Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Sunday that his administration would increase the country’s minimum wage by 12% immediately to help workers cope with a rise in consumer costs fueled in part by the Ukraine conflict.
“There is a compelling reason to revise 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 released by the president’s office.
He justified the increase by claiming that the minimum wage had not been revised in three years and that the cost of living had risen.
The current monthly minimum wage in Kenya is 13,500 Kenyan shillings ($116.68).
Kenyans, like people in other parts of the area, are dealing with a spike in commodity costs, such as cooking oil and petrol, exacerbated by supply concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.
According to the statistics office, inflation in the east African country increased to 6.47 percent year on year in April, up from 5.56 percent in March.
Fuel shortages hit the country last month, bringing traffic to a halt in certain districts of Nairobi as vehicles formed enormous lines outside gas stations.