Many of you will recall that during my recent lecture at Ashesi University, I stated that we were working to make sure the Ghanacard (our national identity card) will be recognized in all countries and at all airports in the world as an e-passport by the end of March 2022.
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.
Ghana officially became the 79th member of the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD) community in October 2019.
According to ICAO, with Wednesday’s Key Ceremony in Montreal, the Ghanacard becomes internationally acceptable for travel, and border control authorities can confirm in less than 10 seconds that the Ghanacard/e-passport was issued by the right authority, has not been altered, and is not a copied or cloned document.
In practical terms, this means that it will now be faster and more effective for border control authorities to verify the identity of holders of the Ghanacard.
Furthermore, the holder of a Ghanacard will be allowed to board a flight to Ghana from any airport, just as with the normal biometric passport, without the need for a visa.
Also, Diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghanacard will not require a visa to travel to Ghana.
Within ECOWAS the Ghanacard can be used to travel to any country. Traveling outside ECOWAS however, will require that you use your normal biometric passport which will contain your visas. In the not too distant future, we expect that electronic visas will be issued under ICAO 2.0 protocols. When this starts, electronic visas could be issued on the Ghanacard under bilateral arrangements with other countries.
This is a major achievement by Ghana for which we should all be proud. I would like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, Ministry of Interior, Ghana Immigration Service, National Identification Authority, NITA, and Margins Group for their tireless efforts working in collaboration to make this day possible. Ayekoo!
There were many who thought this was impossible but nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.
God bless our homeland Ghana