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The International Centre for Migration Policy (ICMPD) is supporting the ECOWAS Commission and its member States to step up a regional monitoring mechanism on free movement of Inter-State passenger vehicles, persons and goods within ECOWAS.
With its headquarters in Abidjan, the mechanism draws extensively from the model in use in Cote-d’Ivoire which is based on a public-private partnership that brings together relevant stakeholders within the structure of the National Steering Committee to operationalise the mechanism at the national level.
In a press release on the opening ceremony of the Regional Monitoring Mechanism Workshop for the Free Movement of Inter-State Passenger Vehicles, Persons and Goods within ECOWAS held in Accra and copied GhanaNewsOnline.com.gh, it said with support of ICMPD, the mechanism has been piloted in eight ECOWAS member States.
The ECOWAS States the release stated includes Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cote- d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo, with plans to extend to other ECOWAS member States. The mechanism, the release said aims to reduce the level of harassment along ECOWAS inter-State highways, improve time and reduce red tape for transporters and passengers.
The mechanism according to the release also aims to strengthen regional coordination on the free movement of persons in line with the ECOWAS vision of a borderless and integrated region where the population enjoys free movement and has access to its abundant resources. The mechanism further aims to improve the flow of inter-State buses in ECOWAS member States.
The ECOWAS Free Movement Directorate, the release said would meet with representatives of the National Committees in the eight pilot countries of the mechanism to assess the functioning of the mechanism.
Participants were drawn from ECOWAS National Unit, Immigration, Ministry of Transport, Customs, Association of Road Transport Owners and transport workers unions from the eight pilot countries.
GhanaNewsOnline.com.gh has established that ICMPD support to the ECOWAS Commission is within the framework of the demand driven facility under the Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa project. The project is jointly funded by the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission.
Source: Adovor Nutifafa