Tag Archives: Addiction

Khat an Increasing Problem for Ethiopian Youth

For Ethiopia’s underemployed youth, life can center on khat leaves

Chewing themselves into madness. About half of Ethiopia’s youth chew Khat. But is this a dangerous drug or a harmless herb?


Her life revolves around a psychotropic leaf. Yeshmebet Asmamaw, 25, has made chewing the drug a ritual, repeated several times a day: She carefully lays papyrus grass on the floor of her home, brews coffee and burns fragrant frankincense to set the mood. Continue reading Khat an Increasing Problem for Ethiopian Youth

A Khat Boom in Ethiopia and Kenya

Chewing themselves into madness? This mild narcotic plant may generate substantial amount of revenue to the governments, but it also disrupts people’s lives.

A symbol of national decline.

By Chuko and Mama | The Economist,

This is Khat,” explains Teklu Kaimo, gesturing to the wooded field behind him. He started growing it in 1976, and over the years its soft, green leaves have brought him a measure of prosperity. He has a modest plot of land, 11 children and money to pay their way through school.

A short walk down the hill, the central marketplace of this part of southern Ethiopia comes alive with farmers, merchants and salesmen as the sun sets. Young men sprint down streets with bundles of fresh qat leaves on their shoulders, as traders call out prices and haul the bags aboard lorries. They are bound for Addis Ababa, the capital, where the following morning they will be sold to khat-chewers in the city, or packed onto planes bound for neighbouring Djibouti and Somaliland. Continue reading A Khat Boom in Ethiopia and Kenya

In Djibouti, Life Moves to the Beat of Khat

Khat (qat) is a highly addictive stimulant originating from Ethiopia. It’s the 4th largest export for that country and Djibouti is one of the heavy consumers. Almost all Djiboutians including the President and his entire cabinet are addicted to this drug. They spend far much time idly chewing it in a hypnotic daze. It’s been land locked Ethiopia’s most effective leverage against Djibouti. A momentary freeze on supply can bring the government down. Simply put, Djiboutians can’t breeze with out Khat.

By Josh Wood,

ACROSS the world, the rhythm of the day is determined by different things: the nine-to-five grind of financial hubs, the intervention of the afternoon siesta in some hotter reaches and the cycle of prayers in parts of the Islamic world.

Djibouti moves to a different cadence. Djibouti moves to khat (aka Qat).

In this sweltering Horn of Africa country where seemingly nothing is on time or precise, khat – a flowering plant chewed as an amphetamine-like stimulant in east Africa and Yemen – is the exception. Continue reading In Djibouti, Life Moves to the Beat of Khat

Ethiopia’s 4th Largest Export, Khat, Suffers after European Ban

Khat is a thriving business and an important cash crop for the corrupt authorities in Ethiopia. The internationally illegal drug, however, is popular among youth and adults in Ethiopia who spends their productive time by chewing it ceremoniously and for long time. The drug is associated with dangerous habits such as drinking, unprotected sex, reproductive and HIV AIDS problem among the use. Who is to blame?


FOR a town seen as a key trading centre for khat, a drug that is banned in many countries, Ethiopia’s Awaday can seem pretty drowsy and laid-back.

As the sun sets on the small eastern town, farmers and brokers of the amphetamine shrub rouse from an afternoon slumber to cut deals in the bustling market, one of the busiest centres of international trade for the leaves.

Khat, a multi-million dollar business for countries across the Horn of Africa and in Yemen, consists of the succulent purple-stemmed leaves and shoots of a bush whose scientific name is Catha edulisContinue reading Ethiopia’s 4th Largest Export, Khat, Suffers after European Ban

Djibouti: A nation High on Drugs

Djibouti a country where every household spends 30 per cent of their income on khat

By Janet Otieno,

The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Djibouti was that people usually disappear from around midday to about 4.30 pm. The streets are deserted, shops and government offices are closed, not for afternoon prayers, but because people have gone to take a nap or enjoy their hobby of chewing khat when the daily shipment arrives.

Khat is a plant that usually contains the alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant. The World Health Organization classifies it as a drug that can produce mild to moderate psychological dependence. It causes, among others, excitement, loss of appetite and euphoria.  Continue reading Djibouti: A nation High on Drugs