General News Fri, 24 Mar 2017

Ghana ready to issue chip embedded passports – Ayorkor Botchwey

Ghana will from this year begin issuing chip embedded biometric passports to its citizenry.

This new initiative will see the West African country migrate from its current generation of passports from 2D barcode.

Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration say the initiative will help reduce drastically the possibility of identity thefts and resultant misrepresentations that is commonly used to endanger the security of persons in society.

It is however, not clear the level of progress the country has made in this regard since the procurement process of the project began last year with six companies shortlisted to execute the task in a Built, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) arrangement.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Thursday, told Parliament that the country will make progress on the upgrade from the issuance of 2D barcode biometric passports to the chip embedded passports to ensure that the former British Colony becomes compliant to international best practices.

She made this remark when contributing to discussions on GH?398,676,632 budget estimate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

The project is in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Regulations which requires member countries to migrate to a chip embedded passport from October 2016.

When completed, Ghana’s passport offices both home and its missions abroad, will be fully equipped to issue ICAO compliant chip embedded biometric passports that incorporate upgraded security features, to implement an integrated and automated passport application system to replace the current system and render first rate services to Ghanaian passport applicants.

Source: kasapafmonline.com