Judith Suminwa Appointed As DRC’s First Female Prime Minister

By Henry Nwaneri

The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi, has appointed Judith Suminwa as the country’s first female Prime Minister.

President Tshisekedi announced the appointment on Monday after weeks of his victory at the polls in December last year.

Despite the rapid expansion of Congo’s economy via its flourishing copper industry, the nation grapples with escalating violence in some part of the east which borders Rwanda, alongside the mismanagement of its substantial mineral wealth.

Suminwa who succeeds Jean-Michel Lukonde, said in her first statement on official television after being appointed, that she is committed to work for peace and development. Still, it could take months to create a new administration because the process needs extensive negotiations with the various political groups.

“My thoughts go out to the east and to all corners of the country, which today are facing conflicts with enemies who are sometimes hidden,” she said, referring to the conflict that involves many armed groups including some believed to be backed by Rwanda’s military. “I’m thinking of all these people, and my heart goes out to them.”

Before her appointment as prime minister, Suminwa was Minister of State for Planning.

She also served as the deputy coordinator at the presidential strategic monitoring council (CPVS), where she oversaw the implementation of the president’s commitments.

The politician also had a run as a specialist and coordinator of the peace and democracy consolidation pillar at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where she focused on project management, governance, budget processes, and change management.

Before her UNDP role, she served as a senior advisor at the Ministry of Budget, where she coordinated the change management unit and oversaw the implementation of budgetary and public administration reforms.

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