Kenyan president increases country’s minimum wage by 12%

Across East Africa, prices of certain commodities are rising partly because of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation during the Mashujaa Day
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation during the Mashujaa Day (Hero's Day) celebrations to commemorate those who had taken part in the country's struggle for liberation, at the Wang'uru stadium in Mwea, Kirinyaga county, Kenya, October 20, 2021 [File: Monicah Mwangi/Reuters]

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced an immediate increase in the country’s minimum wage by 12 percent to help workers cope with a surge in consumer prices, driven in part by the war in Ukraine.

“There is a compelling case to review the minimum wage so as to cushion our workers against further erosion of their purchasing power,” a statement issued on Sunday by the president’s office quoted him as saying at Labour Day celebrations in the capital, Nairobi.

The rise, he said, was necessary because the minimum wage had not been reviewed in three years and the cost of living has increased.

Kenya’s current minimum wage is 13,500 Kenyan shillings ($116.68) per month.

As in other countries across the region, Kenyans are grappling with a surge in prices of commodities, including cooking oil and fuel, aggravated by supply concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.

Inflation in the East African country rose to 6.47 percent year-on-year last month from 5.56 percent in March, the statistics office said.

Last month, the country suffered shortages of fuel, with traffic in some parts of Nairobi coming to a standstill as motorists joined long queues outside petrol stations.

Source: News Agencies