Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, said his government would immediately hike the country’s minimum wage by 12% on Sunday 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 to cushion our workers against further erosion of their purchasing power,” a statement issued by the president’s office quoted him as saying at Labour Day celebrations in the capital Nairobi.
The hike, he said, was necessary because the minimum wage had not been reviewed in three years, and the cost of living had increased.
Kenya’s current minimum wage is 13,500 Kenyan shillings ($116.68).
As in other countries across the region, Kenyans are grappling with a surge in commodities prices, including cooking oil and fuel, aggravated by supply concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began on Feb. 24.
The statistics office said that inflation in the east African country rose to 6.47% year-on-year last month from 5.56% in March.
Last month the country suffered fuel shortages, with traffic in some parts of Nairobi coming to a standstill as motorists joined long queues outside petrol stations.