Biometric passports made an election promise by Ghana’s incumbent party
Ghana could be getting biometric passports soon, as the incumbent New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) 2020 policy platform includes a plan to introduce chip-embedded passports that comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for machine readable documents that support biometric identity verification.
The integration of standardized passport photos and computer chips will make Ghana’s passport more secure. The NPP platform refers to efforts to increase Ghana’s diplomatic footprint and strengthen relations with other countries, Modern Ghana reports.
“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 reads, according to Modern Ghana.
The change will also support self-service and contactless border processes.
Over the past two years, Ghana’s government has launched online passport applications and downloadable application forms to help make the travel document more accessible to citizens. The platform also pledges continued support for ECOWAS, which has its own biometric identity card standards, the AU, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The country has been updating its biometric electoral register, in a process beset with controversy that showed the importance of foundational identification credentials.
Some of the potential suppliers of biometric passports were reported earlier in the month to be in a bidding war for the Nepalese passport contract.