The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has congratulated Ghana for successfully transforming its biometric national identification card, the Ghana Card, to an electronic passport for international travels.
ICAO 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.
Following the special approval ceremony, which was graced by senior ICAO officials and senior Ghana government officials from various Ministries and state institutions, the international aviation body later issued warm congratulations to Ghana for the feat.
“We congratulate Ghana for its decision to join the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD). It is a central repository for exchanging the information required to authenticate ePassports,” ICAO’s officially tweeted on Thursday.
On the same day, ICAO’s Director of Air Transport, Mohamed Fareed, also tweeted to congratulate Ghana.
He wrote: “Congratulations to Ghana for its decision to join the @ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD). It was a pleasure to personally congratulate the DG of Ghana Mr. Charles Kraikue and Ms. Anita Adjei-Nmashie, Ghana’s representative to ICAO on this important milestone.”
By successfully transforming the Ghana Card to an e-passport, Ghana has joined a list of small but exclusive list of countries whose national biometric identity cards also serve as electronic passport, or means of identity for international travel.
Holders of the Ghana Card will be able to board international flights to Ghana from about 44,000 airports in 197 countries.
Also, Ghanaians in the diaspora who present their Ghana Cards will be able to fly into Ghana without requiring visas.
Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, whose office spearheaded the process, alongside other agencies, announced in November 2021 that all was set for the Ghana Card to be transformed into an e-passport by the end of the first quarter of 2022, to make international travels much easier for Ghanaians.
The “Key Ceremony” in Montreal, Canada, this week fulfilled that vision.