Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Honourable Najib Balala has been appointed as the new vice-president for the International wildlife conservation charity, Fauna & Flora International (FFI).
According to africa.com, Hon. Balala, has played a significant role in boosting tourism growth and stability in Kenya and in the African regional tourism sector. He was responsible for the development, launch and implementation of the National Wildlife Strategy 2030 in 2018, a roadmap for transforming wildlife conservation in Kenya, and also launched and implemented the Wildlife Policy 2021.
Hon. Balala has worked closely with private and institutional investors, conservation and regional development agencies to ensure that the economic potential of the Tourism and Wildlife sectors is both prudently and sustainably managed.
As FFI’s vice-president, Hon. Balala will use his experience in wildlife conservation and tourism to support the charity with the future development of its work and partnerships globally.
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 be able to benefit from this wealth of knowledge and experience.”
Hon. Balala was born in Mombasa 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.
Hon. Balala began his political career as the elected Mayor of Mombasa, Kenya, in 1998 to 1999. In January 2018, Hon. 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). Hon Balala is 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.
Hon. 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.