Ghana to upgrade biometric passports

The Government of Ghana announced that it will soon upgrade its biometric passports so that they are chip-embedded for the electronic verification of travelers.

Ghana introduced machine-readable biometric passports in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations for all categories of passport holders.

The announcement about the upgrade was made by Hanna Tetteh, Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, at a conference for Ghana’s diplomats in Accra last week, according to a report in allAfrica.com.

Numerous items discussed at the conference included processing and printing of biometric passports at selected missions abroad and the establishment of on-line visa and passport application system at missions abroad.

A biometric passport, also known as an e-passport, ePassport or a digital passport, is a combined paper and electronic passport that contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of travelers.

Biometrics Research Group, Inc., publisher of BiometricUpdate.com, believes that within the next decade, the ePassport will become the ubiquitous travel document. The research firm estimates that nearly 500 million ePassports have been issued worldwide by over 100 countries and that approximately 485 million are in circulation. Of these, 54 countries have opted to store facial and fingerprint data in the travel document.

In a Biometric Research Note issued in December 2013, Biometrics Research Group, Inc. estimated that revenues within the global ePassport market will reach US$10.2 billion by 2015.

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