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DR Congo President Names Judith Suminwa Tuluka as First Woman Prime Minister

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Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi has made history by appointing the country’s first-ever female prime minister, Judith Suminwa Tuluka, to the role.

An economist by profession, Suminwa takes over the position of prime minister from Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, following President Tshisekedi’s resounding re-election on December 20.Judith Suminwa

Tshisekedi’s inauguration for a second term in January marked the beginning of an extensive search for a majority coalition in the National Assembly – a crucial prerequisite before the appointment of a prime minister and the formation of a government.

“I am aware of the great responsibility… We will work for peace and the development of the country,” Suminwa remarked in a televised address on Monday.DR Congo President Names Judith Suminwa Tuluka as First Woman Prime Minister

President Tshisekedi secured a decisive victory with 73.47 percent of the vote in December, and despite some logistical challenges, the election process unfolded relatively peacefully in a nation marred by prolonged violence and instability.

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While opposition parties denounced the election as flawed, Tshisekedi’s supporters secured over 90 percent of the parliamentary seats, affording him substantial legislative leverage.

As the new prime minister, Suminwa faces a plethora of challenges, including spearheading initiatives to address unemployment, empower youth and women, and foster national cohesion in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to approximately 100 million people.DR Congo President Names Judith Suminwa Tuluka as First Woman Prime Minister

Tshisekedi initially assumed the presidency in 2019 with pledges to enhance living standards and quell decades-long conflicts in the resource-rich yet impoverished nation. However, he encountered difficulties in fulfilling these promises, leading him to campaign for a second term on a platform of consolidating progress achieved during his tenure, such as the provision of free primary healthcare.

Despite these efforts, the humanitarian situation remains dire, with an estimated seven million people internally displaced by ongoing conflicts, particularly in North Kivu province, where the M23 rebel group, allegedly backed by Rwanda, has seized significant territory over the past two years.

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