ECOWAS: Land borders may reopen on January 1, 2022

Public Management
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 17:14
ECOWAS: Land borders may reopen on January 1, 2022

(Togo First) - After remaining closed for the past two years, land borders in the ECOWAS land region could reopen next month, on January 1 to be exact. The date was suggested on December 6 during a meeting gathering some of the region’s ministers and the West African Health Organization. 

The recommendation, which was addressed to ECOWAS presidents, includes the effective implementation of harmonized instructions at the borders, mutual recognition of PCR tests for Covid-19, and the harmonization of their period of validity.   

“The recommendation was made based on the lessons learned over the two years the borders were closed. The pandemic has disrupted demand, supply, and investments in key economic sectors. It has also negatively impacted trade and people’s movements,” the meeting’s participants declared.

Due to the closure, ECOWAS States lost 6.7% of their GDP between 2020 and 2021, the officials estimated yesterday. This corresponds to about $50 billion. The losses show that reopening borders is important for economic recovery and it is “a fundamental issue.”

The suggestions will be presented next Thursday and Friday in Abidjan, during the ECOWAS ministers’ council. They will be subsequently sent to heads of State and government for adoption. 

Let’s recall that ECOWAS leaders decided to shut their borders to stymie the spread of the Covid-19 virus across the region.

Esaïe Edoh  

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