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The international centre for Migration policy

"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 headquarter in Abidjan, the mechanism draws extensively from the model in use in Cote-d'lvoire that 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. With the support of ICMPD, the mechanism has been piloted in eight ECOWAS Member States :Benin, Burkina -Faso, Cote de'lvoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo, with plans to extend to other ECOWAS member States".

Specifically, "the mechanism aims to (1) reduce the level of harassment along ECOWAS inter-state  highways, improve time and reduce red tape for transporters and passengers (2)improve the flow of inter-state buses in ECOWAS member States and (3)strengthen regional coordination on the free movement of persons, in line with the ECOWAS vision of a border-less and integrated region where the population enjoys free movement and has access to its abundant resources ".

From 7-9 August 2018, the ECOWAS free Movement Directorate will meet with representatives of the National committees in the eight pilot countries of the Mechanism to assess the functioning of the mechanism. The National Committee members who will participate in the workshop are drawn from the ECOWAS National Unit, Immigration, Ministry of Transport, customs, Association of Road Transport Owners and Transport Workers Unions, from the eight pilot countries, respectively".

"ICMPD support to the ECOWAS commission is within the framework of the Demand driven facility under the FMM West Africa project. The project is jointly funded by the European Union and the ECOWAS commission".

Source: | Kofi Dwumah

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