Former Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has landed a senior position in a leading charitable organisation. Fauna & Flora International (FFI), has announced the appointment of Balala as a new vice-president.
He has been in the service for 25 years, during which he spent 17 years as a minister and 12 in the tourism sector.
The former CS was responsible for the development, launch and implementation of the National Wildlife Strategy 2030 in 2018, a Road map for transforming wildlife conservation in Kenya, and also launched and implemented the Wildlife Policy 2021.
Balala has worked closely with private and institutional investors, and conservation and regional development agencies to ensure that the economic potential of the Tourism and Wildlife sectors is both prudently and sustainably managed.
Mark Rose, CEO of FFI, comments: “On behalf of all of the team at FFI, I am delighted to welcome Honourable Najib Balala as vice-president – he will be a wonderful global ambassador for FFI. Hon. Balala has been incredibly influential in the wildlife and tourism sectors in Kenya and across Africa and we are very privileged to benefit from this wealth of knowledge and experience.”
Career and Educational Background
Balala was born in Mombasa in 1967 and 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.
Balala began his political career as the elected Mayor of Mombasa, Kenya, in 1998 to 1999. In January 2018, Balala was re-appointed to his position as the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife.
He has also served as a Cabinet Secretary for various ministries, including Cabinet Secretary for Tourism (2015-2017) and Minister for Tourism (2008-2012).
Balala is currently the Chairman of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for Africa and was voted Best Tourism Minister in Africa in 2009 by Africa Investor.
In addition to his accolades, Balala spearheaded the COVID-19 recovery funding from Government for Community Conservancies and the Kenyan Wildlife Service and led the first total wildlife census for Kenya.
FFI protects threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and that enhance human well-being. Operating in more than 40 countries worldwide, FFI saves species from extinction and habitats from destruction, while improving the livelihoods of local people.