Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says efforts are underway to get the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to recognise the Ghana-Card as an e-passport by the first quarter of next year.
The efforts are to allow Card to be read and verified in ICAO compliant countries and enable holders of the card to board flights to 197 countries and 44,000 airports worldwide.
Additionally, Ghanaian diasporans who are holding the Ghana-Card would not obtain visas to travel to the country.
He was delivering a public lecture on the impact of Government’s digitalisation initiatives at the Brekuso Campus of the Ashesi University, in the Eastern Region, on Tuesday night.
When the process was complete, he said, an official ceremony would be held in the headquarters of ICAO in Montreal, Canada, to sign Ghana’s Certificate of Authority to recognise Ghana-Card as e-passports in ICAO countries.
On 13th October 2021, Ghana officially became the 79th member of the ICAO Public Key Directory community, he stated.
The ICAO Public Directory is a central repository for exchanging the information required to authenticate e-passports.
This will allow border control collaborators to confirm in less than 10 seconds that the e-passport was issued by the right authority.
Dr Bawumia noted that digitalisation held huge prospects for the Ghanaian youth and urged them to embrace it to propel national development.
The lecture, with the hashtag “DigiTimeinGhana” was on the topic: “Using Digitalisation to Transform an Economy-The Ghana Story.”
It attracted students from the University of Ghana, Islamic University, Wisconsin University, the academia, media practitioners, Ministers of State and policy-makers.
It provided a platform to ask the Vice President questions on the digital economy.
“There is a growing body of empirical evidence that illustrates the capacity of digital technology to create jobs, significantly boost productivity, increase income and support wealth creation.”
“I am excited about the prospects of the nation we are building, the brilliant minds being nurtured who are contributing towards this vision and I look forward to all of you playing a role in making our nation great and strong,” Dr Bawumia emphasised.
The Vice President mentioned progress the Government had made over the past four years in the areas of unique identity cards (Ghana-Card), digital address system, mobile money interoperability, drone medical delivery system, e-passport, Ghana.gov portal, and many other government services, saying, more was being done with the youth in mind for them to be the driving force.
“Having put together these large databases as a result of digitalisation, our focus would now turn, inter alia, to data analytics through big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning to provide solutions to many challenges we face,” he said.
“We will leverage on the progress we have made with digitalisation to drive innovation for the youth.
“We are not yet where we want to be, but we have made a great start and there is a lot more to come. There is also more to be done to embed these major digital reforms in the everyday lives of Ghanaians as adoption and usage of digital technology increases.”
The Vice president urged all Ghanaians to commit to embracing the digital initiatives for maximum impact in the coming years.