The economic growth performance of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) over the past few decades has confounded economists. The poverty of SSA has many dimensions and causes, both internal and external. Certainly part of its underdevelopment is attributable to bad luck, initial conditions, and an unfavourable international economic environment. However, the region has to accept much of the responsibility for its plight because its present state is also largely an outcome of poor policy choice and bad governance. Thus whilst we cannot account for every facet of the question of ’why some nations are rich and others poor’ we are nonetheless left with some very real certainties. The paper examines the nature and causes of the region’s marginalisation and argues that SSA must look within for the source of its underdevelopment.