The Khat Conundrum in Ethiopia

The growing, consumption and export of khat (a stimulant) in Ethiopia has rapidly increased in over the last two decades. There is an emerging set of literature that explores khat from a range of perspectives, although the literature has focused on the health impacts and consumption in university settings. The complexity of khat is that is contributes relatively high prices for smallholder farmers and revenues for taxes, while also presenting a range of negative impacts. The result is a complex policy challenge. One of the most important works addressing this topic is a book by Yeraswork Admassie, titled: The Khat Conundrum in Ethiopia: Socioeconomic impact and policy directions (2017). The publisher is the Forum of Social Studies, Ethiopia's foremost independent think tank.

This is an excellent resource for anyone interest in khat, and specifically those seeking to understand the complexity of policy and policy making regarding it. The book focuses upon two cities (Harar and Assosa), however the findings offer much insight that is useful beyond them. Am hopeful that publications such as these will bring further attention to an under-researched topic in Ethiopia.

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