ECOWAS talks travel, trade benefits of regional biometric ID card in Cote d’Ivoire
Cote d’Ivoire is the latest member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to host a workshop meant to emphasize the importance of the regional biometric ID card dubbed ENBIC.
Through its Directorate of Free Movement of Persons and Migration, the ECOWAS Commission, on October 2 and 3, organized a workshop in Abidjan which brought together Customs, Police and Gendarme officers, union leaders, students and immigration officials as well as representatives of the National Institute of Public Hygiene, according to a press release.
The goal of the event was to underline the usefulness of the ENBIC (ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card) in boosting regional travel and economic integration among the 15 members of the regional grouping.
The ENBIC is a biometric credential adopted by ECOWAS heads of state in 2014 as a way of enhancing travel and trade transactions among the countries that make up the economic and political bloc.
During the forum, the ECOWAS Commission’s Director of Free Movements of Persons and Migration, Albert Siaw Boateng, speaking through an emissary, re-echoed the progress recorded so far in the implementation of the project.
While appreciating the six ECOWAS member countries which have already fully put the ENBIC to use, Siaw Boateng urged the remaining nine members to complete their work which is said to already be at advanced stages.
The head of the ECOWAS office in Cote d’Ivoire, Sandra Folquet, lauded the ENBIC workshop initiative which afforded participants the opportunity to improve their knowledge on the functionality of the ENBIC and the advantages it holds for the growth and development of individual member countries, and the West African sub region as a whole.
The ECOWAS workshop in Cote d’Ivoire comes just weeks after a similar one was held in The Gambia.