Kenya Tourism Secretary Najib Balala positioned as an African Leader: Cemented

Kenya Tourism Secretary Najib Balala positioned as an African Leader: Cemented

The African Tourism Board cemented Kenya’s Tourism Minister standing as a long year recognized African tourism leader last week in London.



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Kenya has been seen as a driving force in African Tourism activities for many years. When ATB invited the longest-serving tourism minster H.E. Najib Balala to enter into the prestigious Honors Circle of the organization, Kenya’s unique position and commitment to the travel and tourism industry was once again recognized.

During the World Travel Market in London last week Balala was seen with ATB Chairman Cuthbert Ncube and CEO Doris Woerfel sharing some laughs. In addition, some serious discussions about the development of a multi-country African Tourism industry were discussed with the Kenya Tourism leader.

H.E. Najib Balala, African Tourism Board CEO Doris Woerfel, and ATB Chair Cuthbert Ncube sharing a good time at the WTTC Cocktail in London.

Secretary Balala, who also accepted to become an advisor to the African Tourism Board will now be able to play an even more multinational role as an African leader in the travel and tourism industry.

Recently in London Balalal explained how Kenya increased tourism in difficult times, he echoed Jamaica’s minister of tourism call for a multi-country responsibility to monitor travel advisories.  The Kenya secretary takes tourism resilience serious as a member of the Global Resilience Crisis Management Centre.

Najib Balala attended primary school, Serani Boys, which qualified him to Kakamega High, a national school.  He studied Business Administration and International Urban Management and Leadership from the University of Toronto and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

SKAL president London, Cuthbert Ncube, (ATB Chair) and H.E. Najib Balala

Elena Kountoura, EU MP and former Greek Minister of Tourism, H.E. Najib Balala,  Tourism Secretary Kenya, H.E. Memunatu B. Pratt Tourism Minister from Sierra Leone (Also ATB advisory member), Dr. Taleb Rifai, patron ATB and former UNWTO Secretary-General, H.E. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism Jamaica (also ATB Board member) at the Intl. Tourism Investment Conference in London.

  • Prior to venturing into Public life, Najib Balala was in the private sector in the tourism business and eventually joined a family tea/coffee trade business.
  • He was Secretary of The Swahili Cultural Centre from 1993–1996.
  • Chairman – Coast Tourist Association between 1996–1999.
  • His tenure as the Mayor of Mombasa 1998–1999 witnessed a rapid transformation of Mombasa into an economic hub and drastic change in the affairs at Town Hall by the team leading an anti-corruption crusade.
  • Chairman, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Mombasa Chapter) from 2000–2003.
  • 27 Dec 2002 to 15 Dec 2007: Member of Parliament for Mvita Constituency
  • 7 Jan 2003 – 31 June 2004: Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services
  • Jan – June 2003: Acting Minister for Labour
  • 31 June – 21 Nov 2005: Minister for National Heritage
  • 27 Dec 2007 to 15 Jan 2013: Member of Parliament for Mvita Constituency
  • 11 Nov 2011 to March 2012: Chairman of the UNWTO Executive Council
  • 17 Apr 2008 to 26 March 2012: Minister for Tourism
  • 15 May 2013 to June 2015: Cabinet Secretary for Mining
  • Currently since June 2015: Cabinet Secretary for Tourism

Balala began his political career as the mayor of Mombasa, Kenya, thereafter he successfully vied for the Mvita parliamentary seat in 2002 general elections. Prior to that, Hon. Balala has served as the vice-chairman Kenya Tourism Board (KTB); Chairman All Local Government Association of Kenya and Chairman of Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association.

Hon. Balala has been the longest-serving Minister for Tourism, a position that he has held from the beginning of 2008 till 26 March 2012 when he got sacked through a reshuffle of cabinet. Najib Balala then formed The Republican Congress Party of Kenya (RC) in April 2012 that became a principal partner in the Jubilee Coalition together with President H.E Uhuru Kenyatta (TNA), H.E William Samoei Ruto (URP), And Hon. Charity Ngilu (Narc).

The African Tourism Board is an NGO based in Pretoria, South Africa with a philosophy to have tourism as a catalyst for unity, peace, growth, prosperity, job creation for the people of Africa -with a vision where Africa becomes one tourist destination of choice in the world.

More information on the African Tourism Board: www.africantourismboard.com