Are East African Countries Sustainable? Comparative Analysis of Two Composite Indicators

  • Miroslav Syrovátka
  • Jaromír Harmáček
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


This paper assesses the extent to which the development of five East African countries is sustainable. It starts with an overview of the concepts and measurement of sustainability, focusing on composite indicators. The main part of the paper presents an analysis of two composite indicators (Adjusted Net Savings and Ecological Footprint) as applied to five East African countries (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda). For each of the two indicators, we provide a short overview of the concept, a critique and an analysis of the results and policy implications. The results show that only one of the countries is unsustainable in Adjusted Net Savings, while the Ecological Footprint shows either all five countries as sustainable or all five unsustainable, depending on the interpretation of bio-capacity. Since the indicators lead to different conclusions on countries’ sustainability, we analyse the implications and discuss to what extent these indicators can be used for assessing country sustainability.


East Africa Sustainability Composite indicators Adjusted net savings Ecological footprint 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Development StudiesPalacky UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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