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Elie Bagbila: our new Global Head of Rights and Advocacy

Elie Bagbila, a Burkinabe man in his mid-50ies with glasses and an orange patterned shirt gives a presentation
Elie Bagbila speaks about Light for the World's engagement with Organisations of Persons with Disabilities

We are delighted that Elie Bagbila is becoming our Global Head of Rights and Advocacy on 1st May 2022.

Elie Bagbila, a sociologist by training, has thirty years of experience on disability rights, disability inclusion in community development, and inclusive community eye health. He has led our Office in Burkina Faso from strength to strength for the last ten years.

I am delighted to take over this role. I hope to bring a new perspective to Light for the World’s policy work, being a person with a physical disability myself.

Elie Bagbila

Strong community foundation

Elie started his career managing Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programmes in rural Burkina Faso. Many in Burkina Faso and West Africa consider him a founder of CBR, Disability Inclusion in Community Development, and Community Eye Health in the region.

In 2005, he became the manager of the new eye clinic in Zorgho, now one of the best functioning eye clinics in Burkina Faso. The community eye health programme he established there is still going strong today.

Advocacy for disability inclusion

From 2010 to 2020, Elie served on the CBR Africa Network Executive Committee representing Francophone West Africa.
In his role as Light for the World’s Country Director in Burkina Faso from 2012 to today, he worked closely with our global rights and advocacy team. He has represented Light for the World in many international advocacy initiatives and events. In 2019, he participated in IDA’s BRIDGE training of trainers in Geneva and the UN High-level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals in New York.

portrait of Elie Bagbila, a middle-aged Burkinabe man with glasses, shortly cropped hair and a traditional white and black cotton shirt.
Elie Bagbila, Light for the World Burkina Faso

“I’ve dedicated my career to disability inclusion, eye health and rehabilitation at community level in my home country Burkina Faso. Now I’m thrilled to be able to connect the grassroots level to the global arena,” says Elie Bagbila.

portrait of Johanna Mang, a smiling mid-50ies white Austrian woman with short gray hair in a petrol sweater
Johanna Mang, outgoing Head of Rights & Advocacy

Johanna Mang, outgoing Head of Rights & Advocacy, says: “Elie offers lived experience from grassroots, national and regional perspectives. He combines excellent management experience with his networking skills. He will lead Light for the World’s advocacy work with great passion and insight.”

“Stepping into big shoes”

I am stepping into very big shoes indeed as I follow my brilliant colleague Johanna Mang in this role. Yet I know that I can count on a fantastic team as well as our trusted allies and partners.

Elie Bagbila

Light for the World is immensely grateful to Johanna Mang, who will retire this year, for her commitment and leadership. We will miss her sharp strategic eye, her humour and kindness, and her infinite dedication to disability rights and inclusion. Thank you, Johanna! Bon courage, Elie!

Jess Blijkers, Programme and Advocacy Director
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