The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has given its approval for the Ghanaian national identity card to be used as official documentation at all 197 ICAO-compliant countries and 44,000 airports worldwide.
This was announced during a ceremony organized by ICAO at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada during which Ghana received the ‘key’ to symbolically indicate its entry into the ICAO family.
Although the card has been okayed, its actual usage will become possible by the end of the second quarter of this year, after the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) links its systems to the National Identification Authority (NIA) architecture for data integration.
Acceptance into the PKD means the Ghana Card can henceforth be accepted as a travel document into Ghana from 44,000 airports and the 197 ICAO-complaint countries for the exchange of government-held identity data.
As Business Ghana reports, the process will become operational in a few months from now because the Ghana Immigration Service needs time to link the system with the National Identification Authority (NIA) database. According to the arrangement, all Ghanaians living in the diaspora who are holders of the Ghana Card can travel to their country without the need for a visa or other travel documentation such as a passport.
Among those who celebrated this development was Ghana’s Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who composed a statement read during the Montreal event.
“This makes Ghana one of the few countries in the world where the national ID card meets the e-passport standards of the ICAO. This means that with this key ceremony, all holders of the Ghana Card who have e-passports that are compliant with ICAO standards can be read and verified at all ICAO compliant airports/border posts across the world,” said Dr. Bawumia, per Business Ghana.
He was quoted as recalling: “I am happy to remind you that on 13th October, 2021, Ghana officially became the 79th member of the ICAO PKD community. The PKD, a central repository for exchanging the information required to authenticate e-passports, allows border control authorities to confirm that the e-passport is issued by the right authority, has not been altered and is not a copied or cloned document.”