The Sahel region is at once a land of opportunities and challenges. Protracted conflict, terrorism, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, extreme poverty and climate change are some of the complex, multi-dimensional and transnational challenges in the region. Despite considerable international attention, including 21 regional and international strategies, the primary responsibility of sustaining peace and development is that of national governments, which must identify priorities, formulate strategies, and implement projects and programs that are “people-centered”, inclusive of all communities and regions, and empowers women and youth, in particular. The AU, Regional Economic Communities, the G5 and other regional arrangements are indispensable for addressing the transnational nature of many of the threats, challenges, and risks to the region’s peace, security and development. This session will provide an opportunity for action-oriented discussions about the imperative for building national and regional capacities needed for addressing immediate and short term priorities, as well as long-term needs identified by the countries themselves, achieving complementarity and coherence between the multiple regional and international actors and initiatives, and securing predictable and sustainable funding.