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New Tourism Minister in Kenya: An Embarressment or a Big Push Forward?

Tourism Minister in Kenya, New Tourism Minister in Kenya: An Embarressment or a Big Push Forward?, eTurboNews | eTN
Written by Dmytro Makarov

Kenya’s Tourism today got an unexpected push. A wise decision by the president may lift tourism to a new high, while some see it as an embarrassment.


When a tourism Minister in Kenya, or as they say in Kenya a Tourism Secretary is in his post because he was demoted is not really exciting news for the largest industry in the world generating 11% of global employment- but this may shown very differently in Kenya.

Kenya is East Africa’s tourism center. Travel, tourism, and wildlife is a significant income earner for Kenya.

Najib Balala still around

Kenya always put important visibility on the person in charge of this sector, and for many years it was the Hon. Najib Balala, who remains a global icon in the travel and tourism industry and is still actively working on global issues, including sustainable tourism project spearheaded by Saudi Arabia.

Former Kenya Tourism Minister Peninah Malonza

After the recent election on September 27, 2022, former Deputy Governor for Kitui County, Peninah Malonza was appointed as the new Secretary for Tourism by the Kenyan President Willian Ruto.

Minister Malonza is more of a quiet person trying hard to still learn her job. She struggled with visibility and her true talent may have been not known or felt to many.

A Journalist and communication in charge of Kenya Tourism

This will most likely change with a top-rated journalist and communication expert now in charge of tourism.

Recently Kenya came into the world spotlight, when its foreign minister, Mr Mutua was a vocal supporter of a Kenyan-led peacekeeping mission to Haiti. 1,000 police from Kenya would be deployed “within a short time” after the UN Security Council approved the deployment of the force on Tuesday.

This caused widespread criticism in Kenya resulting in a reshuffle of parliament today.

Why a Foreign Minister could make a good Tourism Minister?

Foreign Minister Mutua was moved from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to the Secretary in charge of Tourism and Wildlife

On a first look, it may not be good news for him and for the public, since this is most likely seen as an embarrassment, downgrade, and punishment for him. It may also indicate that Kenya’s president is not taking tourism seriously- or it could mean he has raised the bars of tourism tremendously with his new appointment today.

Who is the Hon. Alfred Mutua?

The Secretary of Tourism and Wildlife for Kenya, the Hon. Alfred Mutua served as the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs under President William Ruto from 27 October 2022 to 5 October 2023.

Before joining the government, Mutua served as the 1st Governor of Machakos County for two terms, from 2013 to 2017 and from 2018 to 2022. He was the Kenyan government’s spokesman before resigning in 2012 to run for the Machakos County Gubernatorial seat. He is the founder of the Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) Party which was established on 25 August 2016.

Mutua was born in Masii, Machakos County in Kenya. He has lived, studied, and worked in Kenya, the United States, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates, and has been a journalist, businessman, lecturer, civil servant, and politician.

He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Whitworth College and his Master of Science in communication from Eastern Washington University. He received his doctorate in communication and media from the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

Good news not bad news for Kenya Tourism

After all, Mr. Malonza has all the ingredients to lead travel and tourism in Kenya. He appears to be one of the few in Kenya’s tourism leadership able to see this global industry not only from within but within a global piece of a larger puzzle.

World Tourism Network Congratulates

For World Tourism Network chairman Juergen Steinmetz, this is excellent news. He was one of the first global tourism leaders congratulating the Hon Malonza and said: ” This is excellent news for Kenya Tourism, for Global Tourism, and also for someone who understands geopolitics and tourism. “

African Tourism Board Comments

ATB Chairman Cuthbert Ncube says: “The best to contribute towards that beautiful destination is to rally behind him

About the author


Dmytro Makarov

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