Ghana card still valid as e-passport

Spokesperson to the Vice President, Dr. Gideon Boako has refuted claims by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that the National Identification Card, popularly known as Ghana Card, cannot be used as an e-passport.

It follows a statement from the ICAO rejecting media reports suggesting that it has approved the use of the Ghana Card, as an e-passport.

The Organisation in a thread of tweets, clarified that it was not its responsibility to “certify the use of a state’s identity card for international travel in place of a passport.”

“Any decision to accept such alternative travel identity document is made by the receiving state itself,” ICAO further clarified.

But in a social media post, Dr. Gideon Boako indicated that Ghana has officially undergone the process of making the Ghana card certified as an e-passport and that the ICAO’s explanations should be ignored.

“Ghana has crossed this stage with respect to the Ghana card, making it officially certified as having the right qualities to be admissible by receiving countries as e-passports subject to country-to-country bilateral agreements”, he wrote.

The ICAO’s clarification follows reports by sections of the media that it had officially approved the Ghana Card to be used as an e-passport at a special ceremony at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, on Wednesday, following a series of processes, which started last year.

ICAO however said discussions at the ceremony were misrepresented by the media.

It said the ceremony only signified the efforts Ghana had made in ensuring the acceptance of its electronic documents.

The Vice President, Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia, had earlier said the Ghana card would be recognised as an electronic passport in 197 countries by 2022.

The Veep’s aide maintains the position made by his superior.

“Through the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), official communication has gone to all border ports that Ghana as a receiving country is accepting holders of the Ghana card into Ghana. The statement by ICAO that Ghana has crossed the major milestone in efforts to provide for more international acceptance of its biometric electronic travel documents is therefore not inconsistent with official communication from government”, he added.

Here is Gideon Boako’s full statement

Just like our current normal booklet passport you will need ICAO to approve and capture the data into their Public Key Directory (PKD) for certification before any country can accept it as official travel documents.

Such key ceremony certification as was done on 9th February in the case of the Ghana card is the ultimate step to take before any national identity card/passport can be used for travelling purposes.

Ghana has crossed this stage with respect to the Ghana card, making it officially certified as having the right qualities to be admissible by receiving countries as e-passports subject to country-to-country bilateral agreements.

Through the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), official communication has gone to all border ports that Ghana as a receiving country is accepting holders of the Ghana card into Ghana.

The statement by ICAO that Ghana has crossed the major milestone in efforts to provide for more international acceptance of its biometric electronic travel documents is therefore not inconsistent with official communication from government.

In practical terms, the holder of a Ghana card will be allowed to board a flight to Ghana (receiving country) from any airport, just as with the normal biometric passport, without the need for a visa.

Also, Diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghana card will not require a visa to travel to Ghana.

Within ECOWAS the Ghana card 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 Ghana card under bilateral arrangements with other countries. “

Citinewsroom.com