Speaking on his own TV station Television Futurs Medias, the musician confirmed his decision to take on incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, The Guardian reports.
N'Dour said: "I've travelled the world and been seen by people all over the world and I think I have the ability to govern Senegal. I am the alternative.
"For a long time, men and women have demonstrated their optimism, dreaming of a new Senegal. They have, in various ways, called for my candidacy... I listened. I heard."
He added that Wade was "hearing only in mono, not stereo".
Amadou Sall, a spokesman for Wade, responded: "We're waiting for all the candidates, including Youssou N'Dour, to detail their policy ideas [...] and not just list a string of wishes."
N'Dour last year was reported to be planning a benefit concert with U2's Bono to help those affected by East African famine.
The Grammy-nominated star performed at the Live 8 show in Hyde Park in 2005.
In 1994, N'Dour's duet with Neneh Cherry '7 Seconds' reached number three in the UK singles chart.
Watch the Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry '7 Seconds' music video below: