Cabinet / Ministerial Positions:
Cabinet Secretary for Tourism (2015 – to date)
Cabinet Secretary for Mining (2013 – 2015) (incl. Chairman of the Mining Governing Council)
Minister for Tourism (2008 – 2012) (incl. Chairman, UN World Tourism Organisation)
Minister for Natural Heritage (2005)
Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services (2003 – 2004)
Acting Minister for Labour (2003)
Founder – Republican Congress Party of Kenya (2012)
Member of Parliament (Mvita Constituency) (2002 – 2012)
Founder Member – Orange Democratic Movement (2005)
Mayor of Mombasa (1998 – 1999)
Civil Society Positions:
Patron, Lamu Culture Festival (2003 – 2012)
Chairman, Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2000 – 2003)
Chairman, Mombasa and Coast Tourism Association (1996 – 1999)
Vice Chairman, Kenya Tourism Board (1996 – 1998)
University of Toronto, Canada
JFK School of Government, Harvard University
Following his highly successful term as Minister for Tourism from 2008 – 2012, Honourable Najib Balala has returned for a second term, this time as Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, in the 2015 Government reshuffle.
Honourable Najib Balala has returned from the Ministry of Mining where he was appointed as Kenya’s first Cabinet Secretary in May 2013 with a mandate to deliver the legal framework and transparent processes required to strengthen the Kenyan mining sector and achieve equitable sharing of the country’s mineral benefits between the National Government, County Governments, communities, the people of Kenya and investors alike. Hon Balala delivered the Draft Mining Bill in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya’s mining sector since 1940. During his tenure as Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Balala was elected Chairman of the Southern and Eastern Africa Mining Centre (SEAMIC) Governing Council.
Prior to the institution of Kenya’s new Constitution in 2012, 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. As Tourism Minister, Hon Balala 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).
Hon. Balala 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 and with conservation and regional development agencies to ensure that the economic potential of this vital sector was both prudently and sustainably managed.
Hon. Balala began his political career as the Mayor of Mombasa, Kenya from 1998 to 1999 and soon after was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Mvita Parliamentary seat in the 2002 General Elections where he served until 2012.
During this period, he was honoured with his first appointments to serve in various Ministerial portfolios for the Government of Kenya. He served briefly as Kenya’s Minister for National Heritage from June to November 2005, where he spearheaded the Heritage Bill; Kenya’s Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services from January 2003 to June 2004, where he spearheaded the Gender Commission Bill; and as Acting Minister of Labour from January to June 2003.
He trained in International Urban Management at the University of Toronto, Canada, and underwent the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.