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Experts Validate Harmonized ECOWAS visa Regime

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West African Regional bloc experts are today sheduled to conclude their three-day technical meeting that aims at harmonizing the cost and design of the visa and other associated modalities related to implementation of the ECOVISA.

The meeting was officially opened on 11 October by the interim Chair of the meeting, McArious A. Akanbong pursuant to the decision of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in 2000.

Actualization of ECOVISA seeks to boost tourism in the ECOWAS region as a major economic activity in terms of income generation, job creation, foreign exchange earnings and cultural exchange.

President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray stated that ECOVISA would play a vital role in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a tool to allow citizens of third countries to focus on our region.

According to Dr. Omar Alieu Touray ECOVISA will also bring to the region in terms of foreign direct investment drive, strengthened private sector for industrialisation that can boost economic development.

ECOVISA is sampled from the idea of the Schengen visa which will give non-member states citizens access to any of the 15 Member States with one visa.

The 3-day meeting brought together Experts in charge of issuance of visas, Experts in charge of control of visas at entry points as well as participants from the ECOWAS Commission and GIZ-AUBP.