Starting from Wednesday, February 9, Ghana’s National Identification Card, popularly known as the ‘Ghana Card’ will enable holders to travel across 97 borders and 44,000 airports in the world.
Holders of the Ghana Card will therefore be permitted to embark on any flight to Ghana by simply showing the card.
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.
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.