Yahia Zaidi (he/him)
Yahia Zaidi is a committed human rights activist and a specialist with extensive experience on LGBTI, HIV, Refugee issues. He has undertaken international advocacy, community building, strategy development, research, services and training at the local, regional (Middle East and Africa) and international levels.
Yahia rebuilt Pan Africa ILGA, and served as Co-chair of its executive board 2012-2016. During his tenure PAI was registered and established as an NPO in South Africa and 2 regional LGBTI conferences were hosted in Africa. PAI continues to thrive and he remains a valuable member and contributor. Through his co-chairmanship of PAI he has been able to represent the Africa region on the ILGA World Board and served as Co-secretary General Alternate on ILGA’s World Executive Board. Yahia co-founded MantiQitna Network, the only regional LGBTI-led advocacy organization from the MENA region. He was at the forefront of UN advocacy toward the adoption of resolutions on SOGI in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2022 represented both PAI and MantiQitna, and twice collected the largest number of signatories to civil society joint statements in the history of the Human Rights Council.
Yahia also worked as a social worker in the area of asylum. In Belgium, where he now lives he co-founded OMNIA, an association of immigrants from the MENA region living in Belgium who fight against homophobia among migrants from the MENA region. His latest position was the Manager of the MENA regional platform on communication and coordination created by the Global fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and hosted by civil society in order to insure an effective participation of key populations at all levels of national responses to HIV/Tuberculosis and Malaria.