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Somali president warns socioeconomic woes over khat imports

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

MOGADISHU (HOL) – Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has warned his country was losing millions of dollars to the use of the narcotic Khat leaves largely used by Somali men which he says continue to have an adverse socio-economic consequences on many other aspects of life in the horn of Africa nation.

Khat which is largely transported to Somalia by neighbouring countries was estimated to be worth $100 million to the Kenyan economy while it counts over £160m a year for Ethiopia alone, making the drug its fourth largest export.

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“Somalia continues to lose a huge amount of hard cash to purchase khat from Kenya, which only creates an economic source for another country.” Mr. Mohamud told reporters in the Somali capital on Sanday.

“The Khat business also continues to undermine our country’s post-war economic recovery, and that’s why every economy conscious person wants to deny Kenya from making money from Somalia just because it exports those leaves with health and humanitarian side-effects to our country.” He said.

With over 20 million users in horn of Africa, the stimulant green leaves that produce a sense of euphoria in users become a major business export for khat farmers that turned their once agricultural farms into drug lands.

“It’s our country which needs that huge money we pay to buy those leaves most.” Mr. Mohamud said.

“Khat has become a problem of grave national concern.”

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