Mrs Sena Siaw-Boateng
Citizens within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will soon be issued with biometric Identification Cards (IDs).
The introduction of regional biometric ID cards for citizens of the regional economic bloc is to facilitate traveling in the West Africa Sub-region.The cards will be issued in January 2016.
Giving some background information about the initiative at an ECOWAS sensitization workshop for public sector workers, border operatives and civil society in the northern region, the head of ECOWAS National Office in Ghana, Mrs Sena Siaw-Boateng, said the ECOWAS ID card was decided by heads of states and governments to replace resident permits, work permits and also to give all citizens of the ECOWAS community a uniform ID card to enable free movement in the sub region.
Mrs Boateng said the degree of national integration is an important basic criteria that ECOWAS has incorporated into its conflict prevention and early warning system which requires close monitoring, adding that already ECOWAS communities operate a known visa system and have to manage the movement of people in the sub region in that regard, she
The authorities thought it wise to introduce into the system the ID card that will have the same security features and information that could be shared among the 15 member states. The ID cards, Mrs.Boateng said, have better security features and are much more secured than passports.
BADI, Mr Eric Afari
The Northern Regional Commander of Ghana Immigration Service, Mr Eric Afari said the ID card is a form of identity that enables one to be confirmed as a member of the community and enhances the free movement of persons, goods and services. Francophone countries, he said, patronize the ID card system more than Anglophone countries.