Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hanna Tetteh has announced that from next year, chip-embedded passports will be issued to Ghanaian citizens globally instead of the current bio-metric passport.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Madam Hannah Tetteh made this announcement while addressing the Ghanaian community in Tokyo.
According to the Minister, the upgrade is in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization Regulations which requires member countries to migrate to a chip embedded passport from October this year.
Ms Tetteh said the latest development is to enable the country meet international standards, as well as make it possible for Ghanaians in the diaspora to acquire passport from Ghana’s 57 missions and consulates worldwide.
This obviously implies Ghanaians with the current biometric passport would be required to upgrade to the chip-embedded passports which can be acquired locally from all the 10 Regional Passport Application Centres nationwide.
She explained that the Foreign Affairs Ministry is going to upgrade the system to begin to issue from next year, chip-embedded passports to citizens in place of the bio-metric passports.
She added that international procurement processes have already begun and six companies have been shortlisted to provide proposals for consideration and award of a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) infrastructure for the new chip embedded passport.
Explaining further, she said that a partner who gets the award is going to help them on a BOT basis, to build up the infrastructure across all our embassies [57 missions and consulates], the passport office in Accra and 10 regional passport application centres in the country.
According to her, the ministry expects to finish the procurement process in three months while the entire strujcture is also expected to be ready within a period of one year.
Ms Tetteh is part of the delegation that accompanied President John Dramani Mahama and his wife, Lordina, on their three-day official visit to Japan.
Moreover, from July this year, all AU citizens would be offered a 30-day visa on arrival in Ghana.
ECOWAS and AU have over the years sought to improve trade within member States and reduce barriers hindering integration.
Do you know that Ghanaian Housemaids are Banned In Kuwait? Here’s Why
President John Mahama had explained at a meeting with the African Diplomatic Corps in Japan that the country’s decision to offer visa on arrival to African Union member citizens is a key policy directed at stimulating African integration and trade within the continent.
The President received much appraisal from members of the African Diplomatic Corps in Japan for his well meaning contributions towards championing continental integration and ensuring a peaceful atmosphere in Ghana.
He also urged other African countries to emulate and adopt similar strategies with the aim of promoting integration across the continent.