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Kenya’s President Announces a 12% Increase in the Minimum Wage

This announcement comes a few months ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections. Inflation hit a seven-month high in the East African country in April, mainly driven by soaring fuel and food prices, according to official figures. However, this is far from the 24% increase demanded by the main trade union organisation COTU (Central Organisation of Trade Unions-Kenya). The high cost of living is due to factors “beyond my control, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict”, Mr Kenyatta said. He blamed his critics – including Deputy President William Ruto – for the government’s economic woes ahead of crucial general elections in 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.