Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Germany's World Cup title

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Farnborough air show takes off but F-35 jet is grounded

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bastille Day celebrations

Read more

TOUR DE TECH

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll increases in Sierra Leone

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Viviane Reding, MEP, European People's Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Schulz returns to Parliament presidency: back to business as usual?

Read more

  • Live: France celebrates Bastille Day

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Boules and booze: Bastille Day à la New Yorkaise

    Read more

  • Kremlin mulls 'retaliatory strikes' after death of Russian civilian

    Read more

  • Senegal honours the soldiers who fought for France in WWI

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Operations underway to refloat shipwrecked Costa Concordia

    Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

Africa

Piracy money inflates Kenyan property market

©

Video by Joseph MWIHIA|AND , Athanase MAKUNDI , Stéphanie BRAQUEHAIS

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-04-16

Piracy is a thriving business in spite of the presence of many foreign warships in the Gulf of Aden. Last year, the income from piracy reached a staggering 40 million dollars.

Piracy is a thriving business in spite of the presence of many foreign warships in the Gulf of Aden. Last year, the income from piracy reached a staggering 40 million dollars.

The pirates use the money to buy villas and cars at home in Somalia, but UN experts say the money is also flooding the neighbouring Kenyan property market.

According to Bruno Schiemsky, an independent consultant on piracy, “It might have the consequence that property prices [in Kenya] inflate artificially because of the sheer amount of money the pirates have.”

 

In Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, buildings are going up everywhere. House prices and rents have doubled because of money from foreigners living in Kenya, but especially the Somali diaspora. The issue makes headlines regularly.

Many Somalis do not have access to the formal banking system. Instead, they use hawalas, informal money transfer companies which are rarely registered and therefore operate as legal currency exchange bureaus. In a Nairobi suburb called Eastleigh -- also known as little Mogadishu -- most of the buildings and shops have been taken over by Somalis. The main activity here is business. Mahad Shahafi Garass, a Somali businessman who has been living in Kenya for the past sixteen years, is doing well for himself. But he denounces Kenyan prejudice against Somalis: “Somali people come together. They gather the money. They invest everywhere. That’s why they make more money than Kenyans.”

Kenyans are increasingly suspicious of Somalis, who are ready to pay large amounts of money to rent or buy houses. They now own entire estates where the Kenyan middle class used to live.

According to Margaret Ndegwa, a Kenyan resident in Komarok estates, “We will be forced to go to slums because of foreigners.”

It is difficult to determine the impact of piracy money invested in Kenya, but recent studies show that the hawala system is largely used for money laundering.

Date created : 2009-04-16

Comments

COMMENT(S)