Senegal First ECOWAS Member to Begin Issuance of Biometric IDs

Senegal has become the first country in the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, to issue biometric ID cards to citizens.Senegal First ECOWAS Member to Begin Issuance of Biometric IDs

It’s a region-wide project that was first suggested in the summer of last year, when ECOWAS VP Toga Gayewea McIntosh recommended the biometric ID cards‘ implementation at a meeting of ECOWAS’ Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee. As News Ghana reports, ECOWAS members formally voted to implement such a program in December of that year.

The aim of the program is to let residents of the region use their biometric ID cards to migrate freely between member countries, and to have the ID cards replace residence permits. It’s similar to some of the biometric identification measures being adopted by European countries for their own Schengen free-travel zone.

Senegal began to issue its biometric ID cards just this week, and it isn’t yet clear how far along it is in providing the cards to all citizens. But in getting the project underway, it may help spur other ECOWAS members to proceed with the issuance of their own cards.

Source: News Ghana

October 7, 2016 – by Alex Perala