Honourable Najib Balala, EGH, was born in 1967 and is trained in International Urban Management at the University of Toronto, Canada. He underwent the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
He was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Tourism in the 2015 Government reshuffle. He moved from the Ministry of Mining, where he was appointed as Kenya’s first Minister in May 2013 and is credited with delivering the Draft Mining Bill in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya’s mining sector since 1940.
Hon. Balala served simultaneously as Member of Parliament for Mvita Constituency, Mombasa, and as Kenya’s Minister for Tourism from April 2008 to March 2012, where he delivered the Tourism Bill and gave the sector a policy and legal framework geared towards maintaining sustainability. Then, he was elected Chairman of the United Nations World Tourism Organization in 2011 and was voted Best Tourism Minister in Africa in 2009 by Africa Investor (AI).
He is credited with steering Kenya’s tourism sector to recovery following the post-election violence in 2008. He played a significant role in boosting growth and stability in the Kenyan and regional tourism sector, working closely with private and institutional investors, with conservation and regional development agencies to ensure that the economic potential of this vital sector was both prudently and sustainably managed.