Original description as Hemichromis afer:
- Günther, Albert C. L. G. 1893. "Second report on the reptiles, batrachians, and fishes transmitted by Mr. H. H. Johnston, C. B., from British Central Africa". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. (4); pp. 616-628 (crc00060)
Conservation: Cynotilapia afra is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2006). Cynotilapia afra is a rather common cichlid in its distribution and none of the known populations is at risk.