Work on West Africa ECOVISA, the Schengen model ongoing – ECOWAS

THE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads and immigration experts are actively collaborating on the implementation of ECOVISA, a unified visa system inspired by the Schengen model, according to a statement the ECOWAS Commission released on Sunday, June 18.

The Seventh Heads of Immigration Meeting, held in Accra, Ghana, on May 25, was organised by the Directorate of Free Movement of Persons and Migration.

Efforts towards the realisation of ECOVISA introduced in 2011 for migrants of third countries are in furtherance of promoting foreign investments, tourism and providing easier access to abundant opportunities within the ECOWAS region.

“During the Accra meeting, it was recommended that a comprehensive comparative analysis of visa regimes in other continents be conducted to ensure that the implementation of ECOVISA aligns with global best practices.

“Additionally, the Heads of Immigration recognised the need for regular engagement to discuss modalities and assess the progress of ECOVISA implementation at different stages,” the statement said.

The meeting focused on discussing the implementation process, associated costs, design recommendations from visa issuance experts, and control measures proposed by member states.



    Harmonising mobility and migration challenges within the region and fostering cooperation among national immigration services were among the meeting’s key objectives.

    To ensure global best practices, a thorough comparative analysis of visa regimes in other continents, regular engagements, and progress assessments were recommended.

    The ECOWAS is a regional organisation composed of 15 member countries in West Africa, with a primary objective to promote economic integration, cooperation, and development within the region.

    It aims to create a common market, enhance trade, facilitate free movement of goods and people, and foster political stability and peace among member states.

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