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The pain of working in East Africa

By By JAMES ANYANZWA | Published Wed, November 27th 2013 at 00:00, Updated November 27th 2013 at 11:08 GMT +3


EAST AFRICA: Securing a job has never been an easy task for many people but even after finding one, minimum wages in East Africa are barely above the international poverty line of US$1.25 (Sh107.50) per day.

Besides, the range of official minimum wages across the region is significantly wide, according to The State of East Africa 2013 Report.

The report by Society for International Development (SID), says that a substantial proportion of working East Africans are not even paid at the level of their national minimum wage.

In Tanzania, 36 per cent of formally employed citizens are paid below the minimum wage while in Kenya, two out of five formally employed workers receive a wage lower than the mandated minimum. “For informal workers, that rises to two in three workers,” the report says.

More striking

“Even more striking, one in four Ugandans and half of working Rwandans are paid a wage that is below their respective national poverty line.”

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The report reveals that the lowest official monthly minimum wages across East Africa varies from a from a high of US$81  (or US$2.70 per day) in Uganda to a low of just US$3.10 (US$0.10 per day) in Burundi with Tanzania (US$59 or US$2 per day).

Kenya (US$55 or US$1.83 per day) and Rwanda (US$39 or US $1.30 per day) fall in between those two endpoints.

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