FACT CHECK: ‘We did NOT certify Ghana card as e-passport’ – ICAO reacts

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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has rejected media reports suggesting that it has approved the use of the National Identification Card, popularly known as Ghana Card, as an e-passport.

The Organisation in a thread of tweets, clarified that it was not its responsibility to “certify the use of a state’s identity card for international travel in place of a passport.”

“Any decision to accept such alternative travel identity document is made by the receiving state itself,” ICAO further clarified.

The clarification follows reports by sections of the media that ICAO had officially approved the Ghana Card to be used as an e-passport at a special ceremony at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, on Wednesday, following a series of processes, which started last year.

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The ICAO however said discussions at the ceremony were misrepresented by the media.

It said the ceremony only signified the efforts Ghana had made in ensuring the acceptance of its electronic documents.

The Vice President had earlier said the Ghana card would be recognised as an electronic passport in 197 countries by 2022.

“The Ghana card will be recognised as an e-passport and can be read and verified in all [International Civil Aviation Organisation] ICAO compliant borders (in 197 countries and 44,000 airports in the world). When this happens, holders of the Ghana card will be allowed to board any flight to Ghana.”

“Furthermore, the good news for diasporan Ghanaians is that when the Ghana Immigration Service is linked to the NIA architecture, diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghana card should not have to obtain visas to travel to Ghana.”

Dr. Bawumia had said the government has been working with the ICAO to globally activate the e-passport function of the Ghana card.

“We expect this to be operational by the end of the first quarter of next year. Ghana is one of the few countries in the world where the national ID card is also an e-passport,” he said.

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