As Inflation Rises, Kenyan Government Increases Minimum Wage

A cushioning mechanism it is, as Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announces a 12% increase in the minimum wage. This is in a bid to offset the already mounting cost of living.

The announcement that was made on Sunday (May 1), comes a few months ahead of the East African country’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

In April, inflation hit a seven month high in the country. Official figures stated that the main proponents were soaring food and fuel prices.

The 12% increase, raises the minimum monthly wage from 13,500 Kenyan shillings (about 110.5 euros / 116 dollars) to 15,120 shillings (124 euros / 130 dollars).

This improvement, however, is far beneath the threshold demand of a 24% increase demanded by the main trade union organization, which is the Central Organization of Trade Unions – Kenya (COTU).

President Kenyatta blamed Kenya’s high cost of living on factors such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The high cost of living is due to factors “beyond my control, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict”, He said.

He also blamed his critics – including Deputy President William Ruto – for the government’s economic woes ahead of crucial general elections in August.

Mr. Kenyatta cannot run for re-election after two terms but he has already chosen his desired successor in Raila Odinga, a former rival.

The presidential election is set for 9th August.

Kenya’s finance minister unveiled a $28 billion budget last month aimed at turning around the economy amid high unemployment after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenyans are facing rising prices for necessities such as food and fuel, a situation exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and droughts affecting several parts of the country.

Inflation hit a seven-month high of 6.47% in April, up from 5.56% in March and 5.76% in April last year, according to the national statistics office.

Author: Delvid Stanley-Coker

Delvid Stanley-Coker is a dedicated writer for The African Dream. His passion and desire to publicize the appreciable department of Africa, and voicing out the prevalent ills of society has adequately contributed to the promulgation of stories of different sort. He finds pleasure in reading novels, listening to soothing songs, and play video games for leisure purposes.