Najib Balala: Kenya's longest serving Tourism Minister

Najib Balala: Kenya's longest serving Tourism Minister

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

Serving in any government for a long time befits only those who have proved to be competent and those who have developed a thick skin of integral leadership.

They have amply delivered to their mandated tasks through different leadership tenures and remaining top of the game as the preferred candidate to take the job in subsequent administrations.

Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala is the longest serving Tourism Minister, boasting of a 12 year run.

But how exactly did he get here?

Born 1967 in Mombasa, Balala holds a degree in International Urban Management from University of Toronto, Canada. He also attended The Executive Program for Leaders in Development at Havard University.

At 30-years-old he began his political journey where he served as the youngest mayor of Mombasa City in from 1998 to 1999.

In the 2002 General Election he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Mvita where he served one term.

He would later be appointed Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture & Social Services from 2003 -2004 and Minister for National Heritage & Culture from 2004 - 2005.

In the same office he advocated for community empowerment, promotional of cultural and local heritage, with enthusiasm in conserving the Swahili culture.

After the 2007 post-election violence, Mr Balala returned to the Cabinet in the Tourism docket in 2008 during President Mwai Kibaki's tenure. He served in this Ministry up to 2012.

During his 5-year-leadership he was awarded as the best Tourism Minister in Africa. He was also appointed the Chairman of United Nations World Tourism Organisation in 2009.

During the 2013 election he unsuccessfully vied for the Mombasa Senatorial seat under the Republican Congress Party of Kenya.

He however was appointed the first Minister for Mining, where he delivered a Mining Bill Draft in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya’s mining sector since 1940. 

He was reappointed as the Tourism Minster in 2015 by President Kenyatta where he has served in the docket till date.

The 55-year-old, on his next move after the lapse of President Kenyatta's regime, has however divulged that he is willing to be part of the next administration and continue serving Kenyans.

"I have been in government since 1998 and I will be in the next one and serve in any position that is there for the good of all Kenyans," said the CS as quoted by the Nation.


Najib Balala Citizen TV Citizen Digital CS Tourism

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