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Use of Ghana Card as travel ID gaining traction, Namibia, Botswana follow suit

Use of Ghana Card as travel ID gaining traction, Namibia, Botswana follow suit

More than 1,000 Ghanaians travelled into the country from different destinations around the world using their national biometric ID credential – the Ghana Card – as a travel document between January and December 2022.

GhanaWeb in an article cites data from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) showing that a total of 1,089 Ghanaians travelled from 19 countries into Ghana with the Ghana Card as their travel ID, less than one year after the policy went into force.

In 2022, Ghana was welcomed by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) into the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD), a move which recognized the Ghana Card as an electronic ID which meets the standards of an international travel document.

When the policy was made official, the GIS set up a special office at Kotoko International Airport, Accra, to carry out identity checks for people travelling into the country with the Ghana Card, the outlet notes.

The government has told Ghanaians that a process is ongoing to reach bilateral agreements with other countries, which will make it possible for Ghanaians with the Ghana Card to be allowed access to those destinations.

In late 2021, the country’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, said a government plan seeks to make the Ghana Card accepted as the main travel document for Ghanaians at 44,000 airports in 197 ICAO-compliant member countries.

Namibia and Botswana to allow mutual border crossings with ID

In a similar development, Namibia and Botswana have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) which will allow citizens of both countries to enter the territory of the other using national ID cards.

Namibia’s state broadcaster NBC reports that the move is meant to facilitate movement between the two neighboring Southern African countries.

Per the report, the MoU requires the two countries to set up a joint technical committee which will develop guidelines on how to conduct authentication and verification of ID documents. It also spells out mechanisms for setting up the requisite infrastructure at the five border points, the outlet indicates.

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