The Akufo-Addo led administration has pledged to introduce chip-embedded passports for Ghana.
This is contained in the governing New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) 2020 manifesto which was launched on Saturday, August 22, 2020.
The policy document outlines the NPP’s programmes of action it seeks to implement in case its mandate is extended by Ghanaians on December 7.
As part of its plans for the Foreign Affairs sector, the NPP outlined in its manifesto that it will introduce chip-embedded passports to keep up the pace of technological advancement and enhance the security of the Ghanaian passport.
“During our first term, we have been consistent in our efforts to deepen Ghana’s diplomatic footprint and strengthen relations with other countries in pursuit of our national interests. The next few years will be challenging in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic. It threatens to shift economic and diplomatic alliances as well as geopolitics.”
“In view of this, we will be more strategic in our international engagements by focusing on economic, commercial and business benefits accruing to Ghana. We will introduce chip-embedded passports to keep up with technological advancement and enhance the security of Ghanaian passports and implement the project to issue Machine-Readable Visa Stickers”, the document read.
A Chip-embedded passport also known as a biometric passport is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder.
It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip (computer chip) and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or centre page, of the passport.
Government has over the last two years embarked on a number of initiatives to facilitate the process of passport acquisition for Ghanaians such as the online passport application and downloadable Portable Document Format (PDF) passport application forms.
The NPP in its manifesto also promised to “continue to promote and support ECOWAS and the AU domestically and internationally to accelerate the pace of regional and continental integration and engage as a united front in global relations as the host country of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), be very active in seeing to the operationalisation and success of AfCFTA.”
The party further indicated that it will “continue to facilitate the election and appointment of Ghanaians to positions in various international organisations. To this end, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has created a Candidatures Unit to pursue aggressively vacancies that may occur in various international organisations and recommend, as well as support suitable Ghanaians to apply.”