Foreign Affairs Minister-designate Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has indicated the country’s preparedness to start issuing chip-embedded passports by mid-2021.
She was responding to a question posed by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu when she appeared before the vetting committee on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
According to her, preparations were far advanced and by mid-2021, Ghana will introduce chip-embedded passports for Ghanaians.
Chip-embedded passport also known as a biometric passport is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder.
It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip (computer chip) and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or centre page, of the passport.
As part of its plans for the Foreign Affairs sector, the government promised to introduce chip-embedded passports to keep up the pace of technological advancement and enhance the security of the Ghanaian passport.
“During our first term, we have been consistent in our efforts to deepen Ghana’s diplomatic footprint and strengthen relations with other countries in pursuit of our national interests. The next few years will be challenging in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic. It threatens to shift economic and diplomatic alliances as well as geopolitics.”
“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 read.