June 16, 2024

ECOWAS, GIZ empower women at Sene-Gambia border with biometric ID cards


In a transformative effort to enhance mobility and trade within the West African region, the ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with German Cooperation (GIZ), has launched a groundbreaking initiative aimed at empowering women in the Sene-Gambia border communities. This initiative focuses on the issuance of the ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card (ENBIC) to women’s groups, aiming to reduce harassment and facilitate smoother cross-border movement for vulnerable populations.

The pilot phase of this empowerment campaign recently took place in the Sene-Gambia zone, marking a significant step forward in promoting economic and social integration. During a key meeting at the Mpack border between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Albert Siaw-Boateng, Director of Free Movement of People and Migration, represented the Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Mrs. Massandje Toure-Litse.

He highlighted the critical importance of cooperation among various border security agencies and emphasized the enforcement of ECOWAS decisions to abolish the 90-day stay limit and permit of residence for community citizens.

The delegation’s engagement with border operators underscored the necessity of inter-service collaboration to ensure the seamless implementation of these policies. Moreover, meetings with representatives of women’s groups in the border communities served as platforms to raise awareness about the importance of valid travel documents and to address the unique challenges faced by women at the borders.

By facilitating the issuance of the ENBIC to these women, the initiative seeks to empower them with the tools needed to navigate border crossings more confidently and securely.

This move is expected to significantly alleviate the harassment and bureaucratic hurdles that women often encounter, thereby fostering greater economic participation and regional integration.

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