Regional News of 2013-12-03

Need for a National Register - Minister

Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has called for the establishment of a comprehensive National Register to allow for easy identification.

He said the Register would contain the name, date and place of birth together with other details regarding a citizen’s birth, tax number, religion, business licenses, passports and identity cards.

Mr Oppong-Fosu said the Ministry would collaborate with the National Identification Authority and other stakeholders for the development of a synchronized identity system for the country.

He said this on Monday at a two-day synchronized system identity workshop in Accra.

The workshop would enable stakeholders to brainstorm and decide on the processes and the development of appropriate software that would have multi-purpose functions and serves as an ideal model that governments can use to plan, implement and deliver socio-economic developments to communities.

Mr Oppong-Fosu said the workshop was a preparation to agree on common ground for the harmonization of databases in operation within Ministries, departments and agencies, corporate organization and industries in the performance of their duties.

He said institutions such as the Ghana Immigration Services, the Passport Office, Electoral Commission, National Identification Authority, the Ministries and the Assemblies have adopted individual databases that formed part of their ICT infrastructure.

Mr Oppong-Fosu said this had created the existence of multiple soft wares which had resulted in the duplication of efforts in bio-data acquisition.

He said a four-member government delegation visited Berlin in Germany in October 2013 to identify, discuss and evaluate the possibility of Ghana adopting the German Federal Central Data Management System.

Mr Oppong-Fosu said some officials from the German-based company, HSH Software and Hardware, are participating in the workshop to assist Ghana in the identification of a common ground for the development of software that would create a Centralized Identity Database with enhanced security features.

He said the establishment of a National Register would enhance exchange of data between registration officers throughout the country.

Dr Ransford Gyampo, a Research Fellow at the Governance Unit of the Institute of Economic Affairs, expressed the hope that the workshop would come out with a framework to ensure that Ghana achieved a synchronized data captured on a single identity card.

Present at the workshop were Jacob Osei Yeboah, independent Candidate for 2012 Presidential Elections, Dr Abu Sakara, Presidential Candidate for the Convention People’s Party, and Mahama Ayariga, Presidential Candidate for People’s National Convention.