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Ghana Card - E-passport: Foreign Minister was aware of ICAO event – Dep. Minister clarifies

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey1312 Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

Fri, 11 Feb 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration was in the know about the event in Montreal where the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) okayed the Ghana Card as a valid travel document to over 190 countries across 44,000 airports worldwide.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong, who had been quoted as denying that the Ministry had any knowledge of the issue explained in an interview with GhanaWeb that he had been mistranslated with respect to an interview he granted Kumasi-based Akoma FM on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

According to him, whoever was behind the story is being mischievous or cannot translate Twi language to good English.

“For the records, at no stage of the interview did I say that. Whoever is behind that story is being mischievous or can't translate the twi language to good English.”

He said he had explained to the journalist that he was not in a position to speak to an ICAO report, an organization that he did not belong to.

He continued, that his point about not knowing anything about the Ghana Card being used as an e-passport was to the extent that no official communication had been issued by the Ministry of Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey at the time.

“The Minister told me (on the evening of February 9, 2022) that she hasn’t made any statement but she also confirmed to me that she had knowledge of that event. And because she had knowledge of that and it was going to be launched, she has asked our Director of Passports to go there.

“In my interview, I have indicated that if I say I don’t know of the Ghana Card, it is a lie… I was asked about an ICAO report and I said that report is not coming from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

He explained further that the journalist’s bid to interrogate him on the ICAO report is exactly what he denied. “I said this report is not coming from my ministry… if it were coming from a Ghana government source like from the Office of the Vice President, that will be a different ball game,” he added.

The Deputy Minister who doubles as Member of Parliament for Asante Mampong also clarified that the e-passport issue fell under the wider digitization drive by the government and was under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President.

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.

Ghana signed a certificate of authority into the PKF system at a ceremony held by ICAO in Montreal, Canada.

Ransford Sowah, Ghana’s High Commissioner in Canada received the country’s certification to allow for the adoption of the unique biometric identification card for travel.

Aside from the Director of Passports, the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority, Prof. Kenneth Attafuah was also in attendance along with other government officials.

Prior to this, Ghana was in October last year accepted as the 79th member of ICAO’s Public Key Directory (PKD) community.

The ICAO (PKD) is a central repository for exchanging the information required to authenticate e-passports for travel-related activities.

Below is a rejoinder the Deputy Minister shared with GhanaWeb after the interview

Re: GHANA CARD NOW E-PASSPORT


My attention has been drawn to an interview I granted Akoma Fm on Thursday morning which seeks to claim I stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no knowledge of the Project to transform Ghana card to a travelling document or an e-passport.

For the records, at no stage of the interview did I say that.

Whoever is behind that story is being mischievous or can't translate the twi language to good English.

In fact, in the course of the interview, I did mention that the ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of the Project.

This project, however, was initiated and being managed by the office of the Vice President and not the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is therefore difficult for me to be the person to give better and further particulars. At best it's the Veep's office where the project managers are based.

At no point did I deny knowledge of the project.

I plead with those of you who have elected to go to town with inverted story to kindly locate and listen to the interview.

Sgnd

HON. KWAKU AMPRATWUM SARPONG

DEPUTY MINISTER, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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