CEN-SAD - Harmonisation of Sectoral Policies

The Treaty Establishing CEN-SAD specifies the harmonization of sectoral policies among member States as part of the overall ambition of establishing an Economic Union. It is expressed in terms of collaboration on political, cultural, economic and social issues, and in the areas of land improvement, air and sea transportation and telecommunications among member States through the implementation of joint projects. Harmonization and coordination of pedagogical and educational systems at the various educational levels in the cultural, scientific and technical fields are likewise stated in the Treaty. Two of its main areas of work are security and environmental management, which include its flagship project to create the Great Green Wall of trees across the Sahel.

In practice, CEN-SAD has fallen behind schedule in implementing the integration stages of the Abuja Treaty and has been stagnant on stage two – eliminating tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers within the regional economic community. The key challenges faced by CEN-SAD include overlapping memberships of its member States to other regional economic communities and regional integration arrangements on the continent, as well as a weakened institutional body caused by political instability and lack of political commitment among its member States.[1]

[1] African Union, Highlights – Status of Integration in Africa V, (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2014). Available from http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/newsevents/workingdocuments/12582-w....