West African leaders have endorsed the banning of “all clothings that prevents the clear identification of persons”.
A statement on Thursday evening by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government (HOSG) summit in Nigeria did not, however, directly name the kind of dress.
But it was a clear allusion to the Islamic full veil mostly worn by Muslim women and who are increasingly being used as suicide bombers.
The decision was taken to apparently fight against terrorism.
“The West African countries will be taking into account their own situation and their cultural environment,” the statement further said.
Chad has formally banned the dress while Guinea and Senegal were working to officially ban it.
The decision by the West Africa leaders stems from a recommendation by President Alpha Condé of Guinea to his Senegalese counterpart and Ecowas chairman Macky Sall.
One region where the implementation of the ban could be resisted is northern Nigeria where Islamic extremism was widespread.
Previous attempts in some states were met with stiff opposition, especially from men.
The the two-day HOSG summit was aimed at deliberating on terrorism in West Africa.
The summit was also expected to consider the annual report of the president of the commission, the report of the 75th Ordinary Session of the Ecowas Council of Minister, among others.
The presidents of Benin republic, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo were in attendance.
Other presidents represented include Cape Verde, Niger, Sierra Leone and Liberia.