Leaders of the sub region of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have proposed replacing residency permits with biometric identification cards, according to information from Citi FM Online in West Africa.
The possibility of using biometric identification cards is expected to be debated in the 45th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of States in Accra, Ghana. The introduction of biometrics will effectively facilitate the free circulation and commerce among the members of ECOWAS.
According to analyst Emmanuel Bensah, introducing this system would be a «good idea» because it » helps to control and evaluate the type of people who pass through the borders in a permanent way.»
Bensah said that the abolition of residency permits would enable «the free circulation of all West African citizens» and added that «it should have been an important part of the agenda for some time.»
ECOWAS has made a lot of progress in recent years, including the establishment of free circulation, but Bensah said that the introduction of biometric identification could effectively establish a management plan for the integration of the organization.