Scotland’s new First Minister Humza Yousaf: what does it mean for its economy?

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Humza Haroon Yousaf is a Scottish politician who was appointed First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in March 2023.


Yousaf was born in Glasgow in 1985 to Pakistani immigrants and studied politics at the University of Glasgow. Before his political career, he worked as a parliamentary assistant for several MSPs, including the first Muslim elected to the Scottish Parliament, Bashir Ahmad, who was a personal influence.

Political career

Yousaf joined the SNP in 2005 and campaigned extensively for the party, including during the 2007 Scottish parliament election, which resulted in the first SNP government in Scotland and his first job in the Scottish parliament.

He was appointed a junior minister under Alex Salmond in 2012, and served as minister for external affairs and international development until 2014. In 2014, he supported Nicola Sturgeon’s successful leadership bid and was subsequently appointed Europe minister. He was appointed justice secretary in 2018, where he introduced the controversial hate crime bill, and in 2021, he was appointed health secretary during the later phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boosting economic growth

As First Minister, Yousaf will have a significant impact on Scotland’s economy. He will be responsible for implementing policies to boost economic growth and promote job creation, as well as overseeing the country’s budget and financial management. Yousaf’s previous experience in government, particularly as health secretary during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be valuable in navigating the challenges facing Scotland’s economy in the coming years.

His background as the first Scottish Asian and Muslim to serve in office will also be significant in promoting diversity and inclusion in Scotland’s workforce. As First Minister, he will be able to use his position to champion policies that support underrepresented groups and ensure that Scotland’s economy benefits everyone.

Yousaf’s appointment as First Minister of Scotland is an important development for the country’s economy. His experience in government, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and focus on economic growth will be crucial in shaping Scotland’s future.

Mark O'Donnell

Mark O'Donnell is a political science expert who studied at University College London. He is particularly interested in the geopolitical movements within the European Union, with a focus on the impact of Brexit. O'Donnell's research and analysis provide valuable insights into the ever-changing political landscape of Europe and the wider world.

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