A respectable chew? Highs and lows in the history of Kenyan khat

Neil Carrier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

8 Citations (Scopus)


The announcement in July 2013 that the British government was to ban the substance known globally as khat or qat caused much controversy both in the United Kingdom and in East Africa, where the substance is a major cash-crop for farmers in Kenya and Ethiopia. While there is great demand for khat among the many Somalis now living in the diaspora, there has also been growing concern over its use, and a concerted campaign from within and beyond the Somali community finally resulted in the ban. This is only the latest chapter of a story that illustrates well many of the ambiguities in the recent history of drug and alcohol use in Africa and elsewhere, especially that generated by the apparent conflict between concern for the well-being of consumers and concern for the revenue such substances can bring. 1

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrugs in Africa
Subtitle of host publicationHistories and Ethnographies of Use, Trade, and Control
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781137321916
ISBN (Print)9781137321893
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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