The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has denied knowledge of the widely circulated report that Ghana’s National Identity Card, the Ghana Card, is set to be recognized globally as a valid e-passport.
Speaking on Akoma FM’s current affairs and political show GhanAkoma Thursday, February 10, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong, explained that “the report is not emanating from my ministry; hence officially I cannot confirm that Ghana Card is now e-passport”.
The Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, who doubles as Member of Parliament for Asante Mampong, told host of the show Aduanaba Kofi Asante Ennin that “as at yesterday 9pm, I was in a meeting with my minister and she denied that and said topic is news to her because officially the report is not from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Wednesday, February 9 reported that holders of the Ghana Card, as well as its future biometric equivalents, can present it as official documentation at all 197 (ICAO) compliant countries and 44,000 airports worldwide and board flights to Ghana.
Mr Ampratwum further explained that the report is not officially from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so further questions must be directed to the outfit which published the report.
“Maybe the report is from a higher authority because my minister and her two deputies of which I am part are not privy to the said report,” he added.
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This follows a recognition of the Ghana Card as a global electronic passport, verified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliant borders.
At a ceremony at the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal in Canada on Wednesday, Ghana was officially presented with a certificate, recognising the Ghana Card as an e-passport, acceptable in 44,00 commercial airports worldwide.
Speaking at the event, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada, Ransford Sowah, received the token, which signified Ghana’s recognition by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
“This makes Ghana one of the few countries in the world where the national ID card also has an e-passport capability,” he added.
“For Ghanaians living or born in the diaspora, holders of the Ghana Card can be allowed to board any flight to Ghana without any visa requirement as we seek to give an inclusive Akwaaba experience to all children and descendants of our motherland”, Mr. Sowah stated.
RT: @MBawumia I am happy to report that following a “Key Ceremony” at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (@icao) in Montreal Canada, Ghana’s National Identity Card (the #GhanaCard) will now be duly recognized globally as a valid e-passport/ID card. pic.twitter.com/eNjeg29SD7
— Ghana Presidency (@GhanaPresidency) February 10, 2022
In November last year, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia revealed that the Ghana card will be recognized as an electronic passport globally by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
According to Dr. Bawumia, the Ghana Card, which will have embedded microchip carrying information about the holder, can be read and verified in all International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) complaint borders.
“When this happens, holders of the Ghana Card will be allowed to board any flight to Ghana. Furthermore, the good news for diasporan Ghanaians is that when the Ghana Immigration Service is linked to the NIA architecture, diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghana card should not have to obtain visas to travel to Ghana” he added.
The Vice President made the announcement at the Ashesi University Campus on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 while addressing the topic: “Transforming an economy through digitalization: The Ghana story.”
Giving more details, Dr. Bawumia said government has been engaging the International Civil Aviation Organization to globally activate the e-passport function of the Ghana card.
He stated that as a result, the country is now a member of the organisation’s Public Key Directory community.
“I am happy to announce that on the 13th of October 2021, Ghana officially became the 79th member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Public Key Directory (PKD) community. Ghana’s Country Signing Certificate Authority would therefore soon be imported into the ICAO PKD System through what is known as a Key ceremony”, he disclosed.
This key ceremony for Ghana, Dr. Bawumia further added will be held at the ICAO Headquarters in Montreal Canada by the 1st quarter of 2022.
The event on Wednesday, February 9 in Canada, is therefore an actualisation of the President’s comments in November, last year.