Ministers in charge of security in West African countries are in Abidjan to examine the free movement of persons and goods within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Commerce, Customs and Free movement, Hamed Amid, who spoke during the opening of the forum, said the integration process within the West African region was "progressive and modest" in manner.
He said the ratification of the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of persons and goods by all member states had been "significantly" concretized through the removal of entry visas for West Africa nationals and the introduction of an ECOWAS passport.
However, Amid regretted that it was difficult for the citizens to move freely within the region due to some challenges experienced within the borders of certain countries.
"The freedom to move within our region remains very costly due to time and resources spent", he said, affirming that too much time is usually wasted while travelling in the region and there was also a lot of corruption among customs officials.