ECOWAS experts meet on deployment of regional visa

Experts on visa issues from the ECOWAS region met on the 4 th of August 2020 on the deployment
of the regional Visa (ECOVISA) billed to facilitate the seamless movement of citizens of ECOWAS
Member States in the region.

Among others, the virtual meeting afforded the opportunity to present and discuss additional as
well as proposed security features of the ECOVISA document and the necessary accompanying
measures for the implementation of the decision of the heads of state and government of
ECOWAS on the matter.

Besides consolidating the proposed road map for the roll-out and deployment of the ECOVISA,
the experts are also examining data exchange/registration platform for migrants amongst
Member States’ consular services, host country immigration services and ECOWAS itself.
Declaring the meeting open, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Trade, Customs and
Free Movement Mr. Tei Konzi noted that in recognition of the fact that the ECO Visa should help
facilitate mobility in the ECOWAS area, it is important that delegates make concrete
recommendations for future validation by regional ministers in charge of security and migration.

He stressed that in working out modalities for the proper implementation of ECOVISA, Member
States are to be engaged in developing a regional visa roadmap for the process, emergence of a
Schengen type visa for the region while reassessing and updating the consideration of the
emerging evolution of migration in the ECOWAS region especially during the COVID-19 period.

Commissioner Konzi particularly took note of the need for a “consolidation of the roadmap
proposed for the deployment of ECOVISA, the data exchange and registration platform for
migrants at the level of consular services of ECOWAS Member States and immigration from host
countries and ECOWAS”.
Specifically, Mr. Konzi also disclosed that the Commission’s expectations are for the ECOVISA be
made a powerful tool for tourism, a source of foreign exchange as well as for enabling regional
environment for a free movement of investors and foreign workers.

He thanked stakeholders, representatives of the technical and financial partners of ECOWAS,
who support the Commission for the strengthening of regional integration, peace, cohesion and
socio-economic development.

 

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