Speaking on Okay FM Friday morning, Dr. Acheampong narrated how he got to the airport in Hamburg, only to realise he had left his passport at home, but the Ghanacard saved the day for him.
“Yesterday I was coming from Europe to Ghana. At the airport, I joined the queue to check in and when it got to my turn to be processed, I strangely could not find my passport. I checked all my bags and I could not find my passport so I called home and I was told I had left my passport at home,” Dr Acheampong told Okay FM.
“I had one option, which was to rebook the flight and that would cost me extra money. Then I remembered that some time ago, there were media reports that it is possible for one to travel to Ghana on a Ghanacard, and I had my Ghanacard in my purse.”
“So I approached the airline, Air France and showed my Ghanacard to them to prove that I am a Ghanaian and I had reason to travel to Ghana. Because the Ghanacard is machine-readable, they scanned and confirmed that I am a Ghanaian.”
“They also conferred with the Immigration officials at the airport, but unfortunately for me, by the time they completed these processes, I missed that particular Airfrance flight, but I was rebooked on KLM because of the alliance between Air France and KLM. So I travelled to Ghana from Hamburg through Amsterdam on my Ghanacard,” he added.
Dr. Acheampong continued that because he had linked his Ghanacard to his passport and driver’s license, it was easier and faster for the officials to confirm his identity through the Ghanacard.
“Interestingly, because I had linked my passport and my driver’s license to the Ghanacard, they were able to see all that when they scanned it that I am indeed a Ghanaian citizen.”
“The good thing is that the Ghanacard is machine readable so you can insert it into any readable machine and every piece of information on it will show, and that’s exactly what the airline did without my passport.
“And when I got to Ghana, I realised that Ghana Immigration Service had a special desk which processed holders of Ghanacard. So I didn’t go through the normal Immigration channel where you had to show your passport. I went through the special desk. I didn’t know something like that existed.”
Dr. Acheampong admitted that until his personal experience, he did not believe the Ghanacard could be used to travel.
“Honestly I was surprised I could use the Ghanacard to travel. Some months ago when reports emerged that the Ghanacard could be used as a travel document, many people didn’t believe it. Honestly, I also didn’t believe it,” he admitted.
“But I was caught up yesterday because if I lost that flight, I would have spent some money to rebook it so I said no, let me try it because the government has announced that the Ghanacard could be used to travel. I tried it and thankfully it worked. It saved me time and money, and I am happy to be back home.”
He described the Ghanacard as a very good initiative and urged Ghanaians to embrace it, as well as other digitization efforts in the country by the government.
“The Ghanacard is a very good initiative. Not only the Ghanacard, but also efforts to digitise many aspects of our economy and national life is very important. Wherever you go, before any office or government would engage you, you’ll first have to be identified as the real person.”
“It is a good effort and Ghanaians should embrace it. My own experience shows that some of these initiatives can help, especially in situations such as I found myself in.”
Source: Peace FM
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