Meet the New Oil Minister Of Kuwait
Sunday, Kuwait made its fifth government in less than a year and New oil and defense ministers were chosen. The Opec member is trying to get out of a long political stalemate that has stopped fiscal reform and development.
Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah, who is the Prime Minister and the eldest son of Kuwait’s sick ruler, is at the top of the list. Mr. Saad Al-Barrak is the country’s eighth oil minister in as many years.
Mr. Al-Barrak, who used to be the CEO of Zain and is known for making the Kuwaiti telecommunications company into a global giant, has criticized government bureaucracy in the past. He was also named state minister for economic and investment issues.
Mr. Manaf Al-Hajeri was reappointed as the country’s finance minister. He is the fifth finance minister since 2020. He is also the head of the Kuwait Investment Authority, which is in charge of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, which is worth more than US$700 billion (S$937 billion).
A key member of the ruling family, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, was named defense minister. This job had been open for about nine months.
Sheikh Ahmad was once president of the Olympic Council of Asia and a minister. After a fight with senior members of the ruling family more than 10 years ago, he was kicked out of the Cabinet and stayed out until now.
He was one of the senior Al-Sabahs who fought for power in the oil-rich Gulf country of Kuwait. His return means that the family and Kuwaiti politics have changed sides.
The frequent changes in Cabinets have made it hard for successive ministers to pass reforms and bring stability. This cycle of chaos has made it harder to diversify the economy and put off foreign investors.
It has also made Kuwaitis feel like their country is going in the wrong direction.
Bader Al-Saif, an assistant professor of history at Kuwait University, said, “The ‘new’ government is not so new. It follows the same old rules.”
“But this is the most brave government the Prime Minister has had so far.”
Prof. Al-Saif said that the new Cabinet has the most ministers from the ruling family in years and the most deputy prime ministers ever. He also said that an ambitious member of the ruling family has returned, even though his legal battles abroad are not yet over
In early June, the country held its third parliamentary election in less than three years.
The new National Assembly is now mostly made up of opposition lawmakers with ties to the Prime Minister. This could make it easier for the government, whose members are chosen by the ruling family, to work with elected lawmakers.