June 18, 2024


The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission), through the Directorate of Free Movement of Persons and Migration, is organizing the Maiden Regional Sensitisation and Awareness Event on the West Africa Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion (WURI) programme.

The meeting which is scheduled to hold virtually on 29th September 2022 aims to sensitise the stakeholders with identification management-related functions from all the ECOWAS fifteen (15) Member States to enhance their understanding of the WURI programme and highlight the opportunities of regional integration inherent in the programme. Specifically, the meeting will seek to (1) Create awareness about the WURI programme and the Commission’s role in facilitating regional dialogues for the interoperability of foundational ID systems and mutual recognition of credentials among the participating Member States; (2) Clarify the existing nexus between the ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card (ENBIC) and the unique identity number issued through the WURI programme; and (3) Provide a platform for the WURI participating the Member States to inform stakeholders present of their experience, achievements, challenges, and lessons learnt in the implementation of their respective projects.

Expected at this maiden WURI sensitization and awareness event are representatives from the: (a) Heads of ECOWAS National Offices; (b) Ministries of Digital Economy; (c) Ministries in charge of civil registration/foundational ID systems; (d) Agencies/Departments of the Ministries of Interior/Security with identification management functions, as applicable in each Member State; and (e) representatives of the World Bank and the ECOWAS Commission.

The WURI is a multi-phase programme financed by the World Bank and implemented by Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Niger and Togo, and the ECOWAS Commission, with the objective to increase the number of persons in participating countries who have government-recognized proof of unique identity that enables access to services. Specifically, the Commission aims to foster regional dialogues and cooperation for cross-border mutual recognition of foundational identity systems for access to services.