The government announced plans to reduce the public sector wage bill from 43 per cent to 35 per cent of national revenue by 2028.

This initiative aims to free up resources for development projects and stimulate economic growth.

Felix Koskei, Head of Public Service and Chief of Staff, emphasized the importance of a fiscally sustainable public sector wage for achieving economic development.

He explained that a high wage bill can limit resources available for other crucial areas, potentially leading to a high fiscal deficit and hindering sustainable growth.

“A fiscally sustainable public sector wage is key to attaining economic development. It frees resources for economic growth,” Koskei stated.

The announcement came during a wage bill conference in Nairobi organized by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

Kenya faces various challenges that impact economic growth, including international conflicts, climate change, and rapid technological advancements.

Despite a 4.8 per cent economic growth rate in 2022, the number of public service employees increased significantly.

The number of public officers jumped from 865,000 in 2019 to 963,000 in 2023.

This rapid increase highlights the government's commitment to finding a balance between fiscal responsibility and maintaining service delivery.

According to the National Treasury, Kenya collected 2.38 trillion shillings (approximately $18.2 billion USD) in revenue for the fiscal year 2022/2023.

However, approximately $7.66 billion USD was spent on public sector salaries.

To address this imbalance, Amos Gathecha, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Public Service, announced plans for innovative solutions.

The government aims to adopt practices like business process outsourcing and leveraging digital technology to manage human resources and deliver services more efficiently.

The World Bank previously noted the impact of Kenya's large public sector wage bill, which accounts for about 8 per cent of the gross domestic product.

According to the World Bank, this burden has reduced fiscal buffers and increased Kenya's exposure to fiscal risks.

The Kenyan government's initiative to streamline the public sector wage bill reflects its commitment to fostering a more sustainable economic future.