The Community of Sahel-Saharan States CEN-SAD is a framework for Integration and Complementarity. It intends to work, togethe r with the other regional economic communities and the Organization of African Unity, to strengthen peace, security and stability and achieve global economic and social development.
CEN-SAD was established on 4th February 1998 following the Conference of Leaders and Heads of States held in Tripoli (Great Jahamiriya). The Treaty on the establishment of the Community was signed by the Leader of Great El-Fateh Revolution and the Heads of State of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan. The Central African Republic and Eritrea joined the Community during the first Summit of the organization held in Syrte in April 1999. Senegal, Djibouti and Gambia joined during the N'djamena Summit in February 2000. Others countries joined later, and still more are in the process of joining the Organization.
It may be noted that CEN-SAD Community was recognized as a regional economic one during the thirty sixth ordinary session of the Conference of Leaders and Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity held on 04-12/07/2000 in Lomé in Togo.
It was also given the observer status in the UN General Assembly by virtue of the UN General Assembly resolution N° A/RES/56/92.
CEN-SAD has concluded partnership agreements with numerous regional and international organizations with the purpose of consolidating collective work in so many political, cultural, economic and social fields .
CEN-SAD was established to achieve the following objectives:
- Establishment of a comprehensive economic union based on a strategy implemented in accordance with a developmental plan that would be integrated in the national development plans of the member states.
- Elimination of all obstacles impeding the unity of its member states through adopting measures that would guarantee the following:
a - Facilitating the free movement of individuals, capital and meeting the interest of member states citizens.
b - Freedom of residence, work, ownership and economic activity.
c - Freedom of the movement of national goods, merchandise and services.
d - Encouragement of foreign trade through drawing up and implementing an investment policy for member states.
e - Enhancement and improvement of land, air and sea transportation and telecommunications among member states through the implementation of joint projects.
f - Consent of the community member states to give the citizens of member states the same rights and privileges provided for in the constitution of each member state.
- Coordination of pedagogical and educational systems at the various educational levels, and in the cultural, scientific and technical fields.
1. THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF STATE:
This is composed of Leaders and Heads of State of the Community. The conference is the supreme organ of the policy and decision making of the community in respect of the objectives of the constitutive Treaty.
The Conference of Heads of the State meets once a year in ordinary session rotationally in the different capitals of member states. It can meet in an extraordinary session at the request of one member State. The Country hosting the Summit presides over the Conference .
2. THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL :
The executive council is responsible for the preparation of the programs of integration plans and the implementation of the decisions of the Conference of the Heads of States .it is composed of Secretary / Ministers in charge of the following departments:
- External Relations and cooperation.
- Economy, finance and Planning.
- Interior and Public Security.
The Executive Council meets every six (6) months. It can hold extraordinary sessions at the request of the Chairman of the Conference of Heads of the State or at the request of one of the member states. The Council is chaired on a rotary basis.
3. THE GENERALSECRETARIAT :
The General Secretariat is the administrative and executive organ of the Community, responsible for the management of the daily work, the monitoring of the regular functioning of the institutions and the implementation of the objectives and policies defined by the Conference of Heads of States and Executives Council.
The General Secretariat is composed as follows:
- The Secretary General.
- The Assistant Secretary General.
- The office of the Secretary General.
- The Administrative and Financial Affairs Directorate.
- The Complementarily and integration Directorate.
- The Research and Legal Affairs Directorate.
4. THE SAHEL-SAHARAN INVESTMENT AND TRADE BANK
The convention on establishment of the SAHEL-SAHARAN INVESTMENT AND TRADE BANK was signed on 14/4/1999 in Syrte (GREAT JAMAHIRIYA), and the Statutes were signed on 15/11/1999 in Benghazi (GREAT JAMAHIRIYA).
The objective of the Bank is to exercise all banking, financial and commercial activities, including those relating to financing development projects and external trade.
The Bank gives priority to projects executed in member states and carries out its activities within the framework of this convention and the Statutes.
To achieve its objectives, the Bank can, upon the decision of its Board of Directors, open branches or offices within or outside the member countries.
The head office of the Bank is in the Great Socialist People's Arab Libyan Jahamiriya.
5. THE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL COUNCIL (ESCC)
The ESCC is an advisory organ composed of ten (10) members designated by each member country, and mandated to assist the organs of CEN-SAD in the design and preparation of development, policies, plan and programs of economic, social an Cultural nature of the member countries.
The Council meets once a year in ordinary session. It can meet in an extraordinary session upon invitation of the Chairman of the CEN-SAD, its Chairman or a member state.
The Headquarters of the Economic, social and Cultural Council is in Bamako, Mali.
The 23 member states of CEN-SAD are:
The Republic of Benin
The Secretariat of CEN-SAD has the following departments:
- The office of the Secretary General.
- The Administrative and Financial Affairs Department.
- The Complementarity and Integration Department.
- The Research and Legal Affairs Department.