Since its discovery in the 1930s, Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) spread across the African continent and invaded the Arabian Peninsula and several islands off the coast of Southeast Africa. The virus causes recurrent outbreaks in these regions, and its continued spread is of global concern. Next-generation veterinary vaccines of improved efficacy and safety are being developed that can soon be used for the widespread vaccination of livestock. However, due to regulatory and economic challenges, vaccine manufacturers have been reluctant to develop a human vaccine. Recent innovations in veterinary vaccinology, animal models and licensing strategies can now be used to overcome these hurdles. This paper reviews the historical impact of RVFV on human health and proposes strategies to develop and license a next-generation vaccine for both animals and humans.