Visa experts from the Economic Community of West African States held talks on the deployment of regional visa, the body said in a statement.
The regional Visa- ECOVISA is billed to facilitate the seamless movement of citizens of ECOWAS Member States within the region.
The experts in the virtual meeting proposed security features for the ECOVISA document.
The body of experts also deliberated the necessary accompanying measures for the implementation of the decision of the heads of state and government of ECOWAS on the issue.
ECOWAS said 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.
The ECOWAS Commissions Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement, Tei Konzi, emphasised the need for delegates to make concrete recommendations for future validation by regional ministers in charge of security and migration.
Konzi noted 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.
Also the emergence of a Schengen type visa for the region while re-assessing and updating the consideration of the emerging evolution of migration in the ECOWAS region especially during the COVID-19 period.
He further called for the 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.
The commissioner 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.
Konzi 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.
The Chair of the meeting and Commissioner of Police of Niger, Hassane Ismail reiterated the importance of the meetings agenda while looking forward to the progress to be made with the recommendations that would emanate from the days deliberations.