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September 16, 2019

Todays UNWTO Star: Hon. Najib Balala from Kenya


The Minister of Tourism of Kenya, The Hon. Minister Najib Balala was elected today to chair the UNWTO executive council.

This election took place Friday during the UNWTO General Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Immediately after this important election the African Tourism Board chairman Cuthbert Ncube congratulated in saying: “The African Tourism Board congratulates the Kenyan minister, the Honorable Najib Balala t his election to lead the UNWTO Executive Council.

This is an important achievement not only for him but for Africa and its vibrant travel and tourism industry. It shows the importance and richness of Africa as a driver in the global travel and tourism industry.

We’re looking forward to working with Kenya as an important leader in improving our Communities through Sustainable Tourism.”

Congratulations are coming in from tourism leaders around the world.

Najib Balala was born on September 20, 1967  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.

His impressive career includes:

  • 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 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

The Executive Council’s task is to take all necessary measures, in consultation with ‎the Secretary-General, for the implementation of its own decisions and ‎recommendations of the Assembly and report thereon to the Assembly.‎

The Council meets at least twice a year.‎

‎The Council consists of Full Members elected by the Assembly in the proportion of ‎one Member for every five Full Members, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure ‎laid down by the Assembly with a view to achieving fair and equitable geographical ‎distribution.‎

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