DR Congo names Suminwa Tuluka as first woman Prime Minister

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Suminwa Tuluka becomes DRC's inaugural female Prime Minister, tackling challenges amidst escalating violence and governance issues

DR Congo names Suminwa Tuluka as first woman Prime Minister

In a historic move, Suminwa Tuluka, former Planning Minister, has been appointed as the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo by President Felix Tshisekedi.

Tuluka's appointment comes just months after President Tshisekedi assumed office, marking the first time in the nation's history that a woman has held the position of Prime Minister.

La nouvelle Première ministre, Judith Suminwa Tuluka, ici avec Félix Tshisekedi, est la première femme nommée à ce poste en RDC. © DR : présidence RDC.

The new Prime Minister, Judith Suminwa Tuluka, and Félix Tshisekedi

Former Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde's resignation a month ago paved the way for Tuluka's appointment. President Tshisekedi, fulfilling one of his campaign promises, announced the appointment, emphasizing the need for a "new and programmatic" government.

“I am aware of the great responsibility … We will work for peace and the development of the country,” Suminwa said on national television.

Who is Judith Suminwa Tuluka?

Judith Suminwa Tuluka, Minister of Planning, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Prior to her political career, Tuluka worked as an economist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), serving as the coordinator for the Consolidation of Peace and Strengthening of Democracy pillar in Kinshasa, the capital of Congo.

She also held the position of deputy coordinator of the Presidential Strategic Monitoring Council (CPVS), overseeing the evaluation of commitments made by the President.

Tuluka, who holds a Master’s degree in applied economics and additional diplomas in Work in developing countries, was appointed as the Planning Minister in 2023, becoming the third woman in Lukonde’s cabinet.

Challenges ahead

Democratic Republic of the Congo | Today's latest from Al Jazeera

Tuluka faces the formidable task of addressing President Tshisekedi's priorities of employment, youth, women, and national cohesion. However, she confronts significant challenges amidst the country's longstanding conflicts and governance issues.

The DRC, with a population of approximately 100 million, has been plagued by decades of conflict and weak governance, leading to dire humanitarian situations. Women in particular endure disproportionate levels of sexual violence and child marriage.

Recent reports from the UNHCR highlight escalating violence against women and children, along with the resurgence of conflict between non-state armed groups and government forces, resulting in millions of internally displaced people.

The security situation is especially dire in North Kivu province, where the M23 rebel group, backed by Rwanda, has seized significant territory over the past two years.

Source: Newsroom

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