We were behind the scenes of this inspired gathering of European and African leaders

International High-Level Conference on the Sahel

February 23, 2018 — Brussels, Belgium


How to coordinate an ambitious high-level conference involving 32 heads of state and government and 60 delegations?

As part of the EU’s longstanding partnership with the Sahel region, the European Commission hosted the International High Level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels along with the African Union, the United Nations and the G5 Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The conference aimed to increase political support to the region as well as financial aid for security and better coordination of development efforts.

In an exceptional show of solidarity, over 1,000 participants and staff, including 32 heads of state and government and 60 delegations, took part in the conference. Cecoforma was in charge of the logistical coordination, a demanding assignment as the number of delegations and participants largely exceeded initial expectations. We managed the venue set-up in the European Commission’s Berlaymont building as well as participant and press registration and arranged local transport for the G5 delegations. We also coordinated with protocol services to ensure the secure arrival of all the high-level attendees.

We made sure that each session of the conference ran smoothly: speeches and interventions, a group photo, and finally the signing of a tripartite agreement followed by a press conference. The big news of the day was that the European Union had mobilised support amounting to € 414 million for the Joint G5 Sahel Force, which addresses cross-border terrorism and organised crime.

The International High-Level Conference for the Sahel was the single largest event ever organised on the premises of the Berlaymont building.

It was an awesome experience to be part of the team behind a conference that contributed to raising € 414 million in support of one of the world's most fragile regions.

Michel Ivor


Together with a team of graphic designers we developed the visual identity for the conference, including the logo design based on the Sahelian acacia tree. We created an event website to share background materials, photos and videos with the participants. Our photographer captured the interactions of the illustrious attendees, from French President Emmanuel Macron to African Union President Moussa Mahamat Faki. We also prepared a teaser video ahead of the event as well as an after video capturing the highlights and results of this successful gathering of leaders.