This paper critically reviews the debates on environmentally sustainable and socially
inclusive growth with specific focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. It observes that, even
considering its inherent limits, the discourse on growth is still imprisoned by the
Washington Consensus mode of thinking. There have been attempts by various
institutions and commissions appointed by heads of government to take the debate
forward, but a lack of commonly agreed global norms undermines prospects for shifts
in thinking. Nonetheless, countries need to undertake such efforts if there is to be any
meaningful deliberation on environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive growth.
In this regard, the paper also examines the strengths and weaknesses of efforts
undertaken by South Africa thus far. Policy emphases on the role of the state and
structural transformation that predominate in debates in formal institutions in the
African continent are insufficient. This paper explores what is possible.