DRC’s first female premier sworn in Premier Tuluka

KINSHASA. – Judith Suminwa Tuluka was sworn in as the first female prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Wednesday, with an “ambitious and detailed” action plan that will cost US$92.9 billion over the next five years.

Before the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, Tuluka (56), and the other 54 new Cabinet members officially took office after deputies adopted Tuluka’s action plan with an absolute majority.

A total of 397 deputies voted in favour of the new government’s programme, after hours of debating.

Tuluka, while presenting her action plan, said she was proud to have broken the “glass ceiling” to be the first Congolese woman to serve as prime minister. Out of the new government’s 55 members, 18 are female.

“By assuming this position, I am fully aware of the historical importance of this moment and the symbolism of this appointment for the Congolese nation,” she said. “I feel both the weight of the responsibility on me and an immense pride in the idea of representing within the republic, the culmination of the efforts of all Congolese men and women tending to break the famous glass ceiling to produce equality.”

This new government, unveiled at the end of May 2024, consists of 55 members, including the prime minister, six deputy prime ministers, and 10 state ministers.

Apart from the prime minister, there are 54 members in the Cabinet, and 30 of them are new faces. Fifteen ministers from the previous government were reappointed to their original positions, and nine others were reappointed but reassigned to different functions.

With a master’s degree in applied economics from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles of Belgium, Tuluka was appointed state minister for planning in March 2023.

From 2020 to 2023, she also served as deputy coordinator of the Presidential Strategic Monitoring Council, an entity affiliated with the DRC presidential office.

Tuluka was one of the targets of the foiled coup attempt on May 19. The coup plotters could not identify her residence and then turned to that of Vital Kamerhe, the current president of the National Assembly who inaugurated Tuluka Tuesday.

The “ambitious and detailed” action plan of the new government “will be a valuable tool to guide policies,” with an estimated cost of US$92.9 billion for her five-year term, according to Tuluka. – Xinhua

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