• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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5 things to know about Judith Suminwa, DRCongo’s first female prime minister


In a historic move, President Felix Tshisekedi appointed Judith Tuluka Suminwa as the Democratic Republic of Congo’s first female prime minister on Monday, April 1st, 2024. This appointment follows weeks of uncertainty after Tshisekedi’s re-inauguration in January, which necessitated securing a majority coalition in the National Assembly before forming a government.

“I am aware of the immense responsibility bestowed upon me,” Suminwa remarked in a national address. “We will strive for peace and national development.”

Suminwa takes the helm following Tshisekedi’s decisive victory in the December elections. The Democratic Republic of Congo boasts a booming copper industry that fuels its economic growth. However, the nation also faces challenges such as escalating conflicts in the eastern regions and responsible management of its abundant mineral wealth.

Here are five things to know about the new prime minister

1. Seasoned leader

Judith Tuluka Suminwa is a seasoned Congolese politician with over two decades of experience in democratic governance, peace consolidation, and security governance, both domestically and internationally. Her expertise extends to public finance matters, including budget reform monitoring and its connection to civil service modernization.

2. Her education

Suminwa’s holds a Diploma of Complementary Studies in HR Management in Developing Countries, specializing in Labour Sciences, from the prestigious Université libre de Bruxelles (1996-1997).

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Management with a focus on Applied Economic Sciences from FUCAM – Faculties of Catholic University of Mons, Belgium (1992-1996).

Suminwa’s academic foundation began with a Graduate program in Accounting (1990-1992) at EPFC, Brussels/Belgium.

3.A former minister

Prior to her appointment as Prime Minister, Suminwa served as the Minister of State for Planning since March 24th, 2023. She also held the position of Deputy Coordinator at the Presidential Strategic Monitoring Council (CPVS), where she oversaw the strategic monitoring of the President’s programmatic commitments.

4.A career at UNDP

She was also Program Specialist and Coordinator of the Peace and Democracy Consolidation Pillar at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). During this time, she honed her expertise in project management, governance, budget processes, and change management.

5. A senior advisor in government

Before joining the UNDP, Suminwa served as a Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Budget. In this role, she led the Change Management Unit, overseeing the implementation of budgetary and public administration reforms.