Borassus aethiopum is a dioecious palm tree of African savannas. A stage-classified matrix population model has been parametrized with field data (Lamto reserve, Ivory Coast). It enabled the study of the persistence of the population, and analysis of its sensitivity to different vital rates. Age of palms in each stage were estimated to complete the description of the palm life-history. The main results are: (1) The studied populations are very close to the equilibrium but the stable stage distribution (predicted by the model) and the observed distribution are significantly different indicating a former change in the vital rates. (2) Reproduction seems to be highly delayed (first reproduction on average at 114 y), while the estimated duration of the reproductive part of the life-cycle is relatively short (22 y).