Top NewsWest Africa

Senegal leads in real income survey

Macky Sall

Kenya, Tanzania disappoint in survey outcome

Macky Sall

By Nsikan Ikpe


The West African nation of Senegal is a continental leader in real income earnings at the moment, a survey by the International Labour Organisation has disclosed.

In the East African region, economic giant, Kenya lags regionally in real-wage average growth rates, declining by as much as 2.9 percent, the survey outlines.

This is despite the fact that, on account of its prime placement in the continent’s fastest growing economic region, the Kenyan economy has particularly been experiencing shades of economic expansion in the past few years.

With wages adjusted for inflation, Kenyan workers are earning less than they did 10 years ago, the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO) said in the report that was made public early in the week.

The rate of change in real wages (a term used in the report to refer to inflation-adjusted monthly earnings) dropped by 1.6 percent in Kenya from 2008 to 2017, the ILO global study shows.

Kenya’s gross domestic product grew by between five and six percent annually from 2013 through 2017, according to the World Bank.

Among the 24 sub-Saharan countries included in the report, real wages increased at an average of 2.7 percent during the past five years.

Real-wage rates rose most sharply in that period in Senegal (32.3 percent), while falling most precipitously in Tanzania (-9.5 percent), the report shows.

However, citing the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics as its source, the ILO reports that nominal wages (those not adjusted for inflation) have grown substantially in Kenya, rising from an average of Sh42,886 per month in 2013 to Sh57,008 last year.

The ILO report however cautions that “wage employees in Africa represent only a limited proportion of these countries’ working populations,” even as it does not present estimates for changes in earnings among workers in countries’ informal sectors.

Globally, the overall rate of growth in real wages slowed to 1.8 percent last year from 2.4 percent in 2016. It is also the lowest annual increase for the years since the global financial crisis of 2008.


Senegal President, Macky Sall



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