Most African leaders are not revered globally because of their inept leadership capability and corruption at the expense of the masses. Applying minimum wage and undignified living standards in a continent rich in natural and human resources proves Africa needs better leaders.
However, some African leaders take the initiative and seemingly lead with empathy and integrity, two traits rarely found among typical African political elites.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Godwin Obaseki, a Nigerian Governor, are leading the charge.
On workers’ day, May 1, Kenyatta approved an upward review of the country’s minimum wage – a 12% increase.
According to him, inflation, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine war, has made life unbearable for Kenyan workers.
He, therefore, increased the wages from 13,500 Kenyan shillings (110.5 euros/116 USD) to 15,120 shillings (124 euros/130 USD). The minimum wage has not been evaluated in three years.
Kenya’s inflation rate increased to 6.47% year-on-year last month from 5.56% in March.
In the same vein, the Governor of Edo State, Nigeria, Godwin Obaseki, commemorated the 2022 workers’ day with an increase in the minimum wage of state workers. He increased the stipend from N30,000 (about 50 USD) to N40,000.
According to him, he would prioritise the welfare of the state workers and help them succeed at their job.
“As we all know, a minimum of N30,000 can barely sustain a family. It will be immoral and mindless of us to pretend that we do not know that our workers are suffering,” Obaseki said.
He remains the first state governor to take active steps toward cushioning the effect of inflation on civil servants in the country.
Rwanda was still struggling to recover from the 1994 genocide that tore the country apart when Kagame took office in 2000. More than 800,000 people were reportedly slaughtered in the ethnic conflict that sunk the country’s economy.
One could say he inherited a shattered country. Fast forward to the present day, Kagame has rapidly transformed Rwanda’s economy and turned the country into what many consider “Africa’s tech hub.”
Although critics say he’s a threat to democracy, his visionary leadership has not been substantially contested.