. These new very polymorphic microsatellite markers will be useful for genetic and ecological studies of V. paradoxa.