Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced an immediate 12 percent increase in the country’s minimum wage to assist workers in dealing with a surge in consumer prices caused 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,” he said at Labour Day celebrations in Nairobi, according to a statement issued by the president’s office on Sunday.
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.