Judith Suminwa: DR Congo Welcomes Its First Female Prime Minister

Judith Suminwa: DR Congo Welcomes Its First Female Prime Minister

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President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo made history on Monday, April 1, 2024, by appointing Judith Tuluka Suminwa as the nation’s first female prime minister, ending weeks of uncertainty.

This decision comes following Tshisekedi’s re-inauguration for a second term in January, which initiated a search for a majority coalition in the National Assembly, a crucial step before appointing a prime minister and forming a government.

“I am aware of the great responsibility… We will work for peace and the development of the country,” Suminwa remarked during a national address. She will lead Congo’s new administration after Tshisekedi’s decisive victory in the December elections. Despite the rapid growth of Congo’s economy driven by the flourishing copper industry, the nation faces escalating conflicts in its eastern regions and the challenge of managing its substantial mineral wealth.

Judith Tuluka Suminwa is a Congolese politician with over 20 years of experience in Democratic Governance, Peace Consolidation, and security governance, both nationally and internationally. She also has expertise in public finance matters, including budget reform monitoring and its link to civil service modernization.

Suminwa‘s academic background includes studies at prestigious institutions, demonstrating her commitment to excellence in leadership. She pursued a Diploma of Complementary Studies in HR Management in Developing Countries at the Université libre de Bruxelles, specializing in Labour Sciences from 1996 to 1997. This equipped her with crucial insights into human resource management complexities, especially in developing nations.

Prior to this, Suminwa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Management, focusing on Applied Economic Sciences, from FUCAM – Faculties of Catholic University of Mons, Belgium, between 1992 and 1996. This foundational education laid the groundwork for her understanding of economic principles and financial stewardship.

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Suminwa‘s educational journey began at EPFC, Brussels/Belgium, where she completed a Graduate program in Accounting from 1990 to 1992, providing her with a solid grounding in accounting practices essential for navigating financial management complexities in both public and private sectors.

Before her appointment as Prime Minister, Suminwa served as Minister of State for Planning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, appointed on March 24, 2023. She also held the position of Deputy Coordinator at the Presidential Strategic Monitoring Council (CPVS), overseeing strategic monitoring of the President’s commitments outlined in the government’s program.

Her career also includes a significant tenure as a Program Specialist and Coordinator of the Peace and Democracy Consolidation Pillar at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), focusing on project management, governance, budget processes, and change management.

Suminwa’s extensive professional journey began at UNDP in 2002, where she held various program specialist positions over a decade, honing her expertise in project management, governance, and reform implementation.

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