The recent emergence of Neisseria meningitidis W135 as a cause of epidemic bacterial meningitis and the availability of a trivalent ACW135 vaccine have created a need for accurate and timely meningococcal serogroup determination for organization of epidemic vaccine response. The sensitivity and specificity of the Pastorex meningitis kit (Bio-Rad) to identify serogroups A and W135 in the African meningitis belt was assessed using PCR testing as the gold standard. The sensitivity and specificity for serogroups A and W135 were 87 and 85\%, respectively, while the specificities were 93 and 97\%. The positive and negative likelihood ratios for A were 12 and 0.14 and for W135 were 33 and 0.16. The positive and negative predictive values, computed to simulate an epidemic of meningococcal meningitis with an estimated 70\% prevalence of N. meningitidis among suspected cases, were 97\% and 75\% for A and 99\% and 73\% for W135. In remote locations of the African meningitis belt, latex agglutination is the only currently available test that can rapidly determine meningococcal serogroup. This study showed that latex agglutination performs well and could be used during the epidemic season to determine appropriate vaccine response.