Community of Sahel-Saharan States

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تجمع دول الساحل والصحراء
Communauté des Etats Sahélo-Sahariens
Comunidade dos Estados Sahelo-Saarianos
Community of Sahel-Saharan States
Community of Sahel-Saharan States-map.PNG
Headquarters Libya Tripoli, Libya
Official languages
Type Trade bloc
Membership 28 member states
• Secretary General
Ibrahim Sani Abani (acting)
• Agreement signed
4 February 1998
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The Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD; Arabic: تجمع دول الساحل والصحراء; French: Communauté des Etats Sahélo-Sahariens; Portuguese: Comunidade dos Estados Sahelo-Saarianos) aims to create a free trade area within Africa. There are questions with regard to whether its level of economic integration qualifies it under the Enabling clause.


CEN-SAD was established in February 1998 by six countries, but since then its membership has grown to 27. One of its main goals is to achieve economic unity through the implementation of the free movement of people and goods in order to make the area occupied by member states a free trade area. At the international level, CEN-SAD gained observer status at the UN General Assembly in 2001 and concluded association and cooperation accords with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and with UN specialized agencies and institutions such as UNDP, WHO, UNESCO, FAO, and the Permanent Interstate Committee for drought control in the Sahel.

All CEN-SAD member countries are also participating in other African economic unions, that have the aim to create a common African Economic Community. The envisioned Free Trade Area of CEN-SAD would be hard to practically implement, because it is overlapping with the envisioned customs unions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), ECCAS and COMESA and other trade blocs more advanced in their integration.

2007 summit

The African leaders sought to reconcile differences between neighbours Chad and Sudan over the Darfur conflict and boost Somalia's embattled Transitional Federal Government at a regional summit in Libya on June 3, 2007.[1]

January 2013 meeting

In January 2013, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States will meet in N’djamena, Chad.[1] A commentator said "Morocco will likely continue its steps to take command of the organization".[1]


Beginning in 2009, CEN-SAD member states will take part in planned periodic international sporting and cultural festivals, known as the Community of Sahel-Saharan States Games (Jeux de la Communauté des Etats Sahélo-Sahariens).[2] The first CEN-SAD Games were held in Niamey, Niger from 4–14 February 2009. Thirteen nations competed in Under-20 sports (athletics, basketball, judo, football, handball, table tennis and traditional wrestling) and six fields of cultural competition (song, traditional creation and inspiration dancing, painting, sculpture and photography). The second CEN-SAD Games was scheduled to take place in the Chadian capitol of N’Djamena in February 2011.[3]

List of members

Founding members (1998)


  1. ^ a b Nickels, Benjamin P. (January 3, 2013). "Morocco’s Engagement with the Sahel Community". SADA. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  2. ^ La première édition des Jeux de la CEN-SAD en février 2009 au Niger[permanent dead link], APANEWS, 17 June 2008.
  3. ^ Maiden CEN-SAD Games ends in glory in Niamey [permanent dead link]. APA News. 2009-02-15.
  4. ^ a b c d e "CEN-SAD celebrates 13th anniversary". Panapress. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 

External links

  • CEN-SAD website
  • CEN-SAD at the African Union website.
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