The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to its Africa board.

Intissar Fakir and Edson Cortez have been nominated by the organization’s Global board.

Based on the statutes of the GI-TOC, the Global board has the authority to appoint members to different boards to serve as representatives of the regions under GI-TOC constituency. The Global Initiative Africa board, one of the operating boards, is crucial to the management and running of the organization’s programmes in Africa and plays a key role in providing advice as its work has expanded thematically and geographically.

In 2023, the Global board went through a review process for nominating two additional members to the Africa board. As an outcome of this selection process, it is our pleasure to welcome Edson Cortez and Intissar Fakir to the Africa board. Part of their mandate will be to represent the Network of Experts’ African members at the board level.

Former researcher and investigative journalist, Edson Cortez is director of the Public Integrity Centre, an organization created in 2005 with the aim of contributing to the promotion of transparency, anti-corruption and integrity in Mozambique.

Cortez’s work focuses not only on denouncing corruption and irregularities, but also on advocating public awareness and promoting good practices. His experience in the domain of public administration, specifically the management of an organization driven by similar values and missions as those of the GI-TOC, makes him an eminently suitable candidate for the position on the Africa board.

On accepting his appointment, Cortez said:

‘I am glad to have this opportunity to actively contribute to the Africa board of the Global Initiative. Being part of this movement represents an upgrade in my experience and knowledge. And I also believe that the expertise acquired over the years that I have worked in civil society could make a huge contribution to achieving the organization’s objectives. I hope this appointment inspires more young Africans to believe in the values of transparency and integrity.’

Intissar Fakir is a senior fellow and the founding director of the North Africa and Sahel programme at the Middle East Institute, a Washington DC-based think tank. She is a member of various advisory groups and is currently serving as a member of the supervisory board of the Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy.

Prior to joining Middle East Institute, Intissar was a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she was also the editor-in-chief of the Middle East platform Sada. She has also implemented programmes at various NGOs in support of political, economic and social reform in North Africa and the Middle East.

Fakir works on issues encompassing political, social and economic trends at the national and regional levels in North Africa. Her experience as part of an advisory body and work focusing on issues ranging from domestic politics, economic and social policies, to energy and regional stability intersect with the GI-TOC’s efforts to enhance and facilitate the two-way relationship of state bodies and their citizens.

Says Fakir:

‘I am delighted to have been called to serve on the GI-TOC board. I am proud to support the GI-TOC’s mission, a leading organization providing over a decade of rich analysis and actionable research on organized crime. I look forward to joining colleagues whose work I have long admired, learning from them and advancing their work researching the political economy of organized crime, convening to identify solutions, and helping the work of grassroots networks around the globe working towards a shared goal.’

Peter Gastrow, Chair of the GI-TOC Africa board, said:

‘In these two new members of the Africa Board, the GI-TOC has found individuals with the qualities that will significantly strengthen the board in areas where more expertise was needed. Edson Cortez has his feet on the ground in civil society in Mozambique and beyond, and has wide experience in managing a cutting-edge NGO that addresses, among others, issues relating to governance and corruption in his country. As a Portuguese speaker he will be able to advise and assist the Global Initiative with its work in Lusophone Africa. Intissar Fakir is an expert on North Africa, the Sahel region, as well as countries in the Middle East. Her extensive experience and in-depth knowledge will help the GI-TOC to strengthen its focus and enhance its work in a region where organized crime, conflict and fragility are advancing at an alarming rate.’