NAIROBI — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Sunday his government would hike the country’s minimum wage by 12% immediately 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 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 has increased.
Kenya’s current minimum wage is 13,500 Kenyan shillings ($116.68) per month.
As in 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 Feb. 24.
Inflation in the east African country rose to 6.47% year-on-year last month from 5.56% 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.
($1 = 115.7000 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Elias Biryabarema; editing by Barbara Lewis)
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