11.8.2020 : 12:38 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


Community of Sahel Saharan States (CEN-SAD)


Tripoli, Libya

Web site

Short description

CEN-SAD works to strengthen peace, security, and stability, and achieve global economic and social development for its members. Among its objectives is the promotion of free trade and the free movement of people.


All CEN-SAD members’ dues are assessed on an annual basis to contribute to the organization’s operating budget (which was USD 9.3 million for the organization’s 2009–2010 financial year). Libya provides additional support to the Secretary General above its assessed dues. CEN-SAD has received some EU support via AU.

When CEN-SAD was established in 1998 it had of six members: Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Niger, and Sudan. By the end of 2002 its membership had tripled. Ten additional countries joined CEN-SAD during the years 2004–08, bringing its membership to 28. It includes many states outside the Sahel-Saharan region, including most notably the island states of São Tomé and Príncipe and Comoros. In 2009 Cape Verde was nominated to join CEN-SAD. It has enjoyed observer status since 2010.


28 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: Benin, Burkina Faso, CAR, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: Cape Verde

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

    CEN-SAD members represent:

    • 7 of 19 COMESA members (Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya, Libya, and Sudan are COMESA members)
    • 14 of 15 ECOWAS members (Cape Verde is not a CEN-SAD member)
    • 5 of 8 IGAD members (Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda are not CEN-SAD members)
    • 4 of 5 UMA members (Algeria is not a CEN-SAD member)

    * Information accurate as of 22 June 2012

    PoA Point of Contact

    • Issa Goffa
    • Officer in Charge of Programmes


    PoA-related activities

    CEN-SAD undertook a peace operation in CAR from December 2001 to January 2003. (It subsequently authorized a mission along the Chad–Sudan border to help reduce tensions between those two CEN-SAD members and improve human security in Darfur, but this operation was never deployed.) CEN-SAD addressed the problem of the illicit trafficking of small arms at the 10th Meeting of Ministries in Charge of Security of CEN-SAD Member States in March 2009. It gave the Small Arms Survey an opportunity to formally address the Experts Meeting that preceded the ministerial conference. That said, most of CEN-SAD’s work has had an economic and development focus. In January 2012, however, CEN-SAD member Morocco announced that Rabat would take the lead in reorganizing CEN-SAD, with security themes such as terrorism, hostage taking, and illicit trafficking becoming prominent concerns. The CEN-SAD Executive Council convened in June to discuss ways forward. CEN-SAD expects that its members will formally adopt a revised treaty before the end of 2012 that will include explicit references to security promotion and tackling the proliferation of weapons.

    PoA-related programmes and initiatives

    PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs

    CEN-SAD is a member of the AU-Regions Steering Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

    Legally binding regional instruments

    • None

    Other official documents of interest

    • None


    This profile is also available in other languages:

    EN ES

    Share this content
    Share this content: