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Judith Suminwa: Meet first female Prime Minister of DR Congo 

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Judith Suminwa

On Monday, April 1, 2024, President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo appointed Judith Tuluka Suminwa as the nation’s first female prime minister bringing an end to weeks of uncertainty.  

Tshisekedi’s re-inauguration for a second term in January initiated an extensive quest for a majority coalition in the National Assembly, a crucial prerequisite 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,” remarked Suminwa stated during a national address. 

Suminwa will spearhead Congo’s fresh administration subsequent to Tshisekedi’s decisive victory in the December elections. Despite the rapid expansion of Congo’s economy driven by the flourishing copper industry, the nation grapples with escalating conflicts in its eastern regions, along with the management of Congo’s substantial mineral wealth. 

Background of Judith Tuluka Suminwa 

Judith Tuluka Suminwa is a Congolese politician with over 20 years of national and international experience in Democratic Governance and Peace Consolidation, including security governance. She is also well-versed in public finance matters such as budget reform monitoring and its link to civil service modernization. 

Suminwa’s academic background spans several prestigious institutions, reflecting her commitment to excellence in leadership. 

  • At the Université libre de Bruxelles, she  pursued a Diploma of Complementary Studies in HR Management in Developing Countries, specializing in Labour Sciences. 
  •  This academic endeavor, undertaken from 1996 to 1997, equipped her with vital insights into the complexities of human resource management, particularly in the context of developing nations. 
  • Prior to her studies at Université libre de Bruxelles, Sunminwa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Management, with a focus on Applied Economic Sciences, from FUCAM -Faculties of Catholic University of Mons, Belgium. 
  •  This foundational education, obtained between 1992 and 1996, laid the groundwork for her understanding of economic principles and financial stewardship. 
  • Suminwa’s educational journey began at EPFC, Brussels/Belgium, where she completed a Graduate programme in Accounting from 1990 to 1992.  

This formative experience provided her with a solid grounding in accounting practices, essential for navigating the complexities of financial management in both public and private sectors. 

Career Experience 

Before her Prime Ministerial appointment, she was Minister of State for Planning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, appointed on March 24, 2023. 

She also served as the Deputy Coordinator at the Presidential Strategic Monitoring Council (CPVS), where she oversaw 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). During this time, 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, overseeing the implementation of budgetary and public administration reforms. 

Her 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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