West Africa is one of Africa’s most mobile regions where intra-regional migration represents a large part of its cross-border movements and has been widely recognized as key to the region’s economic growth and stability. Also, the recent migration dynamics between ECOWAS Member States and Europe have further highlighted the importance of improved migration management.
The rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in ECOWAS Member States taking series of actions to save their citizens and others from being infected. The virus which has shown that it is no respecter of persons and has affected important personalities, including migrants. Countries have issued travel warnings, travel restrictions, health screening and quarantines to help protect travellers from this deadly virus.
Given the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implication on human mobility, individual ECOWAS MS as well as the ECOWAS Regional body is considering taking and have taken some measures to fight the pandemic.
It has therefore become important to strengthen the capacity of Member States and the region for resilience, prevention, detection, surveillance and response to epidemics and emergencies.
In the medium to long term, specific technical studies will be commissioned to come up with empirical evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on Regional Transport and Trade as well as Free Movement of Persons which will inform the ECOWAS Commission decision making in reorganizing sectors to support the desired economic growth and regional integration Agenda of ECOWAS.
Listen and learn about the challenges and plans the region's initiatives are gearing towards declaring the ECOWAS region environment a safe place for the Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services and also to ensure migrants move in a dignified manner.